Volvo's first all-electric car, the Polestar 2, broke cover overnight and shows how the Swedes will seek to juice up the electric mainstream market.
Starting at US$63,000 – priced to take on the Tesla Model 3 – the five-seat fastback comes with all-wheel drive and will hit 100km/h in less than five seconds, according to Polestar officials.
Its two electric motors and an optional 78kW/hr battery capacity will enable a driving range of 500 kilometers.
Exterior design cues include tiny individual LED pixels that make up the overall shape of the headlight as well as 'proximity' lighting, which engages lights outside and inside the car as the owner approaches with the key fob.
Frameless side mirrors and a panoramic glass roof with the Polestar logo reflected onto it from just underneath will also help distinguish the sedan from the likes of Tesla and co.
Compared with the electric Porsche Taycan, which looks rounded – like a cross between a Panamera and a Cayman – the Polestar 2 is more square around the edges. After all, it is a Volvo.
While details regarding the interior remain limited, voice control and an 11-inch touchscreen display will come standard.
The dashboard is expected to be as bare as the one in the Model 3, which seems to be the going thing among premium electric family cars...
... which the Polestar 2 wants to be, hence the two doors and four seats.
Polestar has also announced that this will be the first car to have Google’s Android platform as the basis of its infotainment system, though it will still be enabled with Apple CarPlay as well, among other technologies.
Volvo is also shaking up the way the Polestar is sold, intending to sell only via an Internet 'boutique' after eager customers visit a no-commission boutique to test it out.
It’s a sales model that - you guessed it – Tesla pioneered, rather than using traditional car showrooms and dealerships, and that Polestar is now iterating upon with all-inclusive pricing that combines costs such as insurance and maintenance into a single monthly payment.
“We know already today that people do the majority of their buying research and shape their opinions on the net. explains Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. "They do not come three or four times to the dealer."
“I’m very optimistic that people will buy cars online rather than in the showroom, where you might suspect yourself being overwhelmed in the situation, rather than purchasing one in the privacy of your own home where you do your final click.”
Ingenlath declined to give exact numbers but says the global target production volume for the Polestar 2 will be from 50,000 to 100,000 units sold annually. China will be the biggest market, followed by Europe and North America.
The Polestar 2 is set for public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in early March. It follows the Polestar 1 hybrid coupe and precedes a Polestar 3 electric SUV anticipated by 2021. Production will begin in China in 2020.