Release date: TBA (Q1 2023 rumored)
Battery range: TBA (310 miles rumored)
0to 60 mph: TBA
Smarts: Luminar LIDAR, semi-autonomous highway piloting, NVIDIA computing power
The race to carbon-neutral has been cranked up another notch. Amongst a growing field of electric SUV offerings, Gothenburg’s brightest are poised to unleash the long-awaited Polestar 3 upon a climate-conscious clientele — and we’ve got all the electrifying details.
Boasted as the company’s first SUV, Polestar have done their homework on this one. Referring to the US as “no longer an export market, but a home market”, the Polestar 3 will be the first Polestar vehicle built in America - at the Volvo Cars plant in Charleston, South Carolina. This is to reduce delivery times, environmental impact, and - most importantly - the 3’s price in line with competitors.
Speaking at the reveal event in New York, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath did not stutter: “We are not a virtual company waiting to build factories and sell cars; we are an actual company already building and selling cars around the world. We will build in America for Americans.” We wonder which direction that shade might be going in?
Polestar 3: Price and rumored release
Polestar are keeping very quiet about their new SUV, save for a couple of sneak peek shots under covers and camouflage. So far, the 3 is tipped to begin production this year alongside the Volvo XC90, with a rumored release date for both to be Q1 2023.
We have no information on how much the Polestar 3 might cost right now. The Polestar 2’s pricing starts at $45,900, though that’s not a particularly helpful metric. The Polestar 3 will be larger, which we would assume means it would be more expensive. However that isn’t guaranteed, especially since the automaker has spoken about how assembling in the U.S. will help keep prices down.
However if Polestar wants to stay competitive it’s going to have to make sure it either matches or undercuts the competition. Tesla is the big one, though it should be simple enough to undercut the Model X’s $104,990 price tag. The Model Y does start at $58,990, but considering that’s a crossover, rather than a fully-fledged SUV, it’s not really a fair comparison.
Other notable competitors in the SUV market include the $69,990 Jaguar I-Pace, the $83,200 BMW iX and the $43,895 Mustang Mach-E. It’s reasonable to expect the Polestar 3 to fall somewhere in that range, though we won’t know for sure until the automaker actually makes an official announcement.
Polestar 3: Design and interior
Polestar boldly proclaims that the 3 “will define the look of SUVs in the electric age.” From what we have seen so far, they could have a point. Despite Polestar claiming that the Precept concept is forming the basis of the Polestar 5, Its relationship to the Polestar 3 is already apparent.
From the two obscured images we’ve seen, the Polestar 3 looks sharp, sporty, and far quirkier than its corporate cousin the Volvo XC90. Only time will tell if it can outdo the Model X in the looks department, but it’s exciting to have an option. We’ll just have to wait until Polestar strips away all that camouflage.
We’ve yet to get any details on the Polestar 3’s interior. However, we can look to the Precept, as well as the new Volvo Concept Recharge, for some clues as to what could be on offer.
We certainly expect to see the 15-inch tablet screen make a comeback, alongside Google’s Android Automotive operating system. At the very least we know that NVIDIA’s computing platform will be present. While the system is primarily included to power the autonomous driving features, there’s always a possibility Polestar will utilize that hardware for other things.
It’s only a matter of time before someone follows Tesla’s lead and offers AAA gaming while the car is parked.
Built on the brand new SPA2 platform it shares with the upcoming electric Volvo XC90, the Polestar 3 could also benefit from a transmission tunnel-less, flat floor, leaving more room for the car’s occupants. That would make long journeys much more palatable.
As for the seats themselves, we’re hoping to see them upholstered in materials that sit somewhere between the Polestar 2’s embossed WeaveTech, and the Precept’s ambient-lit 3D-knit fabric. A level of premium we have come to expect from Polestar.
The downside is that you’ll only be able to fit up to five people inside. Yep, Polestar have made this one a strict five-seater. You’ll have to go to Volvo if you want seven.
Polestar 3: Battery, range and charging
We’re beginning to see a pattern emerging here, as Polestar have kept tight-lipped on anything regarding battery pack specs, driving range, or charging time. There have been rumors of a 310 mile range, though this looks to have been loosely based on the original expected range of the Polestar 2.
With the 78kWh batteries that power the dual motor Polestar 2 enjoying a respectable real world range of 245 miles, the BMW iX a reported 257 miles, and Tesla’s Model X offering a whopping 348 miles; Polestar’s 310 mile range target—if accurate—is ambitious, but still very achievable.
As for charging times, while we have nothing concrete on the Polestar 3, the Polestar 2 is able to charge from 0 to 80% in 40 minutes at a 120kW rapid charging station (according to Polestar). Here’s hoping we see a boost in the maximum charging speed, especially since a lot of upcoming cars can handle power up to 350 kW.
Polestar 3: Power and performance
We currently expect to see dual-and single-motor powertrains from the Polestar 3, with the former offering all-wheel drive. Though nothing solid has been announced yet, we will need to see a 0-60 mph time in the 4-5s range if the Polestar 3 wants to stay competitive with its closest performance rivals.
As the Polestar 3 is bigger—and therefore heavier—than its crossover counterpart, the new EV’s battery packs may need to be closer to Tesla’s 100kWh to shift all that weight.
There’s every chance they could achieve it, though. After all, Polestar started off life as a racing brand, while the small-batch Polestar 1 boasted the longest electric-only range of any hybrid upon its release.
Polestar 3: Autonomous driving
We know one big thing for certain with the Polestar 3, as the Swedes have featured it front and center: LiDAR. Powered by NVIDIA and SmartZone sensors on the front, rear, and sides of the vehicle, Polestar’s Highway Pilot system will allow semi-autonomous driving in the SUV.
The technology is reported to be similar to General Motors’ SuperCruise system, meaning the driver can remove their hands from the steering wheel at certain points — provided their attention remains firmly on the road ahead.
Aside from this big reveal, details on other cool, interesting, potentially futuristic features are glossed over with the teasingly vague, “industry-leading connectivity features” and “high-end, safety-focused autonomous driving features.”
Polestar 3: Outlook
Since humble beginnings in the EV space in 2017, Polestar has been quietly researching, building, and planning massive growth for this year and beyond. After achieving their target of 29,000 global sales in 2021, the swiftly-expanding startup looks to shift 10 times that amount by 2025.
How? By releasing a new car every year for the next three years, and muscling in on “at least 30 global markets by 2023.” This ambitious, underdog story’s latest chapter starts with the Polestar 3: a performance EV built in America for Americans. Rivals, take note. Polestar has flown Volvo’s nest, and it’s coming for you.