The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Polestar — the performance-oriented luxury brand recently created by Volvo parent company Geely — is preparing to unveil its second model. It named its first car “1,” so few will be surprised to learn that its second car is called “2.” Luckily, this battery-powered sedan sounds like it will be a lot more captivating than its unimaginative name suggests.

The Polestar 1 evolved from a Volvo concept car, and it’s packing a high-performance plug-in hybrid powertrain rated at approximately 600 horsepower. The 2 could also trace its roots to a recent Volvo-badged design study, but it will stand out as the first series-produced electric car sold by the group. Built on a modular platform, its battery pack will hold enough electricity to deliver roughly 300 miles of range, and its electric motor will zap the drive wheels with 400 horsepower. Polestar will release full specifications in the near future.

The firm describes the 2 as a four-door fastback. It released teaser images that intentionally hide the car’s overall design; all they confirms is that the rear end gets a light bar, a styling cue quickly making a comeback in automotive design, and Volvo-esque rear lights. Insiders have previously suggested the 2 will borrow numerous styling cues from the 40.2 concept introduced at Volvo’s Gothenburg, Sweden, headquarters in 2016. If that’s the case, it will ride a little bit higher than a conventional, three-box sedan like the S60 unveiled in 2018. Increasing the ride height facilitates the task of integrating a bulky battery pack into the chassis, and it allows stylists to pen a distinctive, segment-bending design.

The Android-powered, touchscreen-based infotainment system announced by Volvo will make its debut in the 2 and later spread to other Polestar and Volvo models. The firm released a demo of the software in January 2019 for smartphones and tablets. Our initial impressions are that it’s highly intuitive to use, feature-rich, and uncluttered. Every icon, menu, and function is located in a logical place. The demo included a fun minigame named Polestar Space Warp in which the 2 gets rocket engines and shoots missiles at rival aliens, but a Polestar spokesperson told Digital Trends that this feature won’t be included in the production version. On a more serious note, the in-car version of Google Assistant will appear in the 2 for the first time.

Polestar will fully reveal the 2 online on February 27 (it will stream the full event on its YouTube channel) and it will show the car shortly after at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. Production will begin in late 2019 or early 2020, though Polestar hasn’t revealed where it will build the model. The 1 will be made in a new facility located in China. The firm will offer its first electric car through a more upmarket evolution of the Care by Volvo subscription service. Motorists who don’t like the idea of subscribing to a car will be able to buy it for roughly the price of a Tesla Model 3, a statement that clearly announces Polestar’s intent. Whether that’s a reference to the long-promised, entry-level $35,000 version of the Model 3 we haven’t seen yet or the more expensive variants that have been in production since 2018 remains to be seen.

Updated February 15, 2019: Added information about the Polestar 2’s debut date.

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