Polestar 3 luxury EV pricing, specification confirmed for New Zealand

David Linklater
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Polestar will go from a single model towards being a fully realised luxury battery electric vehicle (BEV) brand in the second half of this year, with the launch of the Polestar 3 SUV in New Zealand. It will sit above the more mainstream Polestar 2... well above.

As predicted by DRIVEN last year, Kiwi prices for the 3 will start in the $150k bracket ($154,900) for the long-range dual motor, rising to $169,900 for the same model with Performance Pack. That makes it a natural rival for the Audi e-tron, BMW iX and Jaguar I-Pace (and twice as expensive as the current Polestar 2!). It's available for order now online, with cars set to arrive in the second half of the year and customer deliveries ramping up from the start of 2024.

Polestar says the 3 has been designed around a complete specification, with "a few options for easy configuration". All versions include air suspension, panoramic glass roof, LED lighting, retractable door handles with proximity sensing and 21-inch alloy wheels.

The Plus Pack and Pilot Pack will be standard for the first model year and include a 25-speaker audio system from Bowers & Wilkins with 3D surround sound and Dolby Atmos capability, soft-closing doors, head-up display and Pilot Assist.

The dual-motor configuration, with bias towards the rear, produces 360kW/840Nm. With the Performance Pack, output is 380kW/910Nm.

Adjustable one-pedal drive is included, as well as an electric Torque Vectoring Dual Clutch function on the rear axle – an evolution of technology first developed for the Polestar 1 hybrid coupe. A decoupling function is also available for the rear electric motor, allowing the car to run only on the front electric motor to save energy.

The 111kWh battery pack provides Polestar 3 with range of up to 610km (WLTP, preliminary). A heat pump is standard, meaning ambient heat can be used for climate and battery preconditioning. Polestar 3 is also equipped for bidirectional charging, enabling future potential for vehicle-to-grid and plug-and-charge capabilities.

Polestar 3 features a total of five radar modules, five external cameras and twelve external ultrasonic sensors to support its active safety features. The SmartZone below the front aero wing collects several of the forward-facing sensors, a heated radar module and camera, and will become a signature Polestar design feature going forward.

Inside, two closed-loop driver monitoring cameras enable eye tracking technology. The cameras monitor the driver’s eyes and can trigger warning messages, sounds and even an emergency stop function when detecting a distracted, drowsy or disconnected driver.

Polestar 3 is also the first car in the world to feature four interior radar sensors, capable of detecting sub-millimetre movements in the cabin to help protect against accidentally leaving children or pets inside. The system is also linked to the climate control system to help avoid heat stroke or hypothermia.

Android Automotive OS is the in-car operating system, controlled via a 14.5-inch centre display. Co-developed with Google, it is an evolution of the system in Polestar 2.

Following on from Polestar 2, which was the first vehicle globally to use Blockchain technology to trace the cobalt used in its batteries, Polestar is expanding its partnership with traceability partner, Circulor, and says it will use Blockchain to trace cobalt, lithium, mica, nickel and leather in Polestar 3.

It also says a complete life-cycle assessment (LCA) will be completed on the car when production begins. 

There are three upholstery alternatives: animal welfare-secured Nappa leather, bio-attributed MicroTech vinyl, and animal welfare certified wool. 

Made from renewable vinyl and recycled polyester textile, MicroTech is a vegan alternative to leather and comes as standard. Polestar claims that the Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) often used for vegan upholstery is a "multi-purpose plastic commonly made from fossil resources", whereas its MicroTech upholstery is made with "100 per cent fossil-free, bio-attributed PVC, in which the crude oil component has been replaced with pine oil from certified renewable sources".

The wool upholstery is made from animal welfare-certified yarn that comes from farms with a "responsible approach to managing their lands and animals". The yarn contains 80 per cent certified wool and 20 per cent recycled content.

Available as an option, Nappa leather, produced by Bridge of Weir, is "100 per cent traceable, chrome-free, and animal welfare secured". The hides are a by-product of the food industry and sourced from the UK and Ireland.

Polestar will continue to fill out its range in the years to come. A lower-powered, less-expensive 2WD version of the 3 is possible for the future, but there will definitely be be a smaller SUV to plug the gap between the 2 and 3: the 4.

Polestar has undertaken to launch a new BEV every year, so expect to see the 4 SUV revealed this year (making it a possible 2024-25 launch for NZ). It’ll be the first Polestar to be based on a bespoke platform – not to be shared with part-owner Volvo (the Polestar 3 shares its underpinnings with the forthcoming Volvo EX90 BEV). And don't forget about the 6 roadster.

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