“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,” says Joakim Rydholm, Chief Test Driver at Polestar. “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”.
Joakim Rydholm plays an integral role in the setup of all Polestar cars – past, present and future. With an impressive resume that combines rich automotive R&D experience as well as an illustrious rallying career, Joakim has recently been applying his expert knowledge in chassis and performance tuning to the Polestar 1 – an Electric Performance Hybrid with all the credentials of a genuine sports car.
Joakim started at Volvo Cars in 2008 where the famous Volvo C30 Polestar Concept was his first project. Subsequent R&D projects included many of Volvo’s recent SPA cars, but his connection to Polestar was strengthened in 2013 when he was responsible for chassis development of the now-outgoing S60 and V60 Polestar models, which cemented Polestar as Volvo Cars’ performance arm.
His role evolved in 2016 to include all Polestar-developed chassis components for Volvo models, and the start of development of the Polestar 1. Today, Joakim’s responsibility extends to all future Polestar models, and the recently announced Polestar Engineered derivatives in the Volvo S60, V60 and XC60 ranges.
Joakim cites his rallying experience as a key factor 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.”
Joakim’s rally career stretches as far back as 1987 when, at the age of 15, he built his first rallycross car. A steady flow of podium finishes in various Scandinavian rally events began in 1998, and Joakim currently races a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Group N rally car in the Swedish Championship.