Volvo’s Polestar became a standalone brand with the launch of the Polestar 1 concept—a stunning two-door grand tourer with 600 hybrid horsepower, a carbon-fiber body, and a price to match—$155,000. But Polestar has said it wants to be an all-electric brand, and for that, it needs an all-electric car. This is the brand’s first EV, the Polestar 2. It’s got 408 hp and a mission to fight the Tesla Model 3.
Polestar drew its own bullseye, describing the 2 as the “first electric car to compete in the marketplace around the Tesla Model 3.” It’s based on Volvo’s CMA platform, which currently underpins the compact XC40 SUV. A 78-kWh battery pack is integrated into the floorpan, which Polestar says improves stiffness. The battery pack powers two electric motors—one at each axle—that produce a combined 408 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque.
Polestar says this setup helps the 2 run from 0-62 mph in under five seconds. Range is critical in an electric car, and Polestar claims 275 miles based on the EPA test cycle. That’s a little ways off the dual-motor Tesla Model 3’s 310-mile range, but better than the single-motor variant’s 264 miles. And to make the 2 handle like a true sports sedan, Polestar will offer a Performance Package that consists of Öhlins shocks, upgraded Brembo brakes, and 20-inch forged wheels.
Inside, things are quite minimalist, as we’ve come to expect from Volvo. The centerpiece is an 11-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen infotainment system that’s powered by Android and features integrated Google apps, including Google Maps.
For the first year of production, which begins in early 2020,
Production begins in early 2020, and for the first year, Polestar will only offer top-spec Launch Edition variants. The Launch Edition will cost $63,000. US pricing for the base-model 2 have not yet been confirmed, but in the German market, such a vehicle will command €40,000 (about $46,000). And because it’s electric, the Polestar 2 will qualify for a US federal tax credit of $7500.
Much like Tesla, Polestar is pursuing a non-traditional purchasing experience. You’ll be able to order your Polestar 2 online, or lease it as part of an all-inclusive monthly subscription service. We’ll see the Polestar 2 in person at the Geneva Motor Show next week, where we hope to learn more about this promising car.
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