Polestar finally brought its first sport-utility vehicle, Polestar 3, to the market while offering a bit of surprise in the process: it’ll be built in China and the U.S.
The five-seat utility vehicle is based off the company’s Precept concept introduced in April 2020, but it’s safe to say it adheres to the spirit of the original without being a carbon copy. Fortunately, it’s not had all of the appeal drawn out of it either, which is so often the case when concept vehicles become production models.
It does retain the original’s lower, more aerodynamic profile, which should help extend the range of the EV. The efforts to make it more efficient include a front aero wing integrated into the hood as well as another on the rear spoiler and rear aero blades. The ute features retractable door handles with proximity sensing, and 21-inch alloy wheels.
“This car has been designed as a Polestar from the start and features new defining characteristics for us — like the dual blade headlights, SmartZone and front aero wing,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, in a statement.
Efficiency means performance
The new Polestar 3 isn’t just slick-looking people hauler, it’s got some performance chops. The long-range dual motor model available at launch puts out 490 horsepower and 619 pound-feet of torque. Add the performance pack and that jumps to 510 hp and 670 ft-lb of torque. That’ll get you from 0 to 62 mph in 5 seconds and 4.7 seconds, respectively.
The new model uses a 111 kWh battery pack — slightly larger than normal currently — to get a range of 379 miles, officials said. However, that’s using the less stringent WLTP measurement. That’s likely to be closer to 325 to 340 miles.
In addition to going plenty fast, it also features 1-pedal driving and an electric torque vectoring clutch function on the rear axle. The rear electric motor can be decoupled, allowing the driver to save energy by using only the front axle motor to power the vehicle.
The lithium-ion battery features a prismatic cell design housed in a protective aluminum case with boron steel reinforcement and liquid cooling. A heat pump is included as standard, helping Polestar 3 utilize ambient heat for climate- and battery preconditioning. The new ute is also equipped for bidirectional charging, enabling future potential for vehicle-to-grid and plug-and-charge capabilities.
Advanced chassis control is provided by dual-chamber air suspension as standard, allowing Polestar 3 to adapt between comfort and dynamic suspension characteristics, and the car can adjust its active damper velocity electronically once every two milliseconds (500 Hz), the company said.
“Our goal was to offer the performance and precision that define all Polestar cars, without compromising the comfort of the daily drive,” said 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.”
Mindful on the inside
The inside of the Polestar 3 not only features a slew of sustainable materials, it’s also laden with technology that makes the driver better and happier. The interior materials include bio-attributed MicroTech, animal welfare-certified leather and fully traceable wool upholsteries. In line with Polestar’s commitment to transparency, a complete lifecycle assessment will be completed on Polestar 3 when production begins, with adjustments made if any one area or material falls short.
Android Automotive OS is the in-car operating system, co-developed with Google. The system is accessed through a 14.5-inch center display. It is an evolution of the technology first launched in Polestar 2 — the first car in the world with Google built-in, the company noted. Over-the-air updates are included to allow for software improvements and the introduction of new features.
Standard on the new model is a full-length panoramic glass roof, all-LED lighting inside and out, as well as a 25-speaker audio system from Bowers & Wilkins with 3D surround sound and Dolby Atmos capability, soft-closing doors, a head-up display and Pilot Assist.
The Swedish are coming! The Swedish are coming!
New for any Polestar offering to-date is the dual manufacturing locations. Not only will it be produced at the company’s big plant in Chengdu, China, it will also roll off the line at the Volvo plant in Ridgeville, South Carolina, near Charleston.
“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,” Ingenlath said.
Production in China will begin in the middle of 2023 with the first deliverable units being ready in the fourth quarter of 2023. South Carolina production will start in the middle of 2024 with deliveries coming shortly after ramp up. At that point, North American production will then cover the North American market, officials noted. The new model comes in with price of $86,400, or €89,000.