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The Polestar 2 EV Puts Tesla Model 3 on Notice

Is this the (An)droid you’re looking for?

Aimed explicitly at the Tesla Model 3, and looking like it has its scope calibrated well enough to score a direct hit, the new Polestar 2 has just dropped. Following on the heels of the stunning but much more exclusive Polestar 1, the 2 promises a broader buyer base thanks to its more approachable price.

Starting at $63,000 before federal and other possible tax incentives in the U.S., and with a subscription pricing plan to be announced at a later date, the Polestar 2 slots in toward the upper end of the Model 3 cost spectrum. But the basic specs suggest that there’s value to justify the price. It has 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque and will scoot from zero to 60 mph in a claimed time of “less than five seconds.” Öhlins dampers are standard, as are Brembo brakes and 20-inch wheels. The 78-kWh battery pack promises a “targeted range” of 275 miles per EPA test standards, and an optional vegan interior gives the Polestar 2 an even greater air of social consciousness than its battery pack.

If you’re looking at the Polestar 2 and thinking to yourself, “Hey, that looks an awful lot like the Volvo 40.2 Concept!”, congratulations, you’ve just achieved a mind meld with us. The tallish stance may not please everyone, but it’s likely the only way to make a three-box design relevant in a world where another sedan fades into history seemingly by the minute. Inside, the newest Polestar’s Volvo roots bleed through a bit, but the pleasant minimalism and larger display manage to carve out some identity, too. For a more in-depth look at the Polestar 2’s design, keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming By Design from our resident design expert, Robert Cumberford.

For the software-side tech heads, the Polestar 2 is more than just another sleek, stylish, and quick luxury EV: It’s the first implementation of Google’s Android as the backbone of the car’s entire infotainment system. While Polestar hasn’t detailed the full scope of the platform, it does suggest that integration into the car at a level deeper than Android Auto will enable more functionality around core Google products like Maps, Assistant, and even the Play store. The Android-based infotainment system is accessed and controlled through an 11.0-inch touchscreen display.

Bundle the embedded Android experience with the phone-as-key feature—which lets owners, well, use their phones as their keys, but also enables car sharing and Polestar’s pick-up and delivery services—and things get even more interesting. The Polestar 2 can then sense when the driver is approaching (as long as they have their phone) and prepare for departure by displaying relevant information like charging status and remaining range even before the driver enters the cabin.

The Polestar 2 is available for preorder now, and will arrive in its launch markets of the U.S., China, Canada, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom shortly after production kicks off in early 2020.

 

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