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