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Polestar’s Precept Concept Looks Sharp Ahead of Geneva Motor Show

Geneva-bound concept car shows Polestar is developing its own personality.

There's a lot to say about what Polestar's new Precept concept is, but more importantly is what it is not: A Volvo knock-off. Sure, there are some vaguely Volvo-esque lines, but this car shows Polestar is well on the path to developing its own design language—right down to a new interpretation of Volvo's "Thor's Hammer" headlights.

Polestar calls the Precept "a statement of intent," and spelling out the marque's new look is only part of its mission; the Precept also illustrates Polestar's intended digital user interface as well as a commitment to sustainable materials.

The Precept's extra-long wheelbase is meant to accommodate a large battery pack for this electric-powered vehicle, but it also makes the car look as well planted as a 200-year-old redwood. The long-hood, fastback shape is capped by a staple-shaped full-width taillight composed of a thin line of LEDs. A wing integrated into the front of the hood directs air over the full-length glass roof. Viewed from the top, the Precept's greenhouse really does look like a ... greenhouse. Traditional mirrors are replaced by thin side-view cameras.

The Precept takes advantage of the EV's reduced need for airflow: Nearly all of the sensors for its safety systems are located where a grille would traditionally be. This includes radar sensors and cameras, leaving a fairly open area ahead of the rearview mirror, though the Precept does have a LIDAR pack mounted atop the roof, hinting at possible autonomy.

Inside, the Precept takes the Swedish minimalist ethic and raises it to a new level. The interior might be considered innovative had Tesla not got there first. But you can also think of it as a Volvo with all the fat cut away, leaving only a massive 15-inch portrait-style screen tacked onto the center of the dash, and a 12.5-inch landscape instrument panel ahead of the driver. The operating system is powered by Android, and it uses eye-tracking technology to contextualize the displays.

The Precept's interior is also a recycling center come to life: The seat upholstery is made from recycled plastic bottles, headrests and bolsters from recycled cork vinyl, and carpets from old fishing nets. Rear seats are individual buckets, and between the rear headrests a holographic Polestar logo is etched into a chunk of Swedish crystal.

Is the Precept a future product or merely a design study? Polestar says the latter, but if the next production car looks exactly like this concept, car fans with have plenty to smile about.