Polestar chief test driver Joakim Rydholm drives Polestar 1 prototype up the hill at GFOS

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Polestar chief test driver Joakim Rydholm, who brings a wealth of expertise to the electric performance car brand, drove a Polestar 1 prototype up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend.

“The ingredients for creating the best driving dynamics in a car are the same, whether it has an electric drivetrain or an internal combustion engine,” Rydholm said at the UK event.

“An immediate damper response from the suspension, direct and predictable feedback from steering inputs, and consistent, powerful brakes are the key attributes that all the world’s best driver’s cars have in common. That’s exactly what we are engineering into the new electric performance cars from Polestar.”

Rydholm plays an integral role in the set-up of all new Polestar cars. With a history that combines rich automotive R&D experience as well as an illustrious rallying career, he has recently been applying his knowledge in chassis and performance tuning for the Polestar 1.

“I absolutely love this car. It was so much fun to drive it at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, an event I have always wanted to drive at. It was a very special experience. I have spent every recent waking hour in the Polestar 1 so to take it to England and drive it among some of the most famous names in motorsport was a truly life-affirming experience,” Rydholm continued.

“In the 22 years of my career developing the chassis for all sorts of cars, I have never experienced a package and drivetrain as thrilling as the Polestar 1. The electric performance is so immediate and exciting, plus the torque vectoring technology gives very engaging handling. When you then factor in the Öhlins suspension, Akebono brakes and lightweight carbon-fiber body, the Polestar 1 delivers truly outstanding performance.”

Rydholm started at Volvo Cars in 2008 and worked on the C30 Polestar concept as his first project. Subsequent R&D programs on which he was involved include many of Volvo’s recent SPA cars. His connection to Polestar was strengthened in 2013 when he became responsible for chassis development of the now-outgoing S60 and V60 Polestar models.

Rydholm’s role evolved in 2016 to include all Polestar-developed chassis components for Volvo models, and the start of development of the Polestar 1. Today, his responsibility extends to all future Polestar models, and the recently-announced Polestar-engineered derivatives in the Volvo S60, V60 and XC60 ranges.

Rydholm cited his rallying experience as key to expertise in chassis tuning: “The fast pace of rallying, and the need to react very quickly to changing conditions, has taught me to listen very carefully to the chassis and feel what it is doing at all times. I have learned how to fine-tune various aspects to change the way a car behaves depending on what needs to be achieved.”

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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