- Polestar expands to tackle Tesla and other EV manufacturers head-on.
- Three-car model blitz includes a pair of SUVs and an upmarket luxury sedan.
Polestar has announced it will add three new vehicles to its model range by 2025. Currently, the Swedish electric car manufacturer only has one model on sale in the USA, the 2022 Polestar 2. That will rapidly change, as Volvo's electric car brand has revealed plans to add a new model to its lineup each year for the next three years. The automaker is relatively young, but its Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid grand tourer and Polestar 2 luxury EV have already established the electrified brand as one to watch. Here's what we can expect to see over the next few years.
With just 29,000 sales in 2021, Polestar has a fraction of the sales of Tesla, which sold over 900,000 cars globally last year. Polestar plans an ambitious tenfold increase in sales to 290,000 by 2025. Polestar’s model proliferation will aid this goal significantly, with the Polestar 3, Polestar 4 and Polestar 5 arriving in that order over the next three years. The 3 and 4 will be SUVs, with the Polestar 5 being a svelte luxury grand tourer. Given the market’s clamor for SUVs and crossovers — the premium SUV marketplace is currently the fastest-growing marketplace in the U.S. — the Polestar 3 and 4 models will contribute most significantly to the company’s sales. Unlike the 3 and 4, the Polestar 5 will be a halo, image-building GT model that will sell in far smaller numbers.
The first new model in Polestar’s product plans is the Polestar 3. The automaker has already revealed a camouflaged teaser picture of its new SUV at the tail end of 2021. We should see an unwrapped version sometime over the next six months. This will be Polestar’s first SUV, and while it will deliver a high-riding stance typical of a crossover, the focus will be more style- than utility-led. This fully electric model will rival other battery plug-in cars like the Tesla Model X, Audi e-tron Sportback and BMW iX, among others. Like the Polestar 2, the Polestar 3 will be offered with a number of motor and battery configurations, allowing buyers the choice of maximum range or maximum performance.
The Precept concept vehicle that debuted last year shows that the styling of future Polestar models will be highly differentiated from Volvo's design ethos. That includes the Polestar 3, which should look distinct from the next-generation Volvo XC90, with which it will share a common structure and mechanical parts. As such, it will be built at Volvo’s production facility in South Carolina. Polestar’s CEO, Thomas Ingenlath, acknowledged the U.S. will be the most important marketplace for the Polestar 3, saying: “Polestar 3 will be built in America, for our American customers.” That said, the Polestar 3's rakish rear will be unlikely to fit the XC90's third row. It will instead prioritize an engaging drive, with the same high-quality look and feel to the interior that differentiates the Polestar 2 from its closest competition.
Given the higher number, it might be reasonable to expect the Polestar 4 to be a larger model than the Polestar 3. It's actually a smaller SUV, competing against the likes of the currently available Tesla Model Y and Volvo XC40 Recharge. Future entrants in this segment include the Audi Q4 e-tron, electric Porsche Macan and Mercedes-Benz EQA and EQB.
Like the Polestar 3, the Polestar 4 will feature the company’s more distinctive styling, though, again, it’ll share mechanical and structural elements with its Volvo relations. In line with Polestar’s market positioning, the Polestar 4 will compete against more sporting models, with the coupe-like styling driving home the focus on driver engagement over outright space provision and practicality.
The third model in Polestar’s near future plans is the Polestar 5, which is expected to hit showrooms in 2024 or 2025. It will essentially be a production version of the Precept concept, offering a sophisticated drive that’ll blend sporting agility with luxury and refinement. Current equivalents include cars such as the Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron GT, Tesla Model S and Mercedes-Benz EQS.
This high-performance four-door grand tourer is currently being developed at Polestar’s research and development facility in the United Kingdom. While the battery and motors will be sourced from Polestar’s Swedish HQ, the Polestar 5’s aluminum body and chassis structure is all-new, making this the first vehicle to ride on entirely bespoke, Polestar-designed underpinnings. The Polestar 5 will be the range-topping model that will serve as a test-bed for the company's technology. Specific details are still relatively scant, but the engineers say that they’re looking at some cutting-edge new battery technology, which should give benefits in relation to performance and range in the increasingly populated electric vehicle sphere.
Polestar might be a new brand in a brave new EV world, but the vehicles we've seen to date — the Polestar 1 and 2 — have been impressive. Our first look at Polestar's next three vehicles shows that Volvo's electric brand is here to stay.