US-built 2023 Polestar 3 electric SUV previewed ahead of Oct. debut

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Polestar on Tuesday provided a first look at its Polestar 3 set for debut in October.

The Polestar 3 is a mid-size electric SUV twinned with Volvo’s upcoming electric successor to the XC90 (which may be called an Embla), and both are set to be built at Volvo’s plant in Charleston, South Carolina, where the Volvo S60 is currently built. Production will also be handled in China for that market.

Production is due to start in early 2023, which means we’ll likely see the vehicles arrive as 2023 models. Underpinning them is thought to be a version of Volvo’s SPA2 platform developed from the onset for electric vehicles but capable of supporting hybrid powertrains.

The two SUVs will have distinct styling, with the Polestar 3’s design clearly influenced by Polestar’s recent Precept concept (shown in video below) whereas the XC90 successor will more closely resemble Volvo’s Recharge concept. The Volvo is also expected to sport a flatter roof compared to the curved roof of the Polestar 3.

Both vehicles will offer a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system and enough battery capacity for over 300 miles of range, in addition to built-in lidar for a planned self-driving system for highways.

The Polestar 3 will be differentiated from its Volvo sibling by a greater emphasis on performance. In a 2021 interview with Motor Authority, Polestar Americas boss Gregor Hembrough said Polestar’s target is Porsche.

The Polestar 3 is expected to take aim at the Porsche Cayenne in particular, while following Polestar 4 and Polestar 5 models will target the upcoming electric Macan and Taycan, respectively, according to a 2021 presentation outlining the upcoming lineup. The Polestar name originated with an independent race team and tuning company that was later bought by Volvo, after all.

With the new models, Polestar wants to grow its sales ten-fold from approximately 29,000 units in 2021 to 290,000 by the end of 2025.

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