Polestar started as a racing team which was later transformed into a performance tuning division for Volvo before becoming its own brand in 2017. And after testing the waters with the Polestar 1 And Polestar 2the company is set to take another big step forward with the upcoming release of its first electric SUV: the Polestar 3. So when the car recently arrived in New York for its North American debut, we couldn’t pass up the chance to check it out, because it could be the best-looking new SUV of 2023.
The Polestar 3 is built on the same platform as the Volvo EX90, but the company has made significant changes that ensure that there will be no confusion between the two. Instead of three rows of seats, the Polestar 3 maxes out at two, with slightly less rear storage in favor of a roomier cabin. So, despite a relatively low roofline, the combination of a glass roof, long wheelbase, and slightly more reclined rear seats than usual gave me and my 6-foot frame , a very relaxed sitting position with plenty of legroom. There were even a few pillows in the backseat, which might be a bit unnecessary, but really adds to the premium, relaxed feel that Polestar is after.
Meanwhile, up front, the Polestar 3 features a more enclosed cockpit-style layout, mixed with a bit of Scandinavian minimalism. There is a large armrest and an elongated console with an integrated wireless charger. When it comes to infotainment, Polestar continues to use an Android Automotive-based system centered around a large 14.5-inch touchscreen with Google Maps as the default navigation system and a very familiar touchscreen user interface. As with many modern cars, just about everything from climate control to music is handled on the screen, with the only physical controls being a large console button for volume/play/pause as well as a few touch points additional haptics on the steering. wheel.
On the outside, the Polestar sports a much more aggressive design than the EX90, thanks to two fenders (one on the hood and one above the rear window), a front splitter, large wheels (either 21 or 22 inches as specified) and a new twin-blade version of the company’s signature Thor’s Hammer headlights. I know not everyone will agree, but I think the Polestar 3 is fantastic. It has just enough futuristic sci-fi design cues without going overboard like Tesla’s Cybertruck.
The Polestar also has the technology to back up its sci-fi look. In addition to things like automatic lane keeping and blind spot detection, it includes a host of monitoring components, including 12 ultrasonic sensors, five exterior radars, five cameras, two driver monitoring sensors and even four radars. interiors spread throughout the car. The most important use of these new sensors is that, alongside the EX90the Polestar 3 will be one of the first cars to offer an on-board passenger sensing system as standard.
This means that in the event that a child or pet is left in the back seat (or trunk), the car will notify the driver, prevent the car from being locked, and continue to maintain a safe climate unless a manual control is given. The goal is to prevent occupants from overheating if left in the car, which is unfortunately a highly preventable cause of death that has affected more than 900 children in the United States since 1998.
Another interesting feature is the Polestar 3’s headlights which feature a 1.3 megapixel DLP sensor which allows the car to focus more easily and adjust its beams to suit driving conditions. And while it wasn’t on the model we saw, Polestar says the 3 will also have an optional Driver Pack which includes a LiDAR sensor from Luminar and an NVIDIA Drive Orin chip, which will support some level of autonomous or semi-autonomous driving capabilities.
Gallery: Hands-on photos of the Polestar 3 | 13 Pictures
Gallery: Hands-on photos of the Polestar 3 | 13 Pictures
Finally, as part of the company’s commitment to make a fully carbon neutral car by 2030, the 3 also includes a number of sustainability features, including flax fiber panels and trim, a “Microtech” padding made from a material based on pine oil. vinyl (instead of petroleum) and floor mats created from recycled PET bottles.
That said, perhaps my favorite thing about the Polestar 3 is how the automaker has integrated vehicle design, technology and durability into one cohesive whole. Small elements like the Polestar 3’s battery size labeling on the outside of the car, right next to its name, help add a sense of transparency to its build. As a part-time design nerd, little labels everywhere are like a typesetter’s dream. On top of that, Polestar even uses blockchain technology to trace the origin of components that go into the car battery, to ensure they come from conflict-free regions. And when you combine all of that with a striking design, you get a truly enchanting view of where the EV market is headed.
However, I still have two main concerns about the Polestar 3: its price and its energy efficiency. With the standard long-range twin-motor model starting at $83,900 or $89,900 for the Performance Pack model, this is clearly not an EV for the masses. And with the number of luxury electric SUVs like the BMW iX and others on the roads, Polestar is entering an increasingly competitive market.
On top of that, despite costing $30,000 more than a Tesla Model Y and having a big 111kWh battery (compared to just 75kWh for the Tesla), the Polestar 3 is currently only expected to reach only about 300 miles of autonomy against 330 for the model. Y. And it’s a similar situation for the Polestar’s 250kW DC charging, which isn’t quite as fast as what you’d get from a similar but cheaper rival like the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Granted, the Polestar has yet to receive its latest official range figures from the EPA, but based on the numbers we have so far, its battery and charging tech isn’t quite as impressive as you’d expect. might expect it. Still, the Polestar 3 looks great, and hopefully we’ll find out more later this year when the car goes on sale for real in Q4.