Photos: Polestar

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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