by Karl Furlong
Polestar's rate of growth has far outpaced the industry in recent months, although some of that has to do with the fact that it only sold the expensive Polestar 1 for a period of time. The Polestar 2 sedan moved the EV automaker into the mainstream, and the new Polestar 3 SUV will help the brand meet its goal of boosting sales tenfold by 2025 compared to 2021. Priced to compete with the Audi e-tron and BMW iX, the Polestar 3 will need to get a lot of things right to draw customers away from these established marques. It seems to have the range, premium design, and technology to do some damage, though.
Revealed in October 2022, the order book is already open. The Polestar 3's release date and subsequent first deliveries are scheduled for the final quarter of 2023.
The price of the 2024 Polestar 3 will begin at an MSRP of $83,900 in the USA. For the Performance Pack, add another $6,000 to that. While this launch price sees the Polestar 3 not being eligible for potential tax credits, it may qualify in the future if base prices drop below the $80k threshold for SUVs. We'll have to wait and see if Polestar makes some of the standard packs optional later on in an effort to keep costs low.
Rivals to the Polestar 3 include the 2024 BMW iX, which will cost $84,100 in base guise, and the 2024 Audi e-tron, which begins at a more affordable $70,800. At $105,100, there is also the BMW iX M60 with over 600 horsepower for the Polestar to worry about. By coming out after these competitors, Polestar hopes the fresher 3 will have the edge.
Like the Polestar 2, there is a solid, ultra-modern look to the exterior design of the Polestar 3. This is a bit more adventurous, though. The lighting signature is similar to the Polestar 2, and the high-mounted taillights stretch across the width of the body, as is so popular these days.
From the side, the Polestar 3 has attractive wheels, flush-fitting door handles, a high-mounted rear spoiler, and a beltline that rises in the vicinity of the C-pillar. The gently sloping roofline at the back of the new Polestar 3 SUV is typical of modern crossovers. As standard are 21-inch cast alloy wheels, but 22-inch forged alloys are available optionally.
Exterior colors for the Polestar 3 include Magnesium, Snow, Thunder, Jupiter, Midnight, and Space, with only Magnesium being a no-cost option. The rest of the palette comes with a $1,300 surcharge. None of these colors are particularly bright or adventurous, but a more subtle palette actually suits the Polestar 3.
A bit smaller in every direction than the current Volvo XC90, the Polestar 3 is still a fairly sizable mid-size SUV. It has a length of 192.9 inches and a width of 83.5 inches, including the mirrors. Other key Polestar 3 dimensions encompass a height of 64.1 inches and a wheelbase of 117.5 inches. Ground clearance is 8.3 inches.
At its lightest, the new Polestar 3 SUV is still heavy at 5,696 pounds, but that can go all the way up to 5,886 lbs with enough equipment.
As standard, the Polestar 3 has dual electric motors producing 489 horsepower and 620 lb-ft of torque. With all-wheel drive, it'll go from 0-60 mph in an estimated 4.9 seconds, according to Polestar. An optional Performance Pack boosts outputs to 517 hp and 671 lb-ft, lowering the 0-60 time to only 4.6 seconds. Regardless of which option you go for, the top speed is 130 mph.
If you need to tow, the Polestar 3 has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. That's not amazing for a mid-size SUV, but it's decent for an EV.
To improve efficiency, it's possible to decouple the rear electric motor, allowing the SUV to run on the front motor completely. And at the back, there is an electric Torque Vectoring Dual Clutch function which should improve the car's dynamics. A perfect 50:50 weight distribution also helps in this regard, while the adaptive, self-leveling dual-chamber air suspension should provide a comfortable ride.
With the optional Performance Pack, the Polestar 3 not only has more power, but it also gets a specially optimized air suspension and grippy Pirelli P-Zero tires.
Considering its weight, it's no surprise that the Polestar 3 needs a large battery. It's a 111-kilowatt-hour (107 kWh usable) lithium-ion battery that promises a targeted range of 300 miles, although this drops to around 270 with the Performance pack. Official EPA numbers and MPGe ratings haven't been revealed just yet.
A maximum charging speed of 250 kW means that the battery can be replenished from 10% to 80% in 30 minutes. From empty, it will take 11 hours to recharge the battery with 11-kW AC charging. Although the Polestar 3 has faster charging speeds than the BMW iX, the German promises to travel further on a full battery.
Polestar does the technical, minimalist look well in its interiors. The layout is clean and calming yet still looks special. Taking pride of place in the center of the dashboard is a 14.5-inch touchscreen that makes viewing navigation maps a breeze, while the controls for the three-zone climate control are just about large enough. A smaller nine-inch screen is used for the digital gauge cluster, and a head-up display is standard.
The infotainment system is powered by Android Automotive OS, so if you like using Google Maps or Google Assistant, you won't have any trouble interacting with this system. Inductive phone charging, four USB-C ports, an integrated e-SIM, an NFC key card, and over-the-air updates for life are all standard.
At launch, the sports seats in the Polestar 3 will be finished in bio-attributed MicroTech or 100% traced wool upholstery, as part of the standard Plus Pack. A Charcoal headlining, textile floor mats, and repurposed aluminum deco gives the cabin a sophisticated atmosphere, and it's something a bit different from the usual wood or shiny Piano Black. Those front seats are both heated and power-adjustable, and the driver gets a memory system. An upgrade to Nappa leather with ventilation and massage for the front seats is available.
Because the Plus Pack is standard at launch, the Polestar 3 comes with many features inside that would be expensive options in equivalent German SUVs. That includes soft-closing doors, a power steering column, a 25-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.
With its connection to Volvo, Polestars tend to be some of the safest cars on the road. In the Polestar 3, the standard Pilot Pack comes with Pilot Assist with acceleration, braking, and steering support at speeds of up to 80 mph. Park Assist Pilot and a head-up display also form part of this pack, and these high-tech features are in addition to more common systems like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and a blind-spot information system.
Behind the second row, the Polestar 3's cargo space measures 17.1 cubic feet, including 3.2 cubes of underfloor storage. That is below average for an SUV of this size, but we have seen how similar vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV also have smaller-than-expected trunks - blame the need to accommodate a rear electric motor. With its second row folded, the Polestar has around 50 cubic feet of space. If needed, you can load another 220 or so lbs of stuff on the roof.
The Polestar 3's interior is sleek, neat, and uncluttered, but a few useful crannies can be found to store your things. There are four cupholders - two for the front, and two for the rear - and seatback storage pockets and door bins.
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