Polestar 3 challenges Tesla Model Y with 379-mile battery range, array of safety tech

Deliveries expected in late 2023

The Sino-Swedish car-maker Polestar has fully unveiled its first SUV, the long-awaited Polestar 3.

The Polestar 3 is, as its name suggests, only the third new model from the firm, and its overall design is influenced by the company’s well-received 2020 Polestar Precept concept that set-out the company’s future design language.

Optimising the aerodynamics (and thus increasing the electric range between charges) was a design priority with largely smooth lines all round and one unusual feature, in the form of a front aero wing integrated into the bonnet and fed by a slim opening where a grille might ordinarily be.

2023 Polestar 3

“This car has been designed as a Polestar from the start and features new defining characteristics for us — like the dual blade headlights, SmartZone and front aero wing,” said the company’s CEO, Thomas Ingenlath hinting that the front aero wing may become a feature of future Polestar models.

Up to 510bhp from all-wheel-drive layout

Powering the Polestar 3 is a huge 111kWh battery pack endowing the model in its most efficient guise with a range of up to 379 miles. The new electric architecture allows for rapid DC charging at up to 250kW.

As with the Polestar 2, there’ll be a choice of single- and dual-motor powertrain configurations (and likely, in time, a smaller battery option), though only the long-range, dual-motor version will be available initially.

2023 Polestar 3

As standard, the dual-motor Polestar 3 develops 483bhp and a substantial 620lb ft of torque, boosted to 510bhp and 671lb ft with the addition of the optional Performance Pack.

That’s enough to give the 2.5-ton Polestar 3 a 0-62mph time of five seconds — or 4.7 seconds with the Performance Pack fitted.

A decoupling function allows the car to disconnect its rear electric motor and run exclusively on its front motor, enabling the driver to save energy and increase range where desired.

Aiding in the driving experience is sophisticated dual-chamber air suspension, which allows the ride to be set for either a sporty, firm feel, or comfort. The addition of the Performance Pack sharpens up the suspension as well as adding a set of 22in alloy wheels, a size up from the standard 21in rims.

Loaded with safety technology

2023 Polestar 3

At a time when Polestar’s rival Tesla has deleted radar and is removing ultrasonic sensors from its safety and driver assistance systems, the Polestar 3’s suite of driver assistance and safety tech looks a lot more robust.

As standard, the Polestar 3 features a total of five radar modules, five external cameras and 12 external ultrasonic sensors to support its safety features, with the area below the front aero wing containing several forward-facing sensors, a heated radar module and a camera.

Also included in the price is the Pilot Pack, which adds lidar technology — a remote sensing method using lasers to measure distances with a high degree of precision and fidelity, even at night — as well as three cameras, four ultrasonic sensors and cleaning for the front- and rear-view cameras, all on top of the standard spec.

2023 Polestar 3

Other safety features abound inside including two closed-loop occupant-facing cameras geared towards detecting if a driver is distracted or drowsy. The cameras monitor the driver’s eyes and can trigger warning messages, sounds and even bring the car to a full halt they don’t react to an increasingly insistent set of warning sounds.

Many of the safety features in the Polestar 3 are broadly similar to those already announced for the upcoming Volvo EX90 (the successor to the seven-seat XC90), with both cars sharing their platforms and due to be built alongside each other in the United States.

Android-based infotainment

Sitting in the middle of the dashboard is a 14.5in infotainment touchscreen running an Android operating system co-developed by Polestar and Google. Apple iPhone users can still connect to it but the base OS is like a slick, fully-integrated version of Android Auto, allowing customisation and download of favourite apps for navigation, music and more.

2023 Polestar 3

Meanwhile, the Plus Pack — fitted as standard — features a 25-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system with 3D surround sound, as well as soft-closing doors and a head-up display.

Production of the Polestar 3 is due to commence in China in mid-2023 with deliveries beginning in the fourth quarter of the year. From mid-2024 production will switch to Volvo’s plant in the United States, which will, it is hoped, increase the global supply and allow for an expansion of the model range.

Orders are open from today (October 12), with pricing for the long-range, dual-motor model starting at £79,900.

Related articles

Latest articles