Volvo’s Polestar releases first image of its all-electric ‘Tesla Model 3 competitor’

Polestar, Volvo’s performance brand which has been relaunched as an electric brand, released the first image of its upcoming all-electric Polestar 2 sedan, which it describes as a Tesla Model 3 competitor.

When Volvo rebranded Polestar two years ago, it was off to a somewhat awkward but interesting start as it unveiled its first vehicle, the Polestar 1.

The car turned out to be a highly expensive plug-in hybrid, which quickly sounded outdated when the automaker announced that they would bring an all-electric “Tesla Model 3 competitor” to production a year later.

Polestar mentioned Tesla’s Model 3 by name in its press release, which is rare in the auto industry. They made it clear that they wanted to go after the vehicle, but it became confusing as we learned more about the car and it didn’t sound much like a Model 3 competitor.

CEO Thomas Ingenlath confirmed that it will be somewhat of a low volume car that will start at around €40,000 (~$49,300) and he pushed production to 2020.

Now Polestar says that it will unveil the Polestar 2 in the “coming weeks” and it released the first image of the vehicle:

With the image, Polestar also released a few features of the vehicle and again referenced the Tesla Model 3:

  • First full BEV from Polestar and the Volvo Car Group
  • ~300 miles of range (all final specs to be announced shortly)
  • ~400 HP (all final specs to be announced shortly)
  • Four-door “fastback” body type
  • World debut of the new Google Android HMI, which in turn is also the debut of the in-car version of Google Assistant
  • Will be sold in the Tesla Model 3 price range
  • Available on subscription, which will be a slightly more premium version of our sister brand’s Care by Volvo package, although we will honor/take cash sales

While they are sticking to the Model 3 comparison, they want to distance the vehicle from the “Tesla killer” narrative.

Earlier this year, Ingenlath said it’s not a “Tesla killer”, but it will compete with Tesla’s latest vehicle:

“We are not saying it’s a Tesla killer, we are here to vividly compete with them in the market. We will launch Polestar 2 in the second half of 2019 and production will begin around the start of 2020.”

In the new communication about the vehicle, Polestar now says that it will debut in the “coming weeks” and go into production “shortly after the long-range hybrid Polestar 1, which will enter production later this year.”

Electrek’s Take

I am actually pretty excited for the Polestar 2.

It’s really uncommon for an automaker to directly reference a competitor when launching a vehicle.

That said, if you are launching a new electric vehicle brand, Tesla should definitely be on top of your list when it comes to a brand you want to be competitive with.

Also, it plays right into Tesla’s mission to accelerate the advent of electric transport.

Again, I was disappointed with the Polestar 1 because I didn’t see how it made sense to make it a hybrid, but the vehicle itself is stunning, which is why I’m excited about what they did with the Polestar.

We should know in just a few weeks.

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