Carbon fibre panels are shown during pre-production trials. Build will be in a new plant in Changdu, China

Carbon fibre panels are shown during pre-production trials. Build will be in a new plant in Changdu, China

Geely's Polestar is making extensive use of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) for its upcoming Polestar 1 model.

Producing an overall weight saving of 230kg, most of the main body parts are constructed from the high tech, lightweight material, making it a core contributor to the handling.

The carbon fibre body is a first for Volvo Car Group and shows how Polestar is now the "technology spearhead" for the group. In much the same way as BMW tooled up for its CFRP i2 and i8 models with the factory-within-a-factory at Leipzig, the Polestar Production Centre, currently under construction in Chengdu, China, and due to begin full-scale production in mid-2019, is being tooled specifically to deal with the intricate nature of carbon fibre construction.

Carbon fibre components are used extensively in the car's structure, including the bonnet, boot lid, side panels, doors and the entire roof structure.

"The 'dragonfly' is also made from CFRP," said Christian Samson, head of product creation.

The dragonfly-shaped component plays an instrumental role in creating the car's reactive dynamics – it radically improves torsional stiffness at one of the critical points in the body structure, between the middle of the floor and rear construction.

"When you combine this strengthened framework with the super-strong body and roof structure, you get a stiff and communicative chassis which translates driver input into superb driving characteristics," said Samson.

There are significant design benefits as well. The carbon fibre roof structure is not only thinner and stronger than a steel equivalent but also allows for a much lower roof line, resulting in a sleek and slender profile. A glass panel stretches the length and width of the roof, integrated with minimal intrusion from body elements on the inside for a truly panoramic view.

CEO Thomas Ingenlath said: "Carbon fibre is crucial in meeting our design, engineering and performance goals [for] the Polestar 1. The result is a beautiful, technological package that remains faithful to the original design with its elegant and low silhouette."