Polestar debuts SUV for the electric age

The Polestar 3 electric performance SUV has debuted to the world’s press in a glitzy event in Copenhagen, Denmark, with New Zealand examples due to arrive in 2024.

Oct 13, 2022

The next mass-production model from high flying Polestar will produce up to 380kW and an incredible 910Nm of torque, making for an impressively powerful SUV for all manner of Kiwi drivers and lifestyles.

The carmaker says the new SUV’s 111 kWh battery pack will provide the Polestar 3 with a very generous driving range of up to 610km (WLTP rated).

Polestar revealed the all-new Polestar 3 electric performance SUV to media in Copenhagen this week, and 66 Magazine was there as the covers were taken off.

The glamourous event was held at Lokomotiv Vaerkstedet, a former steam train workshop inCopenhagen, and saw the unveiling of yet more svelte Scandinavian minimalism in the form of a cutting-edge electric sport utility vehicle in front of the globe’s motoring media.

A true SUV in terms of its dimensions, the Polestar 3 premieres a new aerodynamic profile matched with a powerful and wide stance. This has been led by subtle yet effective aerodynamic optimisation – including a front aero wing integrated into the bonnet, an aero wing integrated into the rear spoiler, and rear aero blades. 

“The Polestar 3 is a powerful electric SUV that appeals to the senses with a distinct, Scandinavian design and excellent driving dynamics,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEOat the launch event. 

“This car has been designed as a Polestar from the start and features new defining characteristics for us – like the dual blade headlights, SmartZone and front aero wing.”

Materials used inside Polestar 3 have been selected for their sustainability credentials while raising premium aesthetics and luxury tactility. These include bio-attributed MicroTech, animal welfare-certified leather and fully traceable wool upholsteries.

The Polestar 3 launches with a dual-motor configuration and a power bias towards the rear. The standard car produces a total of 360kW and 840Nm of torque. With the optional Performance Pack, total output is 380kW and 910Nm. Adjustable one-pedal drive is included, as well as an electric Torque Vectoring Dual Clutch function on the rear axle – an evolution of what was first developed for Polestar 1. A decoupling function is also available for the rear electric motor, allowing the car to run only on the front electric motor to save energy under certain circumstances. 

Advanced chassis control is provided by dual-chamber air suspension as standard, allowing Polestar 3 to adapt between comfort and dynamic suspension characteristics, and the car can adjust its active damper velocity electronically once every two milliseconds (500 Hz).

A 111 kWh battery pack provides Polestar 3 with a generous driving range of up to an expected 610km (WLTP tested) . The car’s lithium-ion battery features a prismatic cell design housed in a protective aluminium case with boron steel reinforcement and liquid cooling. A heat pump is included as standard, helping Polestar 3 utilise ambient heat for climate- and battery preconditioning. Polestar 3 is also equipped for bidirectional charging, enabling future potential for vehicle-to-grid and plug-and-charge capabilities.

Polestar NZ Brand Manager Bruce Fowler is confident the 3 will prove popular, “The level of technology, design and performance on offer in Polestar 3 is astounding, but for kiwi drivers, so is the 2200kg tow rating and impressive range; that’s real world SUV practicality”

As with Polestar 2, the list of standard equipment in Polestar 3 is extensive, with few options for easy configuration and simplified production logistics. All versions include air suspension, a full-length panoramic glass roof, all-LED lighting inside and out, retractable door handles with proximity sensing, and 21-inch alloy wheels. 

The Plus Pack and Pilot Pack are fitted as standard for the first model year and include a raft of premium, luxury and convenience features like a 25-speaker audio system from Bowers & Wilkins with 3D surround sound and Dolby Atmos capability, soft-closing doors, a head-up display and Pilot Assist. 

Polestar has promised its new SUV will integrate more camera and sensor technology than ever before. As standard, the Polestar 3 will feature a total of five radar modules, five external cameras and twelve external ultrasonic sensors to support numerous advanced safety features.

A so-called SmartZone located below the front wing houses forward-facing sensors, a heated radar module and a camera. Inside the cabin, two closed-loop driver-monitoring cameras bring eye-tracking technology to Polestar for the first time. Called Smart Eye, the system incorporates cameras that monitor the driver’s eyes and can trigger warning messages when detecting a distracted, drowsy driver.

Aside from various design attributes, perhaps nowhere is the link between Polestar and Volvo more defined than in the former’s safety equipment. Polestar 3 carries next-generation advanced active and passive safety technology from Volvo Cars as part of its DNA. 

The interior sensors that can monitor the driver for signs of fatigue can also detect sub-millimetre movements in the interior of the car, to help protect against accidentally leaving children or pets inside. The system is also linked to the climate control system to avoid heat stroke or hypothermia. 

When the Polestar 2 launched, it was the first car in the world with Google built in. The immediacy and convenience of over-the-air (OTA) updates will allow for continuous software improvements in the Polestar 3 as well as the introduction of new features without the need to visit the dealership.

Fowler, says that the Polestar 3 will go into production in China and subsequently the United States in late 2023, with New Zealand set to receive its first units in the first half of 2024.


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