Update: ‘New base variant’ sub-section added to ‘Price & Release Date’ and ‘Polestar Spaces & Service centers’ sub-section of the same section updated.
The Polestar 3, which promises to be a game-changer for the brand in the United States, celebrated its world premiere in Copenhagen on October 12, 2022. The new model aims to be the Porsche Cayenne of the electric luxury SUV space with a focus on performance. Take a look at what we know about Polestar’s biggest launch in America.
The Polestar 3 has a numerical name, just like the brand’s first two models and all other upcoming models. Thomas Ingenlath, CEO, Polestar, told TechCrunch in August 2022 that he has “seen too many painful name-giving processes in the car industry to ever get into it.” Plus, there’s also a risk of infringing an existing trademark. The company wants to keep things simple and is happy with the current nomenclature.
The Polestar 1 was derived from the Volvo Concept Coupe (presented in 2013), and it was originally a Volvo design. The Polestar 2 has more than a few design lines common with the Volvo 40.2 Concept (presented in 2016). With the launch of the Polestar 3, the brand has started distancing itself in design, and we see clear evidence of that with the design of the 3. “The 3 was designed from day one as purely Polestar,” Ingenlath said at the world premiere.
The Polestar 3 is a sporty SUV with a sleek silhouette. It features a hexagonal compact upper grille, horizontally flipped T-shaped headlamps with a ‘Dual-Blade’ DRL design, a trapezoidal lower grille, and triangular cut-outs in the outer sections of the bumper that could hide the vehicle’s LiDAR sensors. Another highlight is an aero wing integrated into the front of the hood that complements the rear aero wing and rear aero blades to lower the drag and improve travel range.
The car has a sharp kick in the beltline and a slim greenhouse, giving it a dynamic look. The roofline slopes slightly towards the rear, which should preserve the headroom. Flush door handles lend the SUV a touch of minimalism. A strong shoulder area, thick body cladding, two-tone finish wheels, and yellow brake calipers are also among the visual highlights.
The Polestar 3 has a wide and powerful stance at the rear. It doesn’t lean forward, which gives it a confident appearance from this angle. The continious tail light ends with wide C-shaped hooks, accentuating these attributes.
Polestar wanted the 3 as an SUV for the electric age. It started with a large luxury SUV as the base. It put in a battery as a skateboard sandwich between the wheels and stretched the wheelbase to open up interior space.
A sportscar-inspired seating position and a lowered dashboard allowed Polestar to lower the roofline to achieve an aerodynamic, fast silhouette. The company excluded third-row seats and used the extra space to move the first and second rows wide apart. In the words of Ingenlath, “this is not a people-mover.” The 3 is a luxuriously-spaced five-seat model with generous legroom in the second row.
Polestar has used animal welfare-certified leather and fully traceable wool upholstery. The Polestar 3 is equipped with plenty of technology, comfort, and convenience features, many possibly shared with the Polestar 2. Polestar has given connected car solutions and on-board entertainment a lot of focus.
The Polestar 3 comes with 21-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, a panoramic glass roof, a 9-inch digital instrument cluster, a 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a three-zone automatic climate control system, and four USB-C ports as standard. Here’s a closer look at some of the top features.
Polestar has confirmed that it offers Digital Key in the Polestar 3, but it hasn’t clarified whether it’s NFC-based or Bluetooth-based like in the Polestar 2. The driver can lock, unlock, and start the vehicle using the virtual key. The company also offers an NFC key card with the electric SUV.
Android-powered AVN & Google HD Map
The Polestar 3 features an infotainment system powered by Android Automotive OS. Using onboard functions via the vehicle’s center screen will be very easy and familiar for customers, especially those accustomed to using Android devices like smartphones, tablets, and TVs. Customers can use Google HD Maps, Spotify, Vivaldi Web Browser, and more native apps in the infotainment system. With Google Assistant, users can enjoy voice commands with the familiar prompt phrase “Hey Google.”
The built-in Google Play Store allows downloading new apps to the system. With 5G connectivity available, customers can update the software, download apps, stream music and videos, and get real-time traffic updates at blazing internet speeds. Excitingly, the Polestar 3 could be the first-ever production car to be equipped with Google’s HD Map feature. This new iteration of Maps is far more precise and detailed than the traditional version.
The added resolution & clarity of the feed allows the computing software to identify and recognize location-specific geographical markers. The technology goes a step further by tapping into the car’s onboard sensors that are mated to various driver-assist features, in turn harnessing Google’s wealth of data on road information (among other localization tools) and even providing GPS-based lane-keeping assistance. Support for autonomous driving is expected in the future.
Bowers & Wilkins with 3D surround sound
The Polestar 3 features a 25-speaker sound system sourced from Bowers & Wilkins. This system consists of five tweeters with the Nautilus Spiral Chamber technology, seven mid-range speakers, four headliner speakers, four full-range speakers in the headrests, four woofers, and one Fresh Air subwoofer.
Polestar has equipped the 3 with three external speakers as well, to produce the sound needed for the safety of nearby passengers and vehicles. A 28-channel amplifier with a total power of 1,750 watts drives the 28 speakers in and outside the SUV. It enables multi-channel signals such as Dolby Atmos. There’s no doubt audiophiles will love traveling in the 3.
Advanced Air Cleaner
Polestar has developed an Advanced Cabin Air (AAC) air filtration system with Volvo Cars and Stockholm-based CabinAir. The air that passengers breathe in the 3 is clear of 95% of fine particles, 97% of viruses, and 99.9% of pollen and allergens.
The Polestar 3 sits on the SPA2 platform which will be shared with the EX90. The SPA2 is a skateboard chassis with a different floor assembly as compared to the SPA1 which underpins the XC90.
Dimensions & Cargo
The Polestar 3 measures 193 in. long, 83.5 in. wide (incl. mirrors), and 64 in. tall. It has a 117.5 in. wheelbase, and the curb weight ranges from 5,696 lbs. to 5,886 lbs.
The first Polestar electric SUV offers 17.1 cu. ft. of luggage capacity behind the rear seats. Folding down the rear seats leads to 49.8 cu. ft. of cargo capacity. It increases the length of the cargo area to 188 cm (74.0 in.), although this measurement applies to the Euro-spec model (via polestar-forum.com) and may vary for the U.S.-spec model.
The boot is 111 cm (43.7 in.)-wide — 126 cm (49.6 in.) if you calculate from one side pocket to the other — and 60 cm (23.6 in.) tall (from the tip of the rear seats). These measurements, too, apply to the Euro-spec model and may vary for the U.S.-spec SUV.
The U.S.-spec Polestar 3 does have a frunk (front trunk), with 1.1 cu. ft. of extra storage space. Up to 220.5 lbs. of luggage can be placed on the roof.
The towing capacity is 3,500 lbs., with 350 lbs. as the tongue weight limit. A semi-electric tow bar is available optionally. The electric SUV has a ground clearance of 8.3 in. In off-road conditions, the driver can enable a dedicated off-road drive mode to raise the ground clearance by 40 or 50 mm (1.6 or 2.0 in.)
The 3 has a rear-biased dual-motor powertrain and a 50:50 weight distribution. Compared to a gas-powered SUV, the center of gravity is 100 mm lower, around the same as in the Polestar 1, a hybrid two-door, 2+2 seat GT coupe!
The 3 has a Torque Vectoring Dual Clutch (TDVC) function that individually controls the torque distributed between the right and left rear wheels for improved agility at low speed and stability at high speed. The front motor can be decoupled to save energy when not needed.
An adaptive, self-leveling dual-chamber air suspension with ZF active dampers is standard in the 3. With a high updating frequency of 500 Hz, the active dampers adjust as required by the road conditions once every two milliseconds. For example, if the driver is driving the 3 at 90 km/h (56 mph), it updates and adjusts the dampers every 5 cm (0.2 ft.) of the road.
Polestar’s Chief Chassis Engineer Joakim Rydholm had indicated in 2021 that it’ll be fun to drive, as per an Autocar report. All Polestar models will make the driver always feel connected to the car, Rydholm said. However, for obvious reasons, “the 3 will breathe and flow a bit more (than the 2).”
Acceleration & Top speed
The Polestar 3’s two motors, one on each axle, produce 360 kW (483 hp) and 840 Nm (620 lb.-ft.) of torque. A 0-60 mph sprint takes 4.9 seconds (estimated), and the top speed is 130 mph.
A Performance Pack is available to upgrade the total power and total torque to 380 kW (509 hp) and 910 Nm (671 lb.-ft.), respectively. Priced at USD 6,000, the optional pack lowers the 0-60 mph acceleration time to 4.6 seconds, but it doesn’t change the top speed. It includes Polestar Engineered chassis tuning, 22″ forged alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tires, Swedish gold valve caps and seat belts, laser-etched gold interior light line, and a range optimization drive mode as well.
Range & Charging
A CATL-made 107 kWh battery pack consisting of 204 lithium-ion NMC cells packed in 17 modules is standard in the Polestar 3. It operates at 400 volts and allows charging at up to 11 kW (AC)/250 kW (DC). There are also rumors that Polestar will double the maximum AC charging rate to 22 kW in 2025.
Charging from 0 to 100% SoC using an AC charger takes 11 hours. When plugged into a DC charger, charging from 10 to 80% SoC takes just half an hour. Polestar expects the 3 to deliver an EPA-est. range of 300 miles as standard and 270 miles with the Performance pack. The 3 does have a plug-and-charge (PnC) function for giving customers the utmost convenience at public charging stations.
|Aspect\Specification||Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor||Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor with Performance Pack|
|Length||193 in.||193 in.|
|Width (incl. mirrors)||83.5 in.||83.5 in.|
|Height||64 in.||64 in.|
|Wheelbase||117.5 in.||117.5 in.|
|Ground Clearance||8.3 in.||8.3 in.|
|Curb-to-curb Turning Circle||38.7 ft.||38.7 ft.|
|Wheels||Cast alloy||Forged alloy|
|Wheel Size||21 in.||22 in.|
|Tires||Michelin Pilot Sport 4 EV||Pirelli P-Zero|
|Tire Size||265/45R21 (front)/295/40R21 (rear)||265/40R22 (front)/295/35R22 (rear)|
|Brakes||Brembo 4-piston, 400 mm drilled and ventilated discs (front)/Standard single-piston, 390 mm ventilated discs (rear)||Brembo 4-piston, 400 mm drilled and ventilated discs (front)/Standard single-piston, 390 mm ventilated discs (rear)|
|Cargo Volume (Rear Seats Up)||17.1 cu. ft.||17.1 cu. ft.|
|Cargo Volume (Rear Seats Folded)||49.8 cu. ft.||49.8 cu. ft.|
|Battery Pack||107 kWh||107 kWh|
|No. of Motors||Two||Two|
|Power||360 kW (483 hp)||380 kW (509 hp)|
|Torque||840 Nm (620 lb.-ft.)||910 Nm (671 lb.-ft.)|
|0-60 mph Acceleration Time (Estimated)||4.9 seconds||4.6 seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph||130 mph|
|EPA-est. Range (Preliminary)||300 miles||270 miles|
|EPA-est. Energy Consumption (Preliminary)||38.5 kWh/100 miles||43.2 kWh/100 miles|
|Towing Capacity||3,500 lbs.||3,500 lbs.|
|Tongue Weight Limit||350 lbs.||350 lbs.|
|Max. Roof Load||220.5 lbs.||220.5 lbs.|
Polestar has equipped the 3 for bi-directional charging, enabling vehicle-to-grid compatibility. Vehicle-to-load is also expected, which would allow customers to offload the power from the battery pack to power home appliances, charge electronics, top-up other EVs, and send power back to the grid to balance the electricity load.
Safety & driver assistance
Polestar has loaded the 3 with a raft of active and passive safety systems. The company offers the new model with up to ten airbags, the biggest of which takes just 30 milliseconds to inflate and deflate again. Just for reference, a blink of an eye takes 180 milliseconds, and a car crash takes even lower – 100 milliseconds. Two of the ten airbags are inner side airbags that respond in just eight milliseconds! The ten airbags include a passenger knee airbag as well, which is exclusive to the units sold in the U.S. and Canada.
Five radar modules, five external cameras, and twelve external ultrasonic sensors are standard in the 3. The Polestar 3 also sees the integration of eye-tracking technology by Smart Eye, which is also a Swedish company based in Gothenburg. Comprised of two closed-loop driver monitoring cameras, the system not only tracks the driver’s head but also their eyes and eyelid movements. If it detects distraction, drowsiness, or lack of responsiveness from the driver, Smart Eye will initially issue visual and audible warnings. If the driver continues to remain unresponsive to these alerts, the system will initiate an emergency stop.
Smart Eye is an integral part of a broader suite of safety measures in the Polestar 3 known as Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS). Active driver assistance features such as Driver Alert Control, Lane Keeping Aid, Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist, come along with DMS. A powerful centralized computer, using Nvidia SoCs, interprets and processes scores of data constantly streaming in from various systems and sensors in the vehicle. Polestar is confident that the ‘Smart Eye’ system will help its cars weather the rigors of stringent safety standards that are expected to arrive within the decade.
In the U.S., the Pilot Pack that includes a head-up display, Park Assist Pilot, and Pilot Assist driver assistance system is standard in the 3. From Q2 2023, Polestar will offer an optional high-spec Pilot Pack that adds a Luminar-developed LiDAR, an additional control unit from NVIDIA, three cameras, four ultrasonic sensors, and cleaning for the front- and rear-view cameras.
Polestar has told investors that the 3 will gain “unsupervised highway pilot” at some point during its lifecycle. SAE Level 3 could be the targeted level of autonomy in the 3, achievable with a software upgrade later during the lifecycle. Zenseact will provide the software for the 3’s highway pilot.
First impressions from the media
Reporters have experienced the Polestar 3 in person. YouTube channel Out of Spec Reviews’ Kyle Conner checked out the Polestar 3 at CES 2023 and found its design quite impressive both on the outside and inside. It’s not just the sleek silhouette and the high-tech cockpit that Conner liked, but also the interesting details like the intricate light design, the discreet aero wings, the frameless mirrors, and two-tone door trim stripes. Despite the sloping roofline, passengers in the rear get very comfortable seats and good headroom.
Fully Charged Show’s Jack Scarlett got a good look at the Polestar 3 at its world premiere in Denmark and shared observations in a video on YouTube. He says it looks fantastic and has an exquisite interior, but its 2.6-ton weight and low energy efficiency are a bit disappointing. Overall, though, he finds it to be a fantastic, impressive product from the Swedish brand.
The Late Brake Show host (and former Fifth Gear presenter) Jonny Smith thinks the 3 is a really good-looking station wagon, not an SUV. Smith, too, presses on the fact that it’s a bulky vehicle at 2.6 tons (via YouTube). Chasing Cars’ Tom Baker says it doesn’t feel nearly as big, imposing, or aggressive as the BMW iX and feels a bit chicer instead (via YouTube). He feels the new electric SUV offers plenty of legroom in the rear but the floor is quite high, which usually isn’t good for getting proper thigh support.
CarExpert’s Paul Maric thinks the extremely tapered rear-end of the 3 might not be very practical, as fitting tall items in the cargo area could be tricky (via YouTube). He does find the seating area to be really spacious, though, with a big and airy place for the driver and front passenger, and plenty of knee room and headroom for the rear passengers.
Production of the Polestar 3 will take place in Chengdu, China, and Ridgeville, USA. Chinese production will commence in mid-2023, and American production will follow towards the middle of 2024. The Chengdu plant, operated by Volvo Cars, has an annual production capacity of 150,000 units. The Ridgeville plant, which Volvo Cars owns, currently makes the Volvo S60. Production of the U.S.-spec Polestar 3 will take place at the Chinese facility until the local factory is ready to produce.
Price & Release Date
The Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor retails at USD 83,900, while the Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor with Performance Pack costs USD 89,900. A USD 1,400 destination charge is applicable over the MSRP. Prospective customers can make a reservation with a fully refundable deposit of USD 1,000.
Polestar initially accepted reservations for 3s without LiDAR. It began taking reservations for the 3s with LiDAR on February 2, 2023. Deliveries of the units without LiDAR, which were reserved first, are expected to begin in Q4 2023. From late 2024, it expects to deliver units with LiDAR.
New base variant
During Polestar’s Q4 2022 earnings conference call on March 2, 2023, Ingenlath said that the company does not need to lower the price of the 3 to make it eligible for clean vehicle tax credit. It is content with the demand at the current price levels. Polestar could introduce a new entry-level configuration for a price that meets the MSRP requirements for clean vehicle tax credit (currently capped at USD 80,000), but it’s leaving that up for discussion, the brand boss said.
Including the most expensive options — USD 6,000 Performance Pack, USD 1,300 paint, and USD 5,500 seat upgrade (Nappa leather upholstery and front-seat ventilation and massage functions) — and the USD 1,400 destination charge, the Polestar 3 costs USD 98,100.
Polestar Spaces & Service centers
Polestar will sell the 3 through its small network of ‘Polestar Spaces’ rather than a showroom-in-showroom concept using Volvo dealers. This offers buyers a more exclusive experience, the brand believes. The company introduced a new concept for its retail outlets in 2021, called ‘Polestar Destinations.’ It is opening them in large spaces at easy-to-access out-of-town locations. In addition to offering an immersive experience of the brand and test drives, it uses Polestar Destinations to perform customer deliveries.
In the U.S., Polestar Spaces are open in 30 locations, Ingenlath said during the Q4 2022 earnings conference call. Polestar plans to have a retail network of 50 showrooms in the country by the end of 2023. U.S. Polestar Spaces will start getting the 3 in mid-2023. But before that, the company has planned a promotional tour of the new model in the country in April 2023.
Polestar to launch 4 new EVs
The Polestar 3 is part of four new EVs from the Swedish brand. The Polestar 4 will be next, arriving by late 2023, followed by the Polestar 5 in 2024. Then, after a gap of two years, a Polestar 6 will follow in 2026. By 2030, Polestar wants to create the first truly climate-neutral car, and the company will develop this model under the Polestar 0 Project. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions by transforming the manufacturing process such that there are zero emissions right from the production stage.
The 3 looks like an excellent choice for those who want a performance SUV that is also spacious enough for families. It comes packed with high-end features, delivers phenomenal performance and driving dynamics, and has a decent range considering the SUV’s size and specifications. Best of all, it’s priced competitively when compared to European rivals. Well done, Polestar!
Polestar 3 FAQs
What is the Polestar 3 release date?
Polestar 3 deliveries in the U.S. will start in Q4 2023.
Which SUVs would the Polestar 3 rival?
The Polestar 3 competes with the BMW iX, Mercedes EQE SUV, Audi Q6 e-tron, and the Porsche Macan EV.
What is the Polestar 3 price?
Prices of the Polestar 3 in the U.S. start at USD 83,900 (excl. USD 1,400 destination charge).
Featured image: Polestar