Polestar 3: Polestar presents "the future of the SUV" - and makes BMW competition

Sometimes at automotive world premieres you learn a lot about the actors that you didn't expect - for example that Polestar boss Thomas Ingenlath is apparently a hippie at heart.

Polestar 3: Polestar presents "the future of the SUV" - and makes BMW competition

Sometimes at automotive world premieres you learn a lot about the actors that you didn't expect - for example that Polestar boss Thomas Ingenlath is apparently a hippie at heart. There is no other explanation for the fact that "Age of Aquarius", the anthem of the flower power generation, ran several times when the new Polestar 3 was presented. The electric crossover is a project close to Thomas Ingenlath's heart. It's the first car designed from the first sketch to be a Polestar rather than a Volvo derivative. That doesn't change the fact that the Swedish-Chinese electric SUV shares the second stage of development of Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA II) with the Volvo EX90, which will appear next year.

The first Polestar to be based on the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) will be the Polestar 4 - i.e. the production version of the Precept concept. After that, the Polestar 5, a four-door GT, and the e-roadster Polestar 6 will get the new bonded aluminum architecture. But that doesn't mean that the Polestar 3 uses outdated technology - on the contrary. "The Polestar 3 is the future of the SUV in the electric age," says Thomas Ingenlath, explaining in the same breath that space is the new premium. That's why the e-crossover has no third row of seats, despite a wheelbase of 2.98 meters, but gives this space to the passengers. So that they always feel well entertained, 25 loudspeakers plus three for the Polestar 3 driving sound with 1,750 watts provide the necessary acoustic atmosphere.

The all-wheel drive Polestar 3 will be available from dealers at the end of 2023 and will cost at least 89,900 euros with 489 hp and a torque of 840 Newton meters. If you install the Performance Pack for an extra 6,600 euros, you get 27 hp and 70 Nm of torque on top. Then the 2.670 kg crossover manages to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds (instead of 5.0 seconds) and has a top speed of 210 km/h. For comparison: The BMW iX xDrive 50 has 523 hp, costs at least 102,500 euros and reaches country road speed after 4.6 seconds. Both competitors are also almost identical in terms of battery capacity and range: the batteries in the BMW have a capacity of 111.5 kilowatt hours and take the Bavarian crossover up to 630 kilometers. In the Polestar 3, 204 prismatic cells are grouped into 17 modules, resulting in a capacity of 111 kWh and a range of around 610 WLTP kilometers.

Under the handsome shell of the 4.90 meter long Swedish-Chinese crossover is a lot of high-tech. The cerebrum that processes the data from the sensors and cameras to support autonomous driving functions comes from the American hardware specialists Nvidia, who also work with various other car manufacturers, including Audi and Mercedes. The Swabian premium brand even wants to offer software packages for automated driving together with the Americans from 2024. So it fits into the picture that the Polestar and Volvo mother Geely is a shareholder in the star brand.

Automated driving functions play a major role in the Polestar 3 anyway. The e-crossover is equipped with five radar modules, five cameras and twelve ultrasonic sensors as standard. Similar to Nio, Polestar integrates tech into design. Instead of the grille, the e-SUV has the so-called Smart Zone, which combines several forward-facing sensors, a heated radar module and a camera in one element. Inside the Polestar 3, two Smarteye cameras monitor the driver. From the second quarter of next year, the Swedes will be offering the "Pilot Pack", which is necessary to implement Level 3 autonomous driving. The technology upgrade consists of an additional Nvidia control unit, a Luminar LIDAR radar, three more cameras, four ultra sensors to obtain 3D images of the environment.

For the infotainment, Polestar has brought the second American silicon chip giant on board, Qualcomm, which is contributing the latest evolutionary stage of its "Snapdragon Digital Chassis", which also includes cloud services. The computing power is used to project high-resolution graphics onto the 14.5-inch central display and to ensure smooth connectivity. As with Volvo, Google uses its Android Auto software to provide the graphics, including navigation via Google Maps. The updates are of course wireless.

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