Polestar, the all electric brand from Volvo Cars (well, the Polestar 1 is a plug-in hybrid but everything else will be fully electric), is taking direct aim at the Porsche Cayenne in its bid to become a major manufacturer of electric automobiles. That may be smart marketing, as the Cayenne sold 83,071 units in 2021, just a few less than the 88,362 units of the slightly smaller Macan. Were it not for the Cayenne and the Macan, Porsche would not be have become the powerhouse brand it is today.
The company has recently taken the wraps off the Polestar 3, a battery-electric SUV that is intended to appeal strongly to the kinds of people who might be considering the purchase of a Cayenne or Macan. On its website, the company says, “Premium electric performance has found a new form. One that brings new context to both the SUV and the EV. One that incorporates NVIDIA computing power, a fully electric drivetrain, and sustainable material innovations. One that shows what comes after 1 and 2 is indeed 3, yet so much more. Polestar 3. The SUV for the electric age.”
The company’s emphasis on the word “premium” is important. Speaking at the Automotive News Europe Congress last week, CEO Thomas Ingenlath announced the Polestar 3 would be priced between €75,000 and €110,000. Because the euro has tumbled in value recently, prices in dollars should be nearly the same. At those prices, the Polestar 3 will compete with the entry and mid-level Cayenne models. The Cayenne Turbo mode can cost more than $135,000 and the Turbo S E-Hybrid variants goes for more than $170,000. “It’s an SUV, which everyone loves, but it’s also very aerodynamic and very engaging to drive. It’s not a car to drive to the kindergarten,” Ingenlath said.
Polestar 3 Will Be Built In US
The Polestar 3 will be manufactured at the Volvo factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina, where the XC90 is curenttly built. “Polestar 3 will be built in America, for our American customers,” says Thomas Ingenlath. “I remember the great response when I first shared Polestar’s vision here in the USA and I am proud that our first SUV will be manufactured in South Carolina. From now on, the USA is no longer an export market but a home market.”
“Production in the USA reduces delivery times as well as the environmental impact associated with shipping vehicles around the world. It will even have a positive impact on the price of Polestar 3,” says Dennis Nobelius, COO at Polestar. “All of this makes the brand even more competitive in the critical American sales market.”
The Polestar 3 will be built on the company’s SPA2 (Scalable Product Architecture) platform, which allows for dual motors and a battery large enough to offer up to 372 miles (600 kilometers) of range on the WLTP combined test cycle. No EPA rating is available at this time but expect it to be about 12% less. The SPA2 platform will also offer eyes-off, hands-off self-driving capability when regulations allow these features to be activated, says Inside EVs.
Polestar’s Grand Plan
For 2023, the company expects to sell 24,000 units of the Polestar 3 globally, followed by 67,000 units in 2024 and 77,000 in 2025. Besides the Polestar 3, the company plans to launch another SUV in 2023, the Porsche Macan-sized Polestar 4, followed by the Polestar 5 flagship sedan in 2024. The Polestar 3 and 4 are expected to make up the bulk of the brand’s global sales, with the company forecasting combined sales of 160,000 units for the two SUVs by 2025.
The Polestar 3 will not be officially unveiled until October, with deliveries expected to begin in the middle of 2023.
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