Polestar price-matches Tesla with its first fully-electric family sedan
Following the reveal of its debut hybrid GT back in 2017, Polestar has now unveiled a fully electric sedan it hopes will broaden the brand's appeal. But as the performance arm of Volvo the Swedish spinoff has still very much designed its Polestar 2 to thrill, with a sub-five second 0-100 km/h sprint and a range to make its rivals sweat.
Polestar has made no secret of its ambitions to take on the Tesla Model 3 – the best-selling luxury vehicle in the US last year – with the Polestar 2. Unveiled in Geneva overnight, the Polestar 2 follows in its predecessors footsteps by carrying over some of the design language previewed in 2016's Volvo 40.2 sedan concept.
But where the Polestar 1 squashed this down and stretched it out into a sporty and stylish coupe, the Polestar 2 bunches it up once again into something the family can pile into. The decidedly boxier five-door fastback is spearheaded by pixel LED headlamps up front, while Polestar's frameless mirrors feature on either side.
The 78 kWh battery is tucked away beneath the floor to maximize cabin space and lower the center of gravity. According to the company, it will allow for a range of up to 500 km (310 mi), which is right up there with the Tesla Model S and forthcoming Porsche Taycan.
Providing power to all wheels via twin electric motors, the Polestar 2 puts out 300 kW (408 hp) and 660 Nm (487 lb-ft) and will apparently hit 100 km/h in less than five seconds. An optional performance pack with Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and 20-inch forged wheels will give the driving experience a further boost.
The cabin is decked out in a vegan interior, a panoramic glass roof overhead and an 11-inch touchscreen, which will be home to the company's Android-based user interface (UI). As detailed last month, the Polestar 2 will be the first car to completely handover its interface to the Android OS, which means nice clean access to voice control through Google Assistant, Google Maps, Calendar, Hangouts and the Google Play Store so owners can load it up with whatever apps tickle their fancy.
They'll also be able to tune car settings such as steering feel, stability control, regenerative braking and forward creep control via the UI, while there appears to be a Space Invaders-like video game built in for downtime. The owner's phone will serve as their keys to the vehicle so it can sense them on approach, with tail lights illuminating in a choreographed sequence to welcome them aboard. A Polestar signature, of sorts.
These fun quirks aren't the only way Polestar will be looking to take Tesla to task. It has positioned the Polestar 2 to take on the popular Model 3 by pricing it at €39,900 as a starting point, which is around US$45,000 and currently right in the ball park of Tesla's first mass-market offering. But for the first 12 months of production it will focus on optioned pricier models with the guide price of the launch edition listed as €59,900 (US$68,00).
It plans to show off the Polestar 2 for the first time at the Geneva Auto Show next month, where New Atlas will be on the ground to sneak a peek. It says production will kick off in early 2020 for global markets, with initial launch markets including China, the US, Canada, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK.
You can check out a condensed version of the vehicle launch below.