New Polestar 3: big electric SUV getting set for 2022 launch

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Polestar has teased its third standalone model, called Polestar 3, which is positioned as a large all-electric SUV to rival the Tesla Model X, Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace.

The new car is set to be built in the USA at Volvo’s South Carolina production facility. It will go on sale in 2022 with a design intended to place a larger degree of separation between Polestar and Volvo, as the plug-in car brand becomes more and more independent of its parent company.

“Polestar 3 will be built in America, for our American customers,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. The US will likely be the model’s most important market, but Polestar has stressed there will be a global release of the 3 as well. As such, the car will also be built in China for export to other market’s.

Described by Polestar as an “aerodynamic electric performance SUV”, it’s likely to be heavily influenced by last year’s Precept concept car (which was a long, luxury saloon with a fastback rear), adapting many of the design cues introduced by that model into a taller SUV format.

In 2020, Polestar’s Design Director Max Missoni explained how the Precept would be a strong indication of what’s to come for the brand, with the 3 SUV the first in a number of models to be inspired by it.

“The next car that Polestar will launch is the Polestar 3,” said Missoni. “It will be a high-performance SUV that is a different car in its bodystyle, but I would say the Precept serves as a precursor to the design language that you will see in that car.”

Missoni also confirmed that the Precept’s interior and infotainment system preview what comes next inside Polestar models. “This is quite a realistic statement of our future,” he stressed.

Missoni explained how Polestar has gradually separated from Volvo from a styling perspective. According to the design chief, while the Polestar 1 was based heavily on the Volvo Concept Coupé from 2013, the Polestar 2 represented a parting of the ways.

Polestar 3 exclusive images

Polestar 3 electric SUV 2022 exclusive images 2The Polestar 3 will be “the next bigger step” and our exclusive images preview how it could look when Polestar reveals it in 2022. It’s expected to use some, but not all, of the Precept’s design cues, and repackage them as a coupé-like SUV, not unlike the Jaguar I-Pace.

The swooping shape is an important factor. The Polestar 3 will arrive at around the same time as the all-electric version of the next-generation Volvo XC90, which is also due in 2022 based on the same architecture – the new SPA2 platform. The two cars will share the same chassis and battery technology, while a range of 500 kilometres has been rumoured for the Polestar 3 in the past.

Polestar 3 electric SUV 2022 exclusive imagesHowever, while Volvo’s electric SUV will major on ride comfort, the Polestar version will have sportier chassis settings. Missoni claims that it will be a performance SUV, so the Polestar 3 is likely to use a more powerful dual-electric motor set-up, too.

The new SPA2 platform is an evolution of SPA1 and it has been designed to cater for cars including the next S60 and V60, as well as the larger S90 and V90 models. Smaller Volvos and Polestars, such as the 2, use the CMA architecture, underpinning the XC40 Recharge and the new C40.

While most of the technical limitations of the smaller CMA platform are already known, SPA2 is a totally new step. On the Polestar 3 and next XC90, Volvo will introduce a range of fully electric powertrains, as well as integration with a new Google developed infotainment system called Android Automotive. The tech giant’s extensive mapping data will be built into the cars alongside new advanced driver-assistance features, which will include the latest semi-autonomous driving capabilities.

James Brodie

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