Polestar is Volvo’s new all-electric brand, and while the Polestar 1 coupe was a striking design it’s just a limited-production model. Now, meet the big gun—the Polestar 2, a mass-produced five-door fastback aimed directly at the Tesla Model 3. We know this because Polestar even says so.
It has 408 horsepower, a 78 kWh battery, two electric motors and a range of 275 miles, specs not far off from the Model 3. Its base price is about $45,000, based on current exchange rates, but $55,000 in the U.S. minus the federal tax credit for the “launch edition.”
Whatever, it looks cool as hell, blending sedan, hatchback and crossover designs with big tires and what appears to be a fairly tall ride height to become something truly unique.
“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 euros,” the company said, making a rare and all but unprecedented comment about a competitor.
The car will have Google’s Android operating system natively, with its batteries integrated into the floor of the vehicle in a skateboard design. It goes zero to 62 mph in less than five seconds, a number that is impressive but has become less in the age of electric cars and instant torque.
The Volvo-Tesla rivalry will play out in the years to come, but it is a big deal that Google is playing ball with them.
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.
The Polestar 2 will be produced in China in 2020 for “global markets,” according to the company. Our electric future is coming faster and faster.
Correction: This story originally stated the Polestar 1 was a concept car. It is a limited-production vehicle.