Tesla might want to start keeping an eye on Polestar as it readies itself to enter the SUV market with its upcoming Polestar 3. Something of a direct aim at the Model Y, the upcoming Polestar 3 will be the company’s first SUV and the first car they have built in America.
Expected to debut sometime in early 2023, this premium electric SUV, Polestar, and its parent company, Volvo, have their eye on the five-seat SUV dominance of Tesla. It’s no doubt an uphill battle for the luxury brand as they have yet to capture any significant market share or mind share of those looking to make the electric SUV transition.
Of course, there is still plenty we don’t know about the Polestar 3 even with the company CEO recently confirming a launch price. Range, trim levels, and options are still unknown, so there’s plenty for the company to make public between now and when the car is ready for customers.
6 Quick Facts About The Polestar 3
- Pricing starts at around $75,000 with a top price of $110,800, depending on the trim level.
- This is the first Polestar to be produced at the company’s new facility in South Carolina.
- It is anticipated to have more than 300 miles range after EPA testing.
- It will release with Volvo’s LiDAR sensors for Polestar’s “Autonomous Highway Piloting System.”
- The Polestar 3 is around 192 inches long and 77 inches wide.
- It’s expected to be available in both Long Range and Performance trim levels.
Polestar 3 Specs
|Length||192.9 inches||192.9 inches|
|Width||77.6 inches||77.6 inches|
|Wheelbase||117.7 inches||117.7 inches|
|Wheels||21 inches||22 inches|
|Pricing||Starting around $75,500 and up to $110,800||Starting around $75,500 and up to $110,800|
|Range||379 miles (estimated before EPA testing)||348 miles (estimated before EPA testing)|
|Battery||111kWh battery pack (estimated)||111kWh battery pack (estimated)|
|Seating||Room for 5||Room for 5|
|Fast Charge||0-80% in 20 minute (estimate)||0-80% in 20 minute (estimate)|
|0-60 mph||5.0 seconds (estimated)||4.7 seconds (estimated)|
Polestar 3: Where to Buy
While the Polestar 3 has yet to be released, the best place to buy a vehicle will be at one of the company’s retail locations. There is only a handful located in the United States, mostly on the East and West coasts.
For those not located by a Polestar retail location, you can order your vehicle online at Polestar.com and they will schedule at-home delivery to your doorstep anywhere inside the contiguous U.S. All you have to do is put down a fully $500 refundable deposit and build your vehicle online at the Polestar website.
Europe will be the first to receive the Polestar 3 internationally where you can also build your vehicle online and have Polestar deliver to your doorstep or pick it up at one of the 100+ retail locations spread across Europe.
During your order, you can select your warranty type, choose from different payment types, look at trade-in options with your current car and purchase additional accessories.
The History Of The Polestar 3: What To Know
Polestar was established in 1996 by Swedish automotive brand Volvo’s partner, Polestar Racing, and then completely acquired in 2015 by Volvo. The Polestar name has its origins in the STCC Polestar Racing team, which Volvo also acquired in 2015.
In 2009, Polestar became Volvo’s official partner to modify its existing vehicle lineup under the name Polestar Performance. These performance enhancements could include anything from improving vehicle aesthetics to changing out vehicle components, like adding a spoiler or changing the intake and exhaust for increased performance.
After a few years of being a dedicated Volvo enhancement brand, Volvo broke Polestar out as a standalone brand focused on electric cars on October 17, 2017.
In June 2021, Polestar announced that it was moving forward with building the Polestar 3, its first SUV and one targeted at American consumers. A second teaser image was released on December 2nd, 2021, when the company again reiterated its promise to build the car in the U.S. at Volvo’s South Carolina manufacturing facility.
In the early part of June 2022, Polestar finally released official images and a teaser video of the Polestar 3, which was a worldwide first look at the production model.
Two weeks later in June 2022, Polestar indicated plans to world premiere the Polestar 3 sometime in October of 2022. As of this writing, the company has indicated consumers will have a more complete picture of availability, trim levels, and features after its October announcement.
Polestar 3 Versions: Each Edition
As of September 2022, expectations are that Polestar will model Tesla’s approach with the Model Y and release the Polestar 3 in both Long Range and Performance trim levels.
Polestar has yet to officially confirm much information outside of the price range, but the trim levels are based on leaked information to various online automobile publications as well as being hinted at through company language.
As we don’t know much officially, let’s take a look at what we think we know and see how the different trim levels will vary.
Polestar has announced that it plans to target 372 miles of range with its Long Range trim levels. This is one of the instances where Polestar has indicated that a Long Range model is forthcoming. If Polestar can release the Polestar 3 with over 370 miles of range, it will be the longest-range vehicle in its fleet.
However, this information is from pre-EPA testing in the U.S., and the range is likely to fall closer to 300 to 330 miles of range after government testing. A performance model would likely fall at the lower end if not drop under 300 miles of range with the tradeoff of faster performance, more horsepower, and other performance metrics.
With Polestar confirming the exterior look of the Polestar 3 in June 2022, there are still plenty of questions about the interior. Photos indicate that the driver will have a small dashboard screen that indicates speed, range, and other additional information.
A large vertical screen appears to be the focal point of the infotainment system. This is also likely to contain more information about the vehicle itself along with features to control the rest of the car, like air conditioning, radio, phone controls, regenerative braking, and more.
One big certainty with the Polestar 3 will be the inclusion of LiDAR technology. Powered by SmartZone sensors and NVIDIA technology, Volvo’s Highway Pilot system will enable semi-autonomous driving in the Polestar 3.
Similar to General Motors’ SuperCruise system, Volvo’s LiDAR system isn’t as complete as Tesla’s Full Self Driving, but it will allow a driver to take their hands off the steering wheel. The system itself is definitely designed for highway driving rather than city streets.
Polestar has indicated that its “best-in-class LiDAR sensor” will arrive “over time” and will be improved via continuous over-the-air updates.
Until Polestar provides a more concrete set of vehicle specs, hopefully in October 2022, Polestar 3 is a bit of a guess. However, it is believed that with the rear seats up, the Polestar 3 will have around 17.1 cubic feet of storage. With rear seats down, it’s believed that storage will come in somewhere around 49.8 cubic feet.
Even without official confirmation of safety features, it’s likely that the Polestar 3 will borrow features from existing Polestar models. This would include Safety Assistance which makes use of multiple radar and camera units to anticipate possible collisions and intervene should the vehicle need to suddenly brake.
Lane-keeping assistance is also active between 40 and 124 miles per hour to help course correct the car. Oncoming lane mitigation recognizes through both radar and cameras if the Polestar 3 veers into the path of oncoming vehicles and immediately steers the car back.
Inside-side airbags are borrowed from Volvo’s award-winning safety features, which are complementary to the standard set of airbags. These offer additional protection to both the driver and the front passenger in the event of a side collision.
The Public Response
Polestar faces an uphill battle to win consumer hearts and minds with the Polestar 3. Thus far, the public response has been somewhat muted. After selling 29,000 cars globally in 2021, Polestar needs to do quite a bit more to achieve its goal of selling 10 times that amount by 2025.
There is certainly anticipation for the Polestar 3 and expectations that it will promote its range and features. However, in a market growing increasingly crowded by Tesla, Jaguar, Volvo, Porsche, and more, it’s going to take a strong combination of range, features and price to win consumers over.
Reaction to the design of the Polestar 3 does provide the company with the hope that it can move cars off its “lot”. Still, Polestar has to differentiate itself from its own parent company before it challenges the likes of Tesla and Porsche.
After October 2022, when more details become clear on the Polestar 3, expect to see more of a marketing campaign to increase consumer attraction. Until then, Polestar has to definitely consider how its “premium” model will stand out from the pack—a strongly competitive pack, at that.
There is also positioning to consider as Polestar CEO, Thomas Ingenlath, said that he doesn’t expect buyers to, “drive to the kindergarten,” which begs the question: who will buy this car? Only time will tell.
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The image featured at the top of this post is ©Arjan Kemeling/Shutterstock.com.