Polestar leans on tech edge for its sporty, powerful and very coupe-looking Polestar 3 SUV

Derryn Wong

Swedish electric vehicle Polestar 3 large SUV brings serious tech and performance to the EV party to challenge the German hegemony. Expected in Singapore in late 2023

  • This is a breaking story and will be updated with more information
  • Polestar’s first SUV is a ‘full’ luxury offering, positioned against German lux brands
  • iX/EQE/Cayenne competitor, expected to cost from S$450k, arrival late 2023
  • ‘Coupe-iest’ coupe-SUV design to stand out from a crowded e-SUV segment
  • 510hp, advanced chassis and torque vectoring system, Performance Pack optional
  • 111kwh battery, 600km range, 250kW fast charging rate
  • Nvidia centralised computing, advanced sensors and AI bolster safety
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon processing for smart, Google-powered infotainment
We walk you through the Polestar 3 outside and in

Copenhagen, Denmark
Swedish electric vehicle (EV) company Polestar revealed its first production SUV, the Polestar 3, which claims high-performance and lots of novel technology, to the world today at an unveiling event here.

With up to 510hp from dual motors, advanced chassis tech, and onboard computing/AI technology to enhance its overall performance, Polestar is positioning the car as a full luxury/high-performance product. Polestar Singapore says the car is on track for a launch in late 2023 in Singapore, and by CarBuyer’s estimate, the car should cost around S$450k with a COE.

Click here to see our photos from the launch site at Copenhagen

The brand’s first car was the stunning Polestar 1 grand tourer, that was a 1,500 unit limited production car and only sold in left-hand drive, and its current Polestar 2 sedan occupying the nebulous ‘semi-luxury’ space alongside/against the Tesla Model 3.

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - Exterior photo

The Polestar 3 will be sold globally, and it’s significant as Polestar’s first proper venture into the luxury space against stiff competition from luxury German automakers Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche. But the P3 looks to gain an edge over the competition through the use, and application of advanced computing technology in many aspects of its performance.

“Polestar 3 is a powerful electric SUV that appeals to the senses with a distinct, Scandinavian design and excellent driving dynamics,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. In remarks to the press, he said it will be sportier than Tesla’s Model Y, and an aspirational car in the vein a Porsche Cayenne is.

The P3 has cars like the Audi E-Tron S, Mercedes-EQ EQE SUV, and the (soon-to-be-fully-electrified) Porsche Cayenne square in its sights. In fact, with Porsche’s model timing, both cars could land in Singapore at the same time, setting the stage for a 2024 showdown.

Global production for the Polestar 3 will begin mid-2023 in Chengdu, China, with the first global deliveries in late 2023, with cars also to built in South Carolina, USA. As mentioned, Singapore will receive its first Polestar 3 shipments in late 2023, likely a result of the later scheduling of a right-hand drive production. The standard Polestar 3, the Long Range Dual Motor variant, will start at EUR89,900. Our estimated price for Singapore has the car starting at S$450k. 

Driving Polestar’s 2 Long Range Dual Motor in Singapore – better than a Tesla? We tell you…

Design: The coupe-iest coupe SUV to date?

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - Exterior photo

We’ve had the fear that EVs may all end up looking like they sound (the same) but Polestar 3 proves us wrong in the first bit, at least. The P3 has immediate presence, and is genuinely-exciting to look at.

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - side view

Polestar’s design language continues to mature, and the P3 shows off the company’s increasing confidence. The front sees a dramatic blended wing (where the badge sits), a racy, technical detail that echoes motorsport. The rear end sees a sporty twist, with Polestar’s signature crook-ed lightbar now framed by shoulder-like projections that imply athleticism.

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - front wing sensor camera
Front end under the bonnet features an aerodynamic wing element

While Polestar dubs this an SUV, the P3 actually looks more like a high-riding wagon or GT than a tall soft-roader. In person, the car’s presence sits much more on the fastback/coupe than boxy SUV end of the design scale. The benefits are obvious: A lower centre of gravity for better handling, and better aero – only 0.29Cd – for less drag and more range. In contrast, a typical large luxury SUV usually rings in at around 0.35Cd.

Notably, the car’s rear end flows neatly into a rectangular – rather than square – hatch back, while the C and D pillars are almost blended into each other in an extremely coupe-style treatment, much like Citroen’s C4 sort-SUV. The usual trick of the darked-out lower section makes electric SUVs seem less boxy, but the P3 almost doesn’t need it.

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - rear 3/4 view
Do you see an SUV or a high-riding fastback wagon?

Here’s a curveball: While, on paper, a big SUV should actually mean the P3 competes with the Porsche Cayenne, Polestar’s unique design implies the car’s real competitor could actually be the Taycan Cross Turismo.

Its footprint is big SUV (think Cayenne, X5), but it’s relatively low to the ground. It’s not as low-slung as the Taycan Cross Turismo (1,407mm), but it is the lowest-running large ‘SUV’ around, far closer to the ground ay 1,627mm than the BMW X6 (1,702mm) or Audi Q8 (1,705mm) large coupe SUVs.

The tradeoff for good looks, aero, and lower stance, is less boot space. The P3 has much less boot space than taller SUVs – just 484-1,411-litres compared to the Q8’s 645-1,610-litres. There is a frunk with 25-litres.

Merc’s biggest EV to date, the EQS has a range of more than 500km – and we TESTED IT.

Interior: Minimalist luxury

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - interior seat sport seat

The P3 opts for more restraint on the interior, which is just as well since too much drama getting in the way of real life would prove its Scandic-design ethos as false.

A sizeable 14.5-inch infotainment touchscreen dominates the center console, it’s more like a smartphone than ever, for better or worse: Like the Polestar 2 it’s portrait oriented, and runs on Google’s Android Automotive OS.

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - steering wheel infotainment

Like a smartphone, it’s also powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon computing platform (branded the Snapdragon Digital Chassis) to enable ‘high-definition displays, premium quality surround sound and seamless connectivity throughout the vehicle.’

On the inside is one cool feature you can’t see: Radar sensors that can detect ‘sub-millimetre’ movements of pets or children, so the car can warn you, or run the climate control to avoid disaster. Tesla already has a ‘pet mode’, though you have to engage it manually.

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - touchscreen 14.5-inch
14.5-inch updated infotainment system runs on Snapdragon processing, and is powered by Google

The P3 is positioned as a luxury car, so the options list will have premium features, though in Polestar’s pared-down approach the choices are offered in packs rather than the bewildering and extensive lists seen in industry. For example the Plus Pack (equipment), Pilot Pack (safety), and the Performance Pack (performance).

For Singapore, as well as the rest of the world, the Pilot Pack and Plus Pack are standard. The Performance Pack should be, like is it with the Polestar 2, a cost option – we’re guessing around S$20k.

The Bowers and Wilkins sound system features 1,610 watts, 25 speakers including this tweeter and a ‘clean-air’ subwoofer, plus Dolby Atmos surround sound.

According to Polestar, the Plus Pack includes: Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound, bio-attributed MicroTech or animal welfare wool seats, 21” 5-V spoke black diamond cut alloy wheels, heated rear seats, and more.

Sustainable and ethical choices for the interior like animal welfare proven leather, and non-petroleum based pleather

The P3 doesn’t skimp on interior wellness either. Besides being zero tailpipe emissions, it has an air purifying system which cycles the cabin’s 3,000-litres every minute. As mentioned, the uplholstery can be speced as wool from approved animal-welfare controlled source or recycled polyester Microtech fibre. The more luxurious option is Nappa leather (above), again fully traced and sourced with animal welfare in mind.

Another benefit of Polestar’s pared-down approach when it comes to options is that the spec of Singapore-bound Polestar 3 models is already known – you can see it on Polestar’s website now.

German EVs don’t have to be expensive and posh

Technology & Safety

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - front wing sensor
Lidar sensor resides under the front wing with camera and radar sensors

In Volvo/Polestar tradition, the P3 is likely to be one of the most comprehensive cars on the market when it comes to safety. While Volvo has consistently pushed the envelope for safety systems for much of its existence, Polestar is doing so by integrating ‘name brand’ computing and tech to achieve higher safety performance.

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - front view

It will have a very fast, powerful processor from Nvidia, tying together (advanced driver assist systems) ADAS software from Zenseact, which will be taught how to better see the world through Smart Eye’s AI, and will do it with LIDAR systems from Luminar. Zenseact is Volvo’s (also Polestar’s parent company) ADAS (autonomous driver assistance systems) software offshoot. Luminar specialises in LIDAR technology, which the Polestar 3 will use to be able to ‘see’ the world better, while Smart Eye is a ‘Human Insight AI’ tech specialist.

2023 Polestar 3 Long Range Dual Motor - CarBuyer Singapore - wide view

Simply put, Polestar is saying the P3 is a car that can see better, ’think’ and react faster, when it comes to safety. Standard on the P3 are five radars, five cameras, and 12 ultrasonic sensors, but this can be expanded further with the optional Pilot Pack. That adds the aforementioned LIDAR from Luminar, the Nvidia control unit, an extra three cameras and four ultrasonic sensors, and cleaning for the front and rear cameras too.

The kicker here is that this isn’t just to provide better safety systems but also to prepare the car for self-driving.

Page 2: How the Polestar 3 aims to upset the electric performance SUV balance

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high-performance large luxury polestar Polestar 3 SUV

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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