Polestar unveils a new $84,000 electric SUV it’s hoping will help cement its foothold in the U.S.

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Polestar 3
Courtesy: Polestar

Swedish EV maker Polestar on Wednesday unveiled a new electric SUV that it’s counting on to expand its sales and presence in the United States.

The new model, called the Polestar 3, is a five-passenger EV that the company describes as a “performance SUV.” It’ll launch with a 111 kilowatt-hour battery and a dual-motor configuration that delivers up to 517 horsepower with an estimated 300 miles of EPA-rated range.

Priced at about $84,000, the car comes loaded with technology, including an Nvidia computer running advanced driver-assist software developed by Polestar’s part owner, Volvo Cars.

Only one version of the Polestar 3 will be available at launch, though less expensive trims are expected to follow. An optional “Pilot Pack” will add a Luminar lidar unit and other sensors needed for autonomous driving, which Polestar expects to make available in the future via an over-the-air update.  

It’s a step up in size, performance, technology and price from the company’s current model, the Polestar 2 crossover, which starts at around $48,000. The Polestar 1 was a limited-production hybrid coupe, now discontinued.

It’s also something of a step up in price from what will likely be its main competitor: Tesla’s Model Y, which costs about $70,000 in similar dual-motor trim. Another potential rival, BMW’s all-electric iX SUV, starts at about $85,000.

The Polestar 3 will be built in China, starting next year, and in the U.S. — at a Volvo Cars factory in South Carolina — starting in mid-2024. Deliveries are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Polestar expects to deliver 50,000 vehicles to customers around the world in 2022. Through September, it had delivered about 30,400, it said last week.

Polestar is a joint venture between Volvo Cars and Chinese automaker Geely, which has owned Volvo Cars since 2010. Polestar went public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company in June. Its shares have fallen about 58% since.

Sophie Tremblay

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