Just like last year, the first car we checked out at the Geneva Motor Show was the new Polestar 2. Last year, the Polestar 1 was a stunning new car, the best looking new car at the show — in our prejudiced eyes at least. This year, the Polestar 2 is again a beauty. Whether it is again the queen of the show, is in another article.
What is not in doubt is that this new Polestar 2 will be strong contender when it hits the markets. The aim is to compete directly with the Tesla Model 3, not as a “Tesla Killer,” but as a fair competitor aiming for the sporty, luxurious, and exclusive part of the market.
Interviewing the Polestar Reps
A Polestar communications manager on site made some interesting remarks. In Polestar’s view, up until now, if you are interested in a premium electric sedan in the price class of €40,000—€60,000, you had one choice — the Tesla Model 3. Now they come with the Polestar 2. With more entrants into the segment, awareness will rise that there are viable alternatives. Not only alternatives to the Model 3, but to internal combustion cars in this class in general. He makes the argument that, while they are electric competitors, a rising tide (in re: EVs) will lift all boats.
Polestar 2 | Gallery by Jos Olijve
While predicting the future is difficult, and it will be over a year before the Polestar enters dealer showrooms, with the announced prices, it will be a very welcome addition to the market. Contrary to previous electric models, this is not a compliance model. The CEO of Polestar will not ask customers to please not buy the car because they lose money on every car sold. Polestar was very clear that in the company’s view, it does not make sense to build a car if you don’t expect to make a profit on it. The expectation is to have an operational profit from day one.
A last gem from the manager: The Polestar 3 will be a low-roof, aerodynamic SUV. Coming to market in 2021, it will not be like the SUVs we see today — very high standing. He could understand that the expectations for the soon-to-be-unveiled (at the time) Model Y were for a similar body style.
Just repeating the most important specs, the new Polestar 2 is approximately the same size as the Model 3, has a 78 kWh battery, and will get you from 0 to 60 in about ~4.5 seconds. It is all-wheel-drive with a guessed EPA range of ~275 miles (500 km WLTP). The motors deliver 300 kW and 660 Nm.
Polestar is the sporty brand of Volvo. It has the same focus on safety and luxury, and it adds a Tesla-like (or Porsche-like) performance. It is a combination that should appeal to the same buyers that are in the market for an Audi, Porsche, BMW, or Tesla. Add in Volvo’s reputation for robustness and quality, combined with a lower price premium for the “Marque” on the hood.