Polestar, the eco-performance brand spun out of Volvo and owned by Geely, is forming a beachhead in the U.S. And not just with imported vehicles like the (now discontinued) Polestar 1 and the (currently in production, with new upcoming variants) Polestar 2, but now with a manufacturing footprint and an upcoming EV. The Polestar 3 SUV will be built in Volvo’s Ridgeville, South Carolina factory, the company announced today.
You can see the 3 hiding under a form-revealing, semi-translucent sheet—revealing a rakish roofline and sharp, aggressive nose, but frustratingly not much else. Polestar calls it an “aerodynamic electric performance SUV,” which hints at a high-riding but car-like crossover. Think Ford Mustang Mach-E or Tesla Model Y, but with the sleek and ultra-modern Scandinavian style that has come to define Polestar.
What it is not is a production version of the Precept Concept, which was more definitively a car and will probably go into production later as, we think, the Polestar 4. The Polestar 3 will likely crib some lines and stylistic details from the Precept, since that concept is a self-declared “vision of the brand’s future” as the brand tries to define itself in relation to better-known Volvo.
The South Carolina plant currently builds the S60 and will build the next-generation XC90 in the near future. The upcoming XC90 will utilize Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture 2 platform, which supports fully electric powertrains. That’s the platform that underpins the Polestar 3, hence the rational decision to put its production line next to its XC90 sibling.
We probably don’t have to tell you that a crossover SUV is going to be of extreme importance given the demand here in the U.S., even if Polestar is an emerging player and the brand—and EVs in general—competes in a niche segment. That’s changing as more automakers turn from small compliance EVs—basically, low-cost economy cars converted to electric power—to those aimed at a general audience, with the range, form factor, and styling to compete with consumer SUVs on a level playing field. We’ll be keen to see how the Polestar 3 looks (and is priced)—and how the fact that it’s built in America might influence potential buyers. Production should start sometime in 2022.
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