Elon Musk has bottled some lightning, and so far nobody’s successfully reverse-engineered his formula–the precise “it factor”–that earned Tesla 80 percent of the (admittedly still tiny) market for fully electric passenger vehicles at the U.S. at 2018. Their gol-dangdest, however alike is trying, and upstart Sino-Scandinavian brand Polestar seems to be following most closely at Musk’s footprints.
Polestar “came from stealth” with the low-volume $155,000 600-hp plug-in hybrid Polestar 1 that folks aren’t paying much attention to, echoing Tesla’s original Lotus-sourced Roadster. Next comes the mainstream Polestar 2, pitched directly at the Tesla Model 3 using a 27-module 78-kW-hr battery good for 275 miles of range (EPA estimated), all-wheel drive, and a fully loaded price tag of around $63,000 for the first year’s “launch edition” models.
Here’s what we know so far: The tall-riding four-door hatchback architecture is adapted from Volvo/Geely’s CMA (XC40) tool kit. The lithium-ion battery package is integrated into the ground, contributing appreciable stiffness and reducing road noise by a reported 3.7 dBA compared with its platform partner, the XC40. Front and rear electric motors provide a combined output of 400 hp and 487 enough to scoot to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.
Certainly Polestar owners won’t win many Tesla pink slips, but CEO Thomas Ingenlath is fine with that. “Obviously we want to be aggressive in scope and functionality, but we don&rsquo. That’s an approach. How the car feels at the bends is more relevant, which can’t be expressed using a stopwatch. We are putting lots of effort into setting up the suspension and steering the way. It’s not about it lap records ’s about being engaging to drive. ”
Toward that end, Polestar 2 Launch Edition cars provide just 1 alternative: Polestar’s Performance Pack, which improves dynamics with dampers, Brembo brakes with calipers, and forged wheels wearing sportier rubber. Completing the visuals are Polestar’s signature gold seat belts and valve caps.
Teslas will also be about layout and That Screen. The Polestar 2 counters with Scandinavian heritage that’s unmistakable inside and out, and Volvo’s beloved Sensus screen grows to 11.0 inches here. But unlike its Volvo cousins, Polestar&rsquoinfotainment system is powered by an Android operating system running Google Automotive Services–a industry. This is said to enable unprecedented levels of natural-speech voice command and artificial intelligence, and Ingenlath points out the security benefit: “Having a navigation system that’s better than your phone’s means you don’t need to use the phone. ”
Though Nappa leather will be accessible for traditionalists, Polestar (like Tesla) will feature a vegan interior with materials and fabrics are inspired by sports gear. Ingenlath explains, “We aren’t trying to make manmade things look like animal things. We are being honest creating a product a object. Like mobility, it’s the right thing to do for the environment, but we don’t want to preach to people. We want this to be wanted by them because it’s great to drive. Similarly the vegan interior should be desirable by itself. ” Polestar takes its carbon footprint so seriously that it staged the global reveal of both through webcast, saving the carbon expense of flying journalists in from around the world.
We’re assured how users interact with the Polestar will be novel. Approach your Polestar using a documented phone or the key fob, and if you touch the door, front, rear, interior, and welcome-mat lighting comes alive, the doors unlock, seats and mirrors adapt to the user, and the battery status is displayed large on the screen so it’s observable from outside. Once anyone sits down inside, the screen’s infotainment and climate control functions can be used. After the driver sits down, the car is “started”–there’s no button. And we’re told to expect ways in which the Google-brained car will expect desires and passenger and driver needs.
Customer interaction with the brand will be Tesla-esque–retail storefronts provide the chance to have a look at the car and arrange a test drive, but all orders will be taken through the internet portal (and orders are being taken now). Concierge services will manage pickups/drop-offs for service, which will generally happen at (unseen by the consumer ) Volvo dealerships, and this relationship gets Polestar around the dicey dealer franchise laws that have bedeviled Tesla in many states. Subscription and leasing options are expected to control, but sales are also offered.
It remains to be seen whether any firm –especially one without a notorious billionaire at the helm–can exploit Tesla’s sales success, but this one promises a very similar aesthetic and customer experience.
2021 Polestar 2
Front/rear-motor, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
2-200-hp/243-lb-ft AC permanent-magnet electric, 400 hp/487 lb-ft combined
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT
181.4 x 72.8 x 58.2 in
4.9 sec (mfr est)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON
Not yet rated
ON SALE IN U.S.
*Launch variant, before applicable tax credits
The post 2021 Polestar 2 First Look: Scandinavia’s Tesla Model 3 Challenger? Appeared initially on Motortrend.
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