2021 Polestar 2

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Price Range

  • Starting at $59,900 (not including destination)

Release Date

  • Summer 2020

What to expect

  • First real direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3
  • 408 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque
  • 78-kWh battery with an estimated 275 miles of range
  • Polestar's first entry into the EV marketplace

2021 Polestar 2 First Look

The Electric Landscape Is About to Get a Little More Stylish

While the electrified automotive landscape continues to fill up with compact hatchbacks and luxury SUVs, there's still only one midsize sedan, and that's the Tesla Model 3. With nearly 150,000 units sold in under two years, Tesla has no doubt enjoyed the head start. And while major manufacturers likely have cars under development, a relatively new brand will debut its first volume-production car as the Model 3's first direct competitor. Slated to go on sale in the summer of 2020, the 2021 Polestar 2 looks to steal some of Tesla's limelight.

Which Star?

For a bit of background, Polestar has technically been around since 2005, starting out as a racing team that specialized in preparing Volvos for touring car racing. From there, it expanded into modifying Volvo street cars with both performance and cosmetic enhancements before it was bought and incorporated into Volvo in 2015. Polestar turned out a few hot versions of Volvo's S60 sedan and V60 wagon, but its mandate has changed.

Gone are the throaty exhausts and high-strung turbocharged motors, replaced with electricity and luxury. Polestar was once a bit like Mercedes-Benz's AMG, but now it's a stylish and environmentally friendly sub-brand focused on pushing the technological envelope.

The Hardware

Unlike the limited-production hybrid Polestar 1, the Polestar 2 will be a fully electric midsize car produced in volume. Aimed squarely at the Model 3, it not only shares the Model 3's fastback body configuration but it should also have a similar range, with Polestar aiming for 275 miles on a charge. Power comes from a 78-kWh battery pack and two electric motors driving all four wheels. Volvo estimates power output at 408 horsepower, and a typical electric tidal wave of torque at 487 pound-feet. That should see 0-60 mph times come in under 5 seconds.

Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture forms the basis for the chassis, and the 27-module battery pack has been integrated into the floor, not only increasing chassis rigidity but also helping to lower noise and vibration levels in the cabin. We expect handling to be on par with other European luxury sedans, and Polestar will offer performance upgrades in the way of special Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and 20-inch wheels, likely wrapped with stickier rubber than the standard setup. Visually, the optional performance pack will get you gold brake calipers and gold seat belts. We're going to need to see everything in the flesh before we pass final judgment on the gold bits.

The Software

Inside, the Polestar 2 uses Google's Android as the basis for the infotainment system, incorporating Google Maps, Google Play and Google Assistant into an 11-inch touchscreen interface. As with the Model 3, it's anticipated that your phone will be the key for the Polestar and will keep you updated on things such as the remaining range and charging status when plugged in. Furthering the push toward environmental consciousness, the interior will be vegan with a mix of textiles and materials, and no doubt appeal to the more eco-conscious buyers Polestar is courting.

We'll be very interested to try out the Polestar 2's upgraded and more integrated in-car tech, as the automaker has said these features will be baked into future Volvo models as well. Voice assistants are becoming a thing in luxury cars, with both Mercedes and BMW premiering their own versions. We are eager to find out if going with Google gives Volvo and Polestar an advantage or if bespoke systems prove better suited for automotive applications.

Pricing and Release Date

The Polestar 2 went into full production in spring 2020. Should you want to order one, you'll need to do so online, and pre-orders are being accepted now. Pricing starts at $59,900 before destination or government rebates. Options are limited to the Performance package ($5,000), upgraded leather upholstery ($4,000), 20-inch wheels ($1,200) and metallic paint ($1,200). Subscription pricing, which is a curious idea Volvo continues to push, will be available at a later date, assuming that's still a thing.

Although the range, performance and avant-garde design of the Polestar 2 should give Tesla some cause for concern, it's the production capacity of Polestar's parent company — Volvo — and Volvo's parent company — Chinese automaker Geely — that could see the Model 3 struggle to keep up on a global level. No doubt another solid fully electric sedan will be a welcome addition to the market. We'll be passing on our driving impressions just as soon as we can get behind the wheel, so stay tuned to Edmunds for more news about the 2021 Polestar 2.

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    Related 2 Articles

    2021 Polestar 2 First Look

    The Electric Landscape Is About to Get a Little More Stylish

    Kurt Niebuhr by Kurt Niebuhr , Vehicle Test EditorFebruary 27th, 2019

    While the electrified automotive landscape continues to fill up with compact hatchbacks and luxury SUVs, there's still only one midsize sedan, and that's the Tesla Model 3. With nearly 150,000 units sold in under two years, Tesla has no doubt enjoyed the head start. And while major manufacturers likely have cars under development, a relatively new brand will debut its first volume-production car as the Model 3's first direct competitor. Slated to go on sale in the summer of 2020, the 2021 Polestar 2 looks to steal some of Tesla's limelight.

    Which Star?

    For a bit of background, Polestar has technically been around since 2005, starting out as a racing team that specialized in preparing Volvos for touring car racing. From there, it expanded into modifying Volvo street cars with both performance and cosmetic enhancements before it was bought and incorporated into Volvo in 2015. Polestar turned out a few hot versions of Volvo's S60 sedan and V60 wagon, but its mandate has changed.

    Gone are the throaty exhausts and high-strung turbocharged motors, replaced with electricity and luxury. Polestar was once a bit like Mercedes-Benz's AMG, but now it's a stylish and environmentally friendly sub-brand focused on pushing the technological envelope.

    The Hardware

    Unlike the limited-production hybrid Polestar 1, the Polestar 2 will be a fully electric midsize car produced in volume. Aimed squarely at the Model 3, it not only shares the Model 3's fastback body configuration but it should also have a similar range, with Polestar aiming for 275 miles on a charge. Power comes from a 78-kWh battery pack and two electric motors driving all four wheels. Volvo estimates power output at 408 horsepower, and a typical electric tidal wave of torque at 487 pound-feet. That should see 0-60 mph times come in under 5 seconds.

    Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture forms the basis for the chassis, and the 27-module battery pack has been integrated into the floor, not only increasing chassis rigidity but also helping to lower noise and vibration levels in the cabin. We expect handling to be on par with other European luxury sedans, and Polestar will offer performance upgrades in the way of special Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and 20-inch wheels, likely wrapped with stickier rubber than the standard setup. Visually, the optional performance pack will get you gold brake calipers and gold seat belts. We're going to need to see everything in the flesh before we pass final judgment on the gold bits.

    The Software

    Inside, the Polestar 2 uses Google's Android as the basis for the infotainment system, incorporating Google Maps, Google Play and Google Assistant into an 11-inch touchscreen interface. As with the Model 3, it's anticipated that your phone will be the key for the Polestar and will keep you updated on things such as the remaining range and charging status when plugged in. Furthering the push toward environmental consciousness, the interior will be vegan with a mix of textiles and materials, and no doubt appeal to the more eco-conscious buyers Polestar is courting.

    We'll be very interested to try out the Polestar 2's upgraded and more integrated in-car tech, as the automaker has said these features will be baked into future Volvo models as well. Voice assistants are becoming a thing in luxury cars, with both Mercedes and BMW premiering their own versions. We are eager to find out if going with Google gives Volvo and Polestar an advantage or if bespoke systems prove better suited for automotive applications.

    Pricing and Release Date

    The Polestar 2 went into full production in spring 2020. Should you want to order one, you'll need to do so online, and pre-orders are being accepted now. Pricing starts at $59,900 before destination or government rebates. Options are limited to the Performance package ($5,000), upgraded leather upholstery ($4,000), 20-inch wheels ($1,200) and metallic paint ($1,200). Subscription pricing, which is a curious idea Volvo continues to push, will be available at a later date, assuming that's still a thing.

    Although the range, performance and avant-garde design of the Polestar 2 should give Tesla some cause for concern, it's the production capacity of Polestar's parent company — Volvo — and Volvo's parent company — Chinese automaker Geely — that could see the Model 3 struggle to keep up on a global level. No doubt another solid fully electric sedan will be a welcome addition to the market. We'll be passing on our driving impressions just as soon as we can get behind the wheel, so stay tuned to Edmunds for more news about the 2021 Polestar 2.