Polestar readies flagship SUV for autumn debut

Jessica Thompson

Swedish automaker Polestar will introduce its flagship SUV in October, expanding the brand’s lineup to a trio of models.

The Volvo Car affiliate will start deliveries of the Polestar 3, a Porsche Cayenne-sized crossover, in Europe and the U.S. early next year.

Polestar excepts to sell 24,000 units of the Polestar 3 next year, increasing that number to 67,000 in 2024 and 77,000 in 2025, according to company figures. The Polestar 2 is forecast to remain the brand’s global top-seller during that period. The brand’s lineup also includes the low-volume Polestar 1 performance plug-in hybrid.

Ahead of the launch, Polestar released a new film and the first undisguised image of the midsize crossover.

Unlike the current Volvo-inspired Polestar 2 sedan, the Polestar 3 features new design elements that include a sloping silhouette and headlight and rear light styling that are distinct from other Polestar models.

“The aim of the Polestar range is to be sportier and to have a stronger focus on the driver [than Volvo models that also use the new SPA2 architecture]. Even if it’s an SUV such as the Polestar 3, it will have a sleek silhouette, meaning there will be less emphasis on cargo space and more emphasis on the propulsion. It will also have a more daring design,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath told Automotive News Europe in an interview earlier this year.

Polestar plans to equip the new model with hardware and electronics that would enable autonomous highway driving by mid-decade, including lidar sensors from Luminar Technologies and computer electronics components from Nvidia.

The sensors are packed into the so-called Smart Zone — a transparent panel on the Polestar 3’s front grille.

The Polestar 3 is built on a new all-electric platform, SPA2, developed by Volvo for its next-generation vehicles, designed with dual motors and an expected range of 600 km (about 373 miles), based on the European WLTP standards.

Once that technology is approved, the new platform will also offer eyes-off, hands-off autonomous driving capability.

Growth engine

The Polestar 3 is key for the young brand’s ambitions to grow its global sales tenfold to about 290,000 units by 2025. Polestar plans to launch a new car every year for the next three years, starting with Polestar 3, and aiming to increase its presence to at least 30 global markets by the end of 2023.

“This is a major milestone for our company, one that boosts our growth trajectory and takes us into our next phase,” Ingenlath said in the release.

Polestar has not revealed price for Polestar 3.

The Polestar 3 will be build at Volvo’s U.S. factory near Charleston, South Carolina, and at a plant in Chengdu, China.

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