Aiming to become more than just a niche player in the emerging EV market, startup Polestar is rolling out an assortment of new products and is teasing two new models, the Polestar 4 and Polestar 5.
That’s all the more impressive considering we got a first undisguised look at the next model in the brand’s cadence of rollouts, the Polestar 3, just last week.
With all the new models the automaker is rolling out, the Volvo spinoff is looking for a tenfold increase in sales. Buyers around the world purchased 29,000 Polestar products in 2021. It wants to boost that to 290,000 by 2025.
The product blitz begins
As we reported last week, the next model set to roll into showrooms will be the Polestar 3. The automaker describes that model as an “aerodynamic performance electric SUV,” and says it will begin production late this year as a 2023 model. The initial version will use twin electric motors and boast a range of up to 372 miles — though that figure is based on the global WLTP standard. The EPA test is expected to come in closer to 300 miles.
Polestar doesn’t plan to wait long before bringing out yet another new model. It released a teaser image on Wednesday showing the Polestar 4, which is scheduled to go into production later in calendar year 2023, likely as a 2024 model.
The 4 is also an SUV which is expected to go up against a growing line-up of compact battery-electric SUVs in the luxury segment. That includes the likes of the Tesla Model Y as well as the all-electric version of the Macan that Porsche is developing.
From race cars to performance street vehicles
For those unfamiliar with Polestar, the brand has had a convoluted path, starting out as a tuner company building race versions of Volvo products. Acquired by Volvo, it became the Swedish automaker’s equivalent of BMW’s M performance subsidiary, as well as Mercedes’ AMG. But, in 2017, Polestar spun off as a separate brand, part of the empire controlled by Volvo’s Chinese parent, Zhijiang Geely.
It debuted with the limited-edition plug-in hybrid coupe-like sedan, the Polestar 1. It now markets the all-electric — and higher-volume — Polestar 2 SUV. Going forward, all Polestar products will run exclusively on battery power.
The Polestar 2 was based on the same, skateboard-style SPA2 “architecture” used by Volvo for all-electric products like the new C40 Recharge.
The midsize Polestar 3 SUV is expected to use that platform, as well — as will Volvo’s own all-electric replacement for the XC90 model.
New platforms for new products
But things change with the arrival of the smaller Polestar 4. That battery-electric vehicle will switch to an entirely new platform, the SEA, developed jointly by Volvo and Geely. The Chinese automaker already sells a BEV using the SEA architecture, the Zeekr 001 hatchback. It produces a hefty 536 horsepower — a number that would appear to work well for Polestar which positions itself as a luxury performance brand. Powertrain details for the Polestar 4 have yet to be released, however.
Looking further ahead, Polestar is developing yet another platform, this one using lightweight bonded aluminum for the Polestar 5. This model will again opt for a coupe-like sedan body style, as the teaser images here reveal.
If that design looks familiar, no surprise. It is a production version of the well-received Polestar Precept concept that was introduced in autumn 2020.
Polestar previously said it plans to roll out a new model each year through mid-decade. That would indicate the Polestar 4 will be a 2024 model, the Polestar 5 following as a 2025.
One thing all of the new Polestar models will have in common is the use of a more advanced 800-volt electrical architecture. In the Polestar 3, that should enable it to go from a 10% to 80% state-of-charge in less than 30 minutes, based on competing offerings.
The Polestar 5 is set to have its first public showing next week during the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK where it will make a series of runs up the famed Goodwood Hill. Those who attend the annual event will get to directly compare it to the Precept concept while also checking out the brand’s earlier O2 roadster prototype.
Polestar plans to form a SPAC merger later this year with Gores Guggenheim Inc. that will see it listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.