Polestar has teased its second all-new model for the very first time. The electric Polestar 2 saloon is expected to debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in March and will eventually rival the Tesla Model 3 when it goes on sale in 2020.
Volvo‘s all-electric performance sub-brand has already revealed the Polestar 1, a sleek 592bhp two-door coupe costing upwards of £130,000. The firm’s second car will be considerably cheaper, and is said to have the baby Tesla within its sights. No further details have been revealed, meaning we’ll have to wait a little longer for performance figures and official pricing information.
The single teaser image, released by Polestar on social media in January, shows nothing but a top-down view of the bootlid, which looks to have a small spoiler and a light bar stretching the entire width of the rear end. The darkened glass stretches to the very top of the picture, but it looks like the boot will hinge at the bottom – like it does on the conventional Volvo S60 and S90 saloons.
Polestar is a brand reborn and it doesn’t plan on wasting any time securing a place as a major player in the burgeoning global electric car market. From racing team and fettler of hot Volvos to a standalone EV performance brand in its own right, Polestar has evolved quickly.
Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s chief executive officer, explained: “Polestar 2 will join the competition with Tesla Model 3, so people should have an understanding of the size and the price tag as well. It will start around €40,000 (£35,000).”
That price range will top out at around £50,000 and for the money buyers will be getting a performance saloon built on Volvo’s new CMA platform. Although the Polestar 1 is a hybrid, utilising a bespoke version of the Volvo’s plug-in hybrid technology, Polestar 2 and every Polestar thereafter will be pure electric. Also, unlike the Polestar 1, the 2 will be available in right-hand drive.
The brand is targeting a 310-mile range for the Polestar 2, and the Polestar 3 coupe-SUV that will follow later, which would be competitive with the Tesla Model 3. But Ingenlath was keen to play down any plans to usurp Tesla. “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”.
The other area where the Polestar 2 is expected to diverge from the Polestar 1 is in the design department. Speaking at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Polestar’s chief operating officer Jonathan Goodman acknowledged that the Polestar 1 uses similar design themes to current Volvo models, before indicating that the ‘2’ would begin to establish Polestar’s own look; “On this car [Polestar 1] yes, but bear with us, you’ll see things gradually.”
Polestar will also underline its difference from Volvo in the way customers access its cars. As well as being able to buy the cars outright online or through one of Polestar’s 80 planned ‘Polestar Spaces’ in town centres and shopping hubs, the company will also sell its models through a subscription service. Buyers will pay a flat monthly fee that covers the cost of the car, servicing and insurance over a two- or three-year period. Once the contact is up the car is simply handed back to Polestar.
Ingenlath said: “In generations to come I can see they will not be happy to pay €60,000 on an object they have to sell again. The modern way is not to do that – there are better ways.
“The way you own a Polestar, we believe is appealing to people, as you have a much more precise idea of what it actually costs to own. It is a very clear and committed price per month and is hassle free.”
Once the car has been returned to Polestar the car is then sent out on a second subscription service, likely to be at a discounted price. “What happens after a second subscription is an open question. But even then they are not at their end, they still have a value; the cars are very easy to monitor where they are in their lifetime”, Ingenlath explained.
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