Volvo Officially Reveals the Electric Polestar 2, its Answer to the Tesla Model 3
【Summary】Polestar revealed the first ever look of the Polestar 2 electric car on Wednesday, ahead of the Geneva Motor Show. The EV is one of the most anticipated vehicle debuts this year.
Polestar revealed the first ever look at its long-awaited Polestar 2 electric car on Wednesday, ahead of the Geneva Motor Show. The EV is one of the most anticipated vehicle debuts this year.
Polestar chose a unique way to debut the new car. Rather than flying in journalists from around the world to show off a zero-emissions electric car, Polestar stuck with its image as a "digital brand" and Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath unveiled the Polestar 2 online, which was streamed live on the company's website.
Polestar is the upmarket electric performance brand from Volvo launched in 2017, and has been quietly working on its next model launch for the past two years. Polestar first debuted its flagship luxury model the plug-in hybrid Polestar 1 in October 2017.
Polestar is targeting Tesla with a car that more affordable than the Model S, yet priced competitively with the mass-market Model 3, while delivering sportscar like performance. The electric Polestar 2 is rated at more than 400 horsepower, and can go from zero to 60 mph in about five seconds.
"The buzz around the Tesla Model 3 showed where electric mobility is relevant for society today," Ingenlath said at the launch event on Wednesday. "And with Polestar 2 we bring an exciting premium electric car that will broaden the choice on offer in exactly this segment."
The Polestar 2 comes with a long-range 78 kWh battery pack that powers dual 150 kW electric motors producing a combined output of 300 kW's while delivering 487 ft lbs of torque. Official range figures have not been announced, but Polestar is aiming for a electric driving range of around 275 miles for the Polestar 2.
Powered by Google's Android OS
The Polestar 2 will also be one of the first cars in the world to feature an infotainment system powered by Google's Android OS. Google Maps, Google Play and Google Assistant will be built into the system, so there is no need for an owner to sync their smartphone to the car, nor will a driver ever need a key.
To display all of the available Google Play Store apps, the Polestar 2 comes with a 11 inch center-stack touchscreen display.
"We've teamed up with the pros in their respective field, and acknowledged that its pointless to think you can do everything best yourself, so we embedded Android as the infotainment system software." Ingenlath said during the unveiling, explaining that is was the reason why Polestar decided to integrate Google's technology in its new vehicle.
The interior of the Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 will feature "Phone-as-Key" as a smart authentication device as a replacement for the traditional car key. It works by storing a secure, encrypted digital key in the owner's phone, which communicates with the car using an encrypted Bluetooth connection.
The digital key enables many personalised settings for the driver, enables car sharing and allows for connected Polestar services like pick-up and delivery. Polestar 2 is still provided with a standard key fob for peace of mind. Seat position, mirror settings, and more are automatically returned to exact specifications for each driver. As the driver approaches the vehicle, the smartphone app shows battery status, range, and the time remaining to a full charge.
Polestar Wants to Reinvent the Car Buying Experience
Polestar is also looking to reinvent the buying experience with new approach to automotive retail. Polestar customer will not be subjected to a high-pressure tradition dealership car buying experience. The company will sell its vehicles in what it calls "Polestar Spaces".
Polestar Spaces will be creative environments where potential buyers can physically interact with both our digital brand and Polestar product experts. Customers will be able to examine the inner workings of the car, such as the batteries and electric motors, so they learn can more about how the car is built and engineered. The polestar spaces will offer test drives as well.
By the mid-2020, Polestar plans to open up to 60 "Spaces" around the world, mostly in major metropolitan areas. The first Polestar Space will be located in Oslo, Norway and opens later this year.
A Polestar Space where buyers can learn interact with the vehicles
The Polestar 2 will have a starting price of 39,900 euros ($45,400), the company said. There will also be a limited number of launch edition models made during the vehicle's first 12 months of production that starts at 59,900 euros ($68,200).
The vehicle will be built in China by Geely, the parent company of Volvo, and will be available in 2020. However, customers can configure their cars and place reservations beginning this week.
The company said it will be taking the vehicle on a "roadshow" to promote it around the world starting next month.
The Polestar 2 is one of several new electric vehicle models coming this year, including the Audi e-tron SUV, as competition moves into the luxury electric space once solely occupied by Tesla.
"We've developed meaningful hardware and software to make the Polestar 2 a car so distinctive, so personal and so innovative it will electrify your drive." said Ingenlath.
The Polestar 2 will be on display at the Geneva Motor Show beginning on March 7 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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