Polestar, the electric-car performance brand created in 2017 by the Volvo Car Group, unveils its second production model ahead of its planned public debut at next week’s 2019 Geneva auto show.
Called the Polestar 2, the 5-door liftback is intended to compete against the Tesla Model 3 with largely unadorned exterior styling strongly related to the Polestar 1.
It is available for pre-order via Polestar’s online sales channel, with prices starting from €39,900 ($45,400) and rising to €59,900 ($68,200) for a fully loaded limited-edition launch model which will be offered during the initial sales phase.
Despite suggesting the Polestar 2 is the first EV to challenge the Model 3 in the marketplace, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath says: “We are not saying it’s a Tesla killer. We are here to vividly compete with them.”
Along with the standard model revealed via an online presentation, Polestar plans to offer the Polestar 2 with an optional Performance Pack. It includes Ohlins dampers, Brembo-developed brakes with gold calipers and 20-in. alloy wheels.
Polestar’s second model is based on parent company Volvo’s new CMA platform used by the Volvo XC40 as well as the Lynk & Co 01 and new Geely Xingyue – the latter two currently sold exclusively in China.
Hangzhou, China-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is the parent company of Geely, the Volvo Car Group, Lynk & Co., Lotus, Proton, London Taxi and newly formed Geely New Energy.
Power for the all-wheel-drive Polestar 2 launch model comes from two electric motors mounted within the front and rear axle assemblies. Together, they provide a combined output of 402 hp and 486 lb.-ft. (659 Nm) of torque, resulting in a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time Polestar puts at “less than five seconds.”
The two electric motors are combined with a 78-kWh lithium-ion battery, which consists of 27 individual modules and is mounted wholly within the EV’s floor structure. It is claimed to provide the Polestar 2 with a range of up to 310 miles (500 km) on the new WLTP test procedure.
Polestar says the battery pack and its housing contribute to platform rigidity, claiming it reduces road noise compared to a more traditional combustion-engine car platform.
Future Polestar 2 models are expected to receive a less-powerful drive system and smaller-capacity battery in line with the sales approach taken by Tesla, though this has yet to be confirmed by Ingenlath.
Inside (below, left), the Polestar 2 receives a minimalist look reminiscent of that seen on the larger Polestar 1, with a largely switchless dashboard, multifunction steering wheel, digital instruments and an 11.0-in (28-cm) infotainment system featuring Google’s Android operating system.
Polestar says Android provides “a solid and adaptable digital environment for apps and vehicle functions to coexist.” It supports a suite of Google services, including Google Assistant, Google Maps with EV-specific features and the Google Play Store as well as other connected services which can be used through a smartphone.
The materials used throughout the Polestar 2’s interior are described as being vegan-sourced. They are combined with what Polestar’s head of design, Maximilian Missoni, describes as “progressive textiles” created to appeal to a “forward-thinking audience.”
Following its debut at the Geneva auto show, the Polestar 2 will be featured in a global roadshow set to encompass Europe, North America and China. Production of the new liftback model is planned to begin in 2020. Initial launch markets include China, the U.S., Canada, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the U.K. Other markets are under consideration for future expansion.