On October 12 in Copenhagen, the Volvo Car Group’s electric performance brand Polestar premiered the Polestar 3 — a full-electric 5-seat SUV. The vehicle’s design language (inspired by Polestar Precept concept) makes its production debut on this new model, which showcases Scandinavian minimalism and design purity as key ingredients of the brand. Polestar 3 features an aerodynamic profile while retaining the attributes of an SUV and its powerful, wide stance. Subtle aerodynamic optimization includes a front aero wing integrated into the hood, a rear wing integrated into the rear spoiler and rear aero blades.
“Polestar 3 is a powerful electric SUV that appeals to the senses with a distinct, Scandinavian design and excellent driving dynamics,” said CEO of Polestar Thomas Ingenlath. “It also takes our manufacturing footprint to the next level, bringing Polestar production to the United States. We are proud and excited to expand our portfolio as we continue our rapid growth,” Ingenlath enthused.
While initial production will begin in a Volvo Cars facility in Chengdu, China, Polestar projects additional manufacturing will begin in 2024 at a Volvo Cars facility in Ridgeville, South Carolina, for North America and other markets.
Polestar 3 will launch in a powerful dual-motor configuration with a total output of 489 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque. Power will be biased toward the rear wheels for optimum driving dynamics. An optional Performance Pack raises output to 517 horsepower and 671 lb-ft of torque. One-pedal driving (controlling vehicle acceleration and deceleration via the right pedal alone) can be adjusted by the driver; the rear axle includes an electric torque-vectoring dual clutch that is an evolution of a system developed for Polestar 1. The rear electric motor can be decoupled, allowing Polestar 3 to operate via the front electric motor alone for increased efficiency in certain circumstances.
Polestar is expecting to offer the new electric SUV with a 111-kWh battery pack that will provide an estimated range of 300 miles. The lithium-ion battery features a prismatic cell design housed in a protective aluminum case with boron steel reinforcement and liquid cooling. A mechanical heat pump allows the Polestar 3 to utilize ambient heat for the cabin climate and battery preconditioning, which should extend overall range in adverse weather conditions. Polestar 3 is also equipped for bidirectional charging to allow future vehicle-to-grid and plug-and-charge capability.
Polestar 3 designers selected materials for the SUV’s interior based on sustainability — but without sacrificing any premium aesthetics. Materials include bio-attributed MicroTech upholstery (translation: materials found in nature), animal welfare certified leather and a fully traceable wool upholstery. Polestar says the brand will continue working to reduce its carbon footprint, including performing a complete life-cycle assessment for Polestar 3 once production begins.
Polestar 3 is the first car from Polestar to feature centralized computing with the NVIDIA DRIVE core computer and software from Volvo Cars. Essentially the artificial intelligence brain for Polestar 3, the NVIDIA high-performance automotive platform processes data from the car’s multiple sensors and cameras to enable advanced driver-assistance safety features and driver monitoring.
Inside the cockpit, the Polestar 3 infotainment system is powered by a next-generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platform from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. As a central component of the Snapdragon Digital Chassis — a set of open, scalable cloud-connected automotive platforms — the Snapdragon Cockpit Platform will provide immersive in-vehicle experiences. The platform possesses high-performance capabilities to deliver high-definition displays, premium quality surround sound and seamless connectivity within the vehicle.
Polestar 3 carries next-generation advanced active and passive safety technology from Volvo Cars, including interior radar sensors that can detect sub-millimeter movements within the interior of the car. This detection system helps protect against accidentally leaving children or pets inside the SUV, and it is also linked to the climate control system to avoid heat stroke or hypothermia.
Polestar 3 features a total of five radar modules, five external cameras and twelve external ultrasonic sensors to support numerous advanced safety features. The SmartZone below the front aero wing collects several of the forward-facing sensors, as well as a heated radar module and camera. This tech now becomes a signature of Polestar design. Inside, two closed-loop driver monitoring cameras bring leading eye-tracking technology from Smart Eye to a Polestar for the first time, geared toward safer driving. The cameras monitor the driver’s eyes and can trigger warning messages, sounds and even an emergency stop function when detecting a distracted, drowsy or disengaged driver.
Polestar 3 features a 14.5-inch center display with an Android Automotive operating system co-developed with Google. An evolution of technology that premiered in Polestar 2, the Polestar 3 offers similar functionality and design for the SUV segment. Over-the-air updates allow for continuous software improvement and new features without the need to visit a dealership.
Standard equipment for the Polestar 3 includes air suspension, a full-length panoramic glass roof, interior LED lighting, retractable door handles with proximity sensing and 21-inch alloy wheels.
For the first model year, the Plus Pack and Pilot Pack will both be standard equipment and offer premium, luxury and convenience features. The Plus Pack includes a 25-speaker audio system from Bowers & Wilkins with 3D surround sound and Dolby Atmos capability, soft-closing doors, an electric steering column and a heated steering wheel. The Pilot pack adds a head-up display, Park Assist Pilot and the Pilot Assist driver assistance system.
Available to order in the second quarter of 2023, the optional Pilot Pack with LiDAR from Luminar Technologies (the brainchild of founder and billionaire tech genius Austin Russell) will add a second control unit from NVIDIA, three cameras, four ultrasonic sensors and cleaning for the front and rearview cameras to provide more accurate real-time data about the car’s environment. This LiDAR system enables enhanced 3D scanning of the car’s surroundings in greater detail and helps prepare the car for autonomous driving.
As mentioned earlier, the optional Performance Pack increases power to 517 horsepower and 671 lb-ft of torque, but also includes performance optimization for the air suspension, unique 22-inch forged alloy wheels, Pirelli P-Zero tires for enhanced grip, and additional signature “Swedish gold” details.
At launch, Polestar 3 will be offered in Long-Range Dual-Motor configuration with 489 horsepower and 620 lb-ft torque, with the Plus and Pilot packages for a launch MSRP of $83,900. Polestar is currently accepting online orders for this new electric SUV. According to the brand, a North American market launch for Polestar 3 is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023.