• Polestar Takes Aim at Tesla Model 3 With 408-Horsepower Polestar 2

The Polestar 2 Is a Resounding Success That Guns For The Tesla Model 3 And It Has Weapons To Take It Down

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Volvo performance sub-brand Polestar unveiled its first mass production car called the Polestar 2. It is a high-riding electric sedan with a coupe-like roof, fastback layout, and plastic guards on its wide fenders. Polestar unveiled it as a Tesla Model 3 competitor with the entry-level price of $39,900 and performance that almost matches that of the best-selling luxury car in the U.S. in 2018. It is, arguably, the first compelling electric car from a credible and known manufacturer we’ve seen. This means that an average buyer of, say, a nice Mercedes C-Class would reasonably consider it.

It will be unveiled at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, and it is expected to draw enormous journalistic crowds to the Polestar stands. For a good reason. It is a really nice car - one that couples the forever green style of the Polestar 1 and effective layout that Volvo aced with the latest generation of its cars.

What the 2020 Polestar 2 Offers and How it Compares to the Competition

Polestar Takes Aim at Tesla Model 3 With 408-Horsepower Polestar 2
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First of all, the new Polestar 2 represents what that cool Volvo 40.2 concept was for. Obviously, the look of the all-electric Polestar 2 is a resound evolution of what the 40.2 presented three years ago.

The striking design is clearly Swedish in its execution - clean, defined, and recognizable.

Yet, the layout of the sedan isn’t a conventional three-box shape. Polestar designers managed to play some tricks here - the 2 has a bit of that four-door coupe flamboyance to it. It is also a sedan and something that would be considered “crossoverish”. It is not the first time that the Swedes experimented with something like this. Does anyone remember the Volvo S60 Cross Country? It was a jacked up S60 with body cladding and an AWD system. You can’t tell me that you don’t see at least some resemblance.

Polestar Takes Aim at Tesla Model 3 With 408-Horsepower Polestar 2
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Clean and concise lines thoughtfully create a powerful stance and progressive design that is, quite frankly, polarizing.

But, I leave it to you to decide if it looks good enough for you. For me, the design alone is one of the crucial criteria that make the Polestar 2 simply astonishing.
And then, we have some amazing technology.

The battery pack is specifically designed for the Polestar 2. 27 battery modules are tightly packed in the floor. Every micrometer of the space available in the floor is utilized for the batteries.

Under the modules, Polestar included cooling plates and then created an aluminum and steel safety construction that protects the batteries in case of a crash. Such a powerful construction is smartly integrated into the base architecture that, in return, increases torsional stiffness (by 35 percent compared to conventional architecture) and provides a really low center of gravity. Moreover, such a thick construction considerably lowered NVH values.

Polestar Takes Aim at Tesla Model 3 With 408-Horsepower Polestar 2 High Resolution Exterior
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The battery pack itself has a capacity of 78 kWh.

It powers two electric motors (each with 150 kW and 457 pound-feet of torque), one for the front axle and one for the rear axle. It is an AWD car obviously.

Nevertheless, the 408 horsepower in the Polestar 2 makes it quite competitive with the Tesla Model 3. That’s the car Polestar is gunning at. And it has some serious weapon to do it.

Now, you may be amazed by the sheer amount of technology available in the new Polestar 2. It makes the Polestar 2 do wondrous things such as:

  • Drive permanently with high beam lights on thanks to smart Pixel LED headlights that can recognize the oncoming traffic and turn off high beams selectively for each oncoming car
  • Track everything that happens outside of the vehicle thanks to the Pilot system and act with brakes if necessary. Polestar CEO, Thomas Ingenlath said that this system is like a guardian angel
  • Show 30 percent more in the rearview mirrors. New rearview mirrors actually move as a whole when adjusted (including the cover and casing and not only a glass). They look absolutely seamless and futuristic as hell.
  • Unlock and start with a smartphone action via the Bluetooth system. The Polestar 2 has 4 Bluetooth antennas (one on each corner) to boost the Bluetooth signal when needed
  • Start when you sit in it as the start button is actually integrated into the seat. Yes, you read it right. The Polestar 2 will recognize when you sit in it and it will prepare everything for you.
  • Display best navigation map on the 11-inch portrait display in the center of the dash
  • Save cattle thanks to its vegan interior that does not have any leather inside. It is still seriously luxurious, don’t you worry.
  • Provide you with Google services like Google assistant, Google Maps, and Google apps. Polestar basically acknowledged Google’s brilliance in the software department and just went for it with the integration of Google Android Automotive as an infotainment system. I like this a lot. I am aware of your concern, but be calm Apple iPhone will link to it seamlessly.
  • Communicate directly with Polestar thanks to an always connected system.
  • Welcome you with a uniquely choreographed illumination sequence on the rear light blade that stretches the whole rear width of the Polestar 2.
  • Accelerate to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds
  • Cover 275 miles on a single charge
Polestar Takes Aim at Tesla Model 3 With 408-Horsepower Polestar 2 High Resolution Exterior
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I could continue the list of all that the Polestar can do until I run out of words, so I’ll stop.

The Polestar 2 versus the Tesla Model 3

Polestar 2 Tesla Model 3
Motor two e motors with 300 kW of power single motor
Battery 78 kWh 50 kWh
Range 275 miles 220 miles
Charging 150 kW charging available 125 kW charging available
Price $45,000* $35,000
0-60 mph 5 sec or less 5.6 seconds
Top speed TBD 130 mph
Availability Only $68,000 Launch Edition available Available
Length 181.4 inches 184.8 inches
Width 70.9 inches 76.1 inches
Height 58.2 inches 56.8 inches
Wheelbase 107.7 inches 113.2 inches
Trunk capacity 14.2 cubic feet 15 cubic feet

*It is still unconfirmed if the $45,000 model will have the same motor setup as the $68,000 Launch Edition

Looking at all this data, one would say that the Tesla Model 3 is considerably cheaper. Well, not really. When you consider the gear inside, performance, and increase the Tesla Model 3 range, the price does come closer to $45,000 for Musk’s car too. Still, you can have a Tesla for $35,000 however spartan it might be.


Polestar Takes Aim at Tesla Model 3 With 408-Horsepower Polestar 2
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The Polestar 2 is a worthy competitor to the Model 3 and, apparently, the first true competitor. However, it does not only excel in terms of electric power and technology, but Polestar is pioneering a list of services with it as well. First of all, the company will do all it can to make you sign up for a subscription service to drive one.

The Polestar 2 is available via subscription method with a fixed monthly bill.

Something similar to what Volvo is doing with its Care by Volvo services. The other novelty is the fact that you can buy a car (or subscribe to it) online. Polestar will exhibit the 2 in the so-called “Spaces” that will be a part of the community. I am talking about fashionable stores where you can experience Polestar vehicles. By 2020 Polestar will open 60 such spaces (it call it spaces, honestly) in large city centers around the world. Something similar to Tesla stores. Only, Tesla decided to close many of them in order to achieve profitability and moved completely to an online selling model.

Further reading

2018 Polestar 1
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2018 Polestar 1

Read our full review on the 2018 Polestar 1.

2016 Volvo Concept 40 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Volvo Concept 40.2

2018 Tesla Model 3 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.

Safet Satara
About the author

Note: all images courtesy of Polestar.

Polestar has taken the next step in its development as the electric performance brand with the reveal of the new Polestar 2. Polestar 2 is the new all-electric fastback that brings electric performance cars to a broader and increasingly progressive audience. It offers avant-garde design and a unique customer experience in the premium compact electric segment. Polestar 2 is the first electric car to compete in the marketplace around the Tesla Model 3, with the range starting at a guide price of 39,900 euros. For the first 12 months of production, guide price of the launch edition is 59,900 euros1.

“Polestar 2 is our first fully electric car and first volume model. Everything about it has been designed and engineered with passion and dedication. As an electric performance brand, and through the forthcoming launch of a portfolio of fully electric cars, Polestar is determined to address the world’s air quality challenges. Polestar delivers electric performance cars that are great to own and drive,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar.

Polestar 2 is a premium five-door fastback with two electric motors and a 78 kWh battery capacity2 that will enable a targeted range of 500 km3, based on Volvo Car Group’s adaptable Compact Modular Architecture platform (CMA). The 27-module battery pack is integrated into the floor and contributes to the rigidity of the chassis as well as improves the car’s noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels – road noise has been reduced by 3.7 dB compared to a traditional chassis.

Polestar will answer the important question of charging Polestar 2 with a smart, convenient and extensive approach. With a connected digital solution available both in-car and on mobile devices, Polestar is setting up strategic collaborations to give Polestar 2 owners easy and hassle-free access to the world’s largest public charging networks.

For Polestar, performance underlies the entire driving experience. The all-wheel drive electric powertrain in Polestar 2 produces 300 kW (408 hp) and 660 Nm (487 lb-ft). This translates to a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of less than 5 seconds.

The standard dynamic chassis can be enhanced by the Performance Pack that improves driving dynamics with Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and unique 20-inch forged wheels. Polestar’s signature gold seat belts, brake callipers and valve caps complete the performance visuals.

Highlighting the technology spearhead role that Polestar plays within the Volvo Car Group, Polestar 2 is one of the first cars in the world to embed an infotainment system powered by Android. The Android backbone provides a solid and adaptable digital environment for apps and vehicle functions to coexist, and brings embedded Google services to a car for the first time – including the Google Assistant, Google Maps with support for electric vehicles and the Google Play Store5. Natural voice control and a new 11-inch touch screen display bring the new interface to life.

Phone-as-Key technology enables car sharing and a more integrated ownership experience, as well as Polestar’s connected services such as pick-up and delivery. It also allows Polestar 2 to sense the driver upon approach. Smart features like enlarged graphics in the instrument cluster allow the driver to easily see the charging status and range before entering the car. Polestar 2 can also predetermine the driver’s next move to create a seamless experience with a prepared cabin and quick start sequence.

Maximilian Missoni, head of Design at Polestar, comments: “We decided to bring something different to the segment. Our avant-garde design has evolved from Polestar 1 into an edgier, bolder statement. We have also designed a standard vegan interior with progressive textiles that will appeal to the forward-thinking audience who will subscribe to Polestar 2.”

Design-led features include Pixel LED headlights4 and proximity lighting which enable a unique welcome sequence, Polestar’s now-signature frameless side mirrors and the unique illuminated Polestar logo, which is reflected onto the car’s panoramic glass roof.

In common with all Polestar cars, Polestar 2 will only be available for ordering online. The guide purchase price for the launch version of Polestar 2 is 59,900 euros1 with subscription pricing to follow at a later date. Pre-orders are open at polestar.com. Production of Polestar 2 begins in early 2020 in China for global markets in both left- and right-hand drive.

Polestar 2 will make its first public appearance at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show in March, and then embark on a global roadshow in Europe, North America and China throughout 2019. Polestar 2 will also be available in a network of soon-to-be-opened Polestar Spaces that will provide physical viewing and test drive opportunities.

Initial launch markets include China, the United States, Canada, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Other markets are under consideration for future expansion.

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