Volvo’s Model 3-fighting Polestar 2 will debut mid-2019
The larger Polestar 3 will arrive a couple years after that.
Steven EwingFormer managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Though still very much in its infancy,
brand has big plans for the future. The Volvo S90-based Polestar 1 launches next year. It's a hybrid performance coupe with 600 horsepower, of which only 500 will be built annually. It's Polestar's halo car. What comes after, however... that's for the masses.
The follow-up model will be called the Polestar 2, and it's expected to cost around €40,000 (about $50,000 based on current exchange rates). It'll debut in mid-2019, right as the Polestar 1 hits the market. And while the Polestar 1 coupe will be a small-volume car, Polestar is estimating around 60,000 sales annually for the 2, globally. Speaking to
at Volvo's headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath confirmed the 2 will be built on an electrified version of Volvo's new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). That's the platform that underpins the company's new XC40 crossover. We can't tell you exactly what it'll look like, but let's just say it's not an accident that we've illustrated this story with photos of the Volvo's 2016 40.2 Concept.
Ingenlath says Volvo Cars' two new electric vehicle architectures will debut with Polestar models. "We will do this with CMA with Polestar 2." Beyond that, "[Polestar] will do this with the electric architecture of SPA 2," he says. "This will be the Polestar 3 bringing this first into the market."
Yes, Polestar 3. A vehicle coming a few years after Polestar 2, this third model will use a new (and electrified) version of the SPA modular platform. We can't tell you what it looks like, but considering the current SPA architecture underpins the S90, V90 and XC90, that should give you a rough idea of its general size.
"Everything around electro-mobility will be pioneered within Polestar," Ingenlath says.
For now, our first taste of Polestar's electro-mobile, high-performance future arrives next year. The Polestar 1 uses a modified version of the S90 T8's twin-engine hybrid powerplant, but with a pair of electric motors mounted at the rear axle, each of which drives an individual rear wheel. But Ingenlath assures us, Polestar isn't just an EV arm for parent company Volvo.
"It's not just about changing a tuner brand that we had into, you know, something that we glue now under our electric Volvos," Ingenlath says. "They're not just electric Volvos. They stand for something different."
Volvo previews smaller, more affordable 40 Series with two concepts (pictures)