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Did The Polestar 2 Just Challenge The Tesla Model 3?

  • Polestar will reveal their next model at the Geneva International Motor Show.
  • The Polestar 2 will compete with other high performance EVs, including the Tesla Model 3. 

BOOM! That sound you heard was a huge warning shot right across the bow of Elon Musk’s yacht. To quote directly from Polestar: “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.”

You best get your ducks in a row Elon. First Audi poses a challenge, now the latest from Polestar.

Bringing Out The Big Guns

To get you up to speed, Polestar is Volvo’s performance arm, sort of like the Scandy version of BMW’s M division or Merc’s AMG. Polestar is also, much like Porsche’s upcoming Taycan, getting into electric vehicles in a big way. And this is a good thing, unless your name is Elon Musk. Teslas are, for all intents and purposes, good cars, but they have also had it kind of easy. Who has been competing against them? The Nissan Leaf? The Chevy Bolt? Please.

Now the big guns like Porsche and Audi, and in our case here, Polestar, are taking them on and doing it in no half measure.

The Polestar 2 is an all-electric fastback that hopes to bring electric performance cars to a broader audience. And, with a list price around $45,500, that puts it right in Tesla Model 3 territory. Even more importantly, that figure won’t break the bank for the average performance car buyer.

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The Polestar 2 debuts at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. Afterwards, it will embark on a roadshow throughout Europe, North America, and China. Photo: Polestar.

Battery Packs & Performance Tech

The Polestar 2 is powered by two electric motors and “fueled” by a 78 kWh battery. The range should be 500 kilometres, or right around 300 miles or so. Did I mention performance? I should, because the Polestar 2 is quick. Zero to 60 in less than five seconds, thanks to all-wheel drive, 408 horsepower, and 487 lb-ft. of torque. That time becomes even more impressive when you consider the inherent weight penalty of the battery pack.

The 27-module battery pack and drivetrain are built around Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture platform, a bright move from a manufacturing standpoint. The battery pack lives in the floor and contributes to the rigidity of the chassis. This will improve the car’s noise, vibration, and harshness levels while lowering the center of gravity; always a good thing.

Chassis dynamics are regulated via Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes, and 20-inch forged wheels. The seat belts, brake calipers, and valve caps are gold, which they say is a “signature” that completes the performance visuals. No, I don’t exactly get that one either.

Polestar says they have the “important question of charging” figured out via an extensive approach. The Polestar 2 uses in-car and mobile devices to help drivers find public charging networks. Think of it as Google Maps optimized to find any and every charging station on the planet.

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Photo: Polestar.

And Speaking of Google . . .

Polestar 2 is one of the first cars to embed an infotainment system powered by Google’s Android OS. This Android backbone provides a robust and flexible digital environment for apps and vehicle functions to coexist. It also brings embedded Google services to a car for the first time. These include Google Assistant, Google Maps (with support for electric vehicles), and the Google Play Store. You can tell your Polestar what to do with either voice control, or an 11-inch touchscreen display.

Also, it’s pretty implicit here that “Phone-as-Key” technology will be an option as well. The Polestar 2 will sense the driver upon approach and turn itself on, activating features in a customized way. Neat!

The Polestar 2 also has some slick design elements here and there, such as Pixel LED headlights and proximity lighting with a unique welcome sequence. There are frameless side mirrors and an illuminated Polestar logo that reflects onto the car’s panoramic glass roof.

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Polestar 2 interior layout. Photo: Polestar.

Pricing & Availability

As with all other Polestars, the 2 can only be ordered online. It’s like Amazon. You choose and configure your Polestar 2 via a website, plunk down your 40-thou via bank transfer, and then they’ll deliver it to you. Or you visit a nearby Polestar Space, staffed by non-commissioned representatives. Either way, production of the Polestar 2 begins early next year.

Initial launch markets include China, the United States, Canada, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK. MSRP for the launch edition Polestar 2 is $63,000 – less the federal incentive of $7,500.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle formatFollow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

Polestar 2 Gallery

Photos & Source: Polestar.