Volvo is putting the Tesla Model 3 on notice, and is doing so with the reveal of its new Polestar 2 electric car. Like the Model 3, the Polestar is a compact car that will be available in an all-wheel drive configuration. But whereas the Model 3 has a traditional trunk, the Polestar 2 features a hatchback design.
Starting off with the styling, you won’t mistake the Polestar 2 for anything but a Volvo, as the company’s current design language is sprinkled throughout. You’ll notice the Thor’s hammer headlight detailing, chiseled lines, and sharp creases along the shoulders. Interestingly, the vehicle almost takes on a sort of sedan/crossover hybrid appearance (a la the old Volvo S60 Cross Country) with black lower body cladding and plastic cladding along the wheel arches. Visually, it gives the appearance of a sedan that sits higher off the ground, which we assume is meant to appeal to crossover buyers that have shunned traditional sedans.
Inside, the Polestar 2 takes a minimalist design approach and presents a large 11-inch touch screen display (portrait style) front and center. It’s not nearly as bare and stark as the Model 3’s interior, but it is a cleaner design than what’s featured in current Volvo/Polestar vehicles.
The large display is the centerpiece for a native Android-based infotainment system. This isn’t some stripped down system that is presented on the display from your smartphone, like Android Auto. Instead, this embedded design has all the trappings that you would expect from an operating system running Android, including Google Maps, full Google Assistant integration, and access to Google Music without first needing to connect to your smartphone.
But what about the meat and potatoes of the car… its powertrain and battery? Well, Volvo says that the Polestar 2 has a 78-kWh battery that sits low in the vehicle’s chassis and will allow customers to travel 275 miles per charge. For comparison, the Model 3 Long-Range can travel 310 miles per charge. Like the Model 3, the Polestar 2 uses dual electric motors, which in this vehicle pump out a total of just over 400 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque.
When it comes to performance, Volvo says that the Polestar 2 will hit 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. The vehicle’s top speed has not revealed at this time.
As for pricing, Volvo says that that Chinese-made Polestar 2 will be available in a base configuration for $45,000 (before a $7,500 federal tax credit). However, the first vehicle that will be available to purchase for U.S. customers will be the Launch Edition, which will cost $63,000 before the $7,500 federal tax credit. Production will commence early next year in China, and availability will be announced at a later date.