Polestar has revealed what is likely to be its most popular car yet, and the vehicle that will push the Swedish firm into the mainstream.
Simply called the 3, the electric car follows the Polestar 1 hybrid and Polestar 2, a fellow all-electric car. Larger than the 2, the Polestar 3 is a five-seat SUV with a range the company hopes will be as much as 379 miles. Prices start at £79,900 and deliveries are due to begin in 2023.
A relative of Volvo and owned by Chinese automotive giant Geely, which also has controlling stakes in Lotus and the London Electric Vehicle Company, Polestar ensures the 3 will retain the same sporting credentials as its other cars.
As such, the Polestar 3 promises to be quick, thank to a power output of up to 380 kW (517 horsepower) and a massive torque figure of 910 Nm when the optional £5,600 Performance Pack is added.
Polestar claims a 0-62 mph time of 5.0 seconds for the regular, 360 kW (489 horsepower) car, and 4.7 seconds with the Performance Pack. The top speed of both models is 130 mph. Both versions use a 111 kWh battery pack, of which 107 kWh is usable capacity, and the DC charging rate is up to 250 kW. Polestar says a charge from 10 to 80 percent can take as little as 30 minutes, when using a 250 kW charger.
The car has two motors and all-wheel-drive, with torque vectoring on the rear axle to shuffle torque between the two wheels. It also has a system for decoupling the rear motor and only using the front motor in certain situations, to save battery life. Dual-chamber air suspension lets the car switch between softer and firmer ride modes, with damper velocity electronically adjusted at a rate of up to 500 times per second.
“Our goal was to offer the performance and precision that define all Polestar cars, without compromising the comfort of the daily drive,” says Joakim Rydholm, Polestar’s chief chassis engineer. “To do this, we used new components like the adaptive air suspension to engineer the ‘Polestar feeling’ for this type of car.”
The Polestar 3 is 4,900mm long, 2,120mm wide (including mirrors) and 1,614mm tall. It sits on 21-inch wheels at the front and 22-inch at the rear.
Inside, the car has a similar interior to the Polestar 2, including a 14.5-inch central touchscreen display, in portrait orientation and running Google's Android Automotive operating system on an Nvidia Drive computer. This includes native support for the Google Assistant, as well as Google Maps, the Play Store and Spotify for music streaming. Over-the-air software updates will be available throughout the car's life, and interior connectivity includes four USB-C ports, Bluetooth and a 15 W wireless phone charger.
In a bid to meet consumer demand for sustainable luxury, Polestar says the 3's interior materials "have been selected for their sustainability credentials, while raising premium aesthetics and luxury tactility. These include bio-attributed MicroTech, animal welfare-certified leather and fully traceable wool upholsteries."
“Polestar 3 is a powerful electric SUV that appeals to the senses with a distinct, Scandinavian design and excellent driving dynamics,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “It takes our manufacturing footprint to the next level, bringing Polestar production to the United States. We are proud and excited to expand our portfolio as we continue our rapid growth.”
The 3's driver assistance system is comprised of five radar modules, five external cameras and 12 external ultrasonic sensors. Inside, the car has two driver monitoring systems with eye-tracking technology. Polestar says: "The cameras monitor the driver's eyes and can trigger warning messages, sound and even an emergency stop function when detecting a distracted, drowsy or disconnected driver."
An optional Pilot Pack will be available to order from the second quarter of 2023, bringing LiDAR technology to a Polestar car for the first time. Polestar says this system, which also adds three cameras four ultrasonic sensors and camera cleaning systems, "enables enhanced 3D scanning of the car's surroundings in greater detail and helps prepare the car for autonomous driving."
The Polestar 3 is priced from £79,900 in the UK and $83,900 in the US, and the order books are now open.