Is the Polestar 2 the new Saab 99, asked a Swedish car newspaper the other day. Okay, the Polestar 2 is a hatchback with a large tailgate - like the Saab 99. And the Swedes are all romantics. Apparently, they suspect a Saab successor around every corner. First at Lynk & Co, now at Polestar.
If they hadn't stayed so passive when Saab died, the brand might have survived in some form. But now it's past and Polestar is the most interesting brand from Sweden.
There are indeed parallels to Saab.
And they're almost spooky. It's not about the hardware. The answer to the question with Saab 99 and Polestar 2 can be found at the end of the text. The software is much more important. Let's beam ourselves back in time. In spring 2011, Saab announced that IQon system on. A revolution because it opened the automotive ecosystem to external developers. The IQon was based on Google Android and was an open source project.
The right step into the future. With greater impact than any new car model has. In keeping with the old Saab tradition when you were still at the forefront. In the end, however, you were a sheep in the crowd of many other gray sheep. The hardware and software of the 9-5 NG was already out of date at the premiere, as is the custom in the auto industry. The customer is asked to checkout for systems that reflect the status of 2 or 3 years ago.
As I said, that wasn't always the case with Saab. The 6800 Motorola processor of the Trionic was the finest you could ask for.
But that was really a long time ago.
Back to the IQon. That never came on the market. But the idea was born. In the present, she is recording Polestar. The electric car is always online, leaving a data track as wide as a multi-lane highway. Like the IQon, its infotainment is based on Google Android. The manufacturer opens it to external programmers who are supposed to contribute apps.
Google Automotive provides the development environment, Polestar provides the emulation. This enables developers to simulate the implemented Google services and the Polestar environment as the user of the electric car experiences them.
Many applications in the app store become a selling point
Polestar is clearly positioning itself for the future. The fake old car industry is a thing of the past. Cars are online, updates come from the web. Innovations are implemented faster, customer systems remain current. Having as many applications in the app store as possible will be a selling point in the future. The answer to this is opening up the automotive ecosystem to external developers.
Polestar's openness will be imitated. Better: have to find. Only those who are fast will survive. The customer of the future that has already started will not be satisfied with old hardware and grandpa's software solutions. He wants to be there live, even the space in the front row is no longer good enough.
New times, different demands
Saab anticipated this development in 2011. Today it is a reality and it is once again a Swedish brand that is playing the pioneer. Does this have anything to do with Saab? Do previous Saab engineers play in the background? Not necessarily, because once ideas are out of the bag, they are common property.
Back to the question from the beginning. Is the Polestar 2 the new Saab 99? A Swedish car newspaper asked the chassis developer of the Polestar 2 this question, and he said no. He couldn't find any parallels ...
He had previously worked for Saab.
Images: Polestar (2/2)