Polestar officially unveiled its first pure electric SUV, the Polaris 3, in Gothenburg, Sweden, and announced its pricing. The new vehicle includes two debut versions, the first being the top-of-the-line, and both debut versions come standard with a luxury package, an assistance package, Nappa leather upholstery, and more high-tech features. It is reported that Polestar 3 (Ask Price|Check Availability) will be the first to start production at the Chengdu plant in mid-2023, with the first deliveries expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023. The car will also make its Chinese debut at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2023.
The Polaris 3 is designed to be more Volvo-esque than previous Polaris models, with more elements of the Polaris brand identity, such as new twin-wing headlights, SmartZone, and front bypass wings. In addition, the new car features a new aerodynamic exterior design while focusing on retaining the classic features of the SUV, presenting a powerful, wide-body stance. This is mainly due to the subtle and efficient aerodynamic design, including the front bypass wing integrated into the front of the hood, the rear bypass wing integrated into the rear spoiler, and the rear airfoil.
The new car comes standard with 1.3-megapixel high-definition LED headlights, which constantly project light by adapting to the vehicle's surroundings. Using a camera to identify oncoming traffic on the road, the 1.3-megapixel component blocks the lights of oncoming traffic in front of the Polestar 3 to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers, while focusing the lights between the two vehicles. The system also automatically adjusts the intensity, size, and height of the light beam according to light and weather conditions as well as the speed of the car.
The entire body design is very clever, with the entire roof glass extending directly to the rear of the car and a spoiler at the rear, while the lower edge of the rear windows jerk upward at the C-pillar position to form a small triangular window, making the side design appear more lively. A beautiful waistline also leads out at the rear door, eventually meeting with the taillights, while the narrowed rear end also brings a better wind resistance coefficient.
The unique wheel design is somewhat reminiscent of previous Polaris sports cars, and Brembo yellow brake calipers can be seen inside. The doors feature hidden door handles and the rear of the vehicle will see the familiar Polaris family C-shaped through tail lights. In terms of dimensions, the new vehicle is 4900/2120/1627 mm in length, width and height respectively, with a wheelbase of 2985 mm.
The Polaris 3's interior continues the previous Scandinavian minimalist style, and according to officials, its materials are all made of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials, while significantly improving the luxury texture and touch. Interior materials include MicroTech, a bio-friendly material, leather certified to animal welfare standards, and fully traceable wool products. As with Polaris' commitment to full transparency in sustainability, Polaris will conduct a full Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the Polaris 3 from the time it goes into production.
The Polaris 3 will feature the native Android in-car system, an in-car operating system developed with Google, presented on a 14.5-inch center console. The Polaris 2 had been one of the first models in the world to feature the native Android in-car system, and the Polaris 3 evolves on top of that, revolutionizing the in-car functionality and HMI design. The standard OTA over-the-air (OTA) upgrade function allows users to upgrade the software and features of their vehicles without having to reach an offline store. In China, Polaris will also cooperate with Internet companies, such as KDDI, Gaode Map, Huawei App Market and NetEase Cloud Music, to provide a rich in-car connected experience.
The Polaris 3 is the brand's first model to use the NVIDIA DRIVE central processing unit (CPU) and apply the newly developed software system. The infotainment system will be based on Qualcomm's new generation "Snapdragon Digital Cockpit Platform". The Snapdragon Digital Chassis consists of a set of open and scalable cloud connectivity platforms, with the Snapdragon Digital Cockpit Platform as its core component, whose high computing performance will provide users with an immersive in-car experience, including high-definition displays, premium surround sound, and seamless connectivity with devices such as cell phones.
In terms of features, the Polestar 3 for the Chinese market debuts as the top-of-the-line, with all versions of the Polestar 3 coming standard with air suspension, panoramic sunroof, full LED lights inside and out, hidden door handles with proximity sensing and 21-inch alloy wheels. Both versions of the debut come standard with the Luxury Package and Assisted Driving Package, which includes a range of premium, luxury and convenience features such as a 25-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, Dolby Atmos surround sound, electric suction doors, a HUD head-up display system and Pilot Assist.
In terms of safety performance, Polaris 3 will apply a new generation of active and passive safety technology, including an innovative in-car radar sensor that accurately and sensitively monitors the tiniest sub-millimeter movements to prevent babies, toddlers, or pets from being accidentally locked inside the car. The system is also connected to the car's air conditioning system to avoid heat stroke or hypothermia in passengers.
In addition, Polaris partners specializing in automotive safety, such as Zenseact, Luminar, and Smart Eye, collaborate to develop advanced driver assistance systems. Thanks to the high computing power provided by Nvidia's central processor, numerous functions can be efficiently integrated. In terms of hardware, Polaris 3 comes standard with five radars, five external cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors. The SmartZone under the front bypass wing, which integrates multiple forward sensors, a millimeter wave radar with heating, and a camera, has now become a Polaris signature design.
Inside the car, Polaris 3 introduces Smart Eye advanced eye tracking technology for the first time, providing two closed-loop driver status monitoring cameras to assist in safer driving. These cameras monitor the driver's eyes and can send warning signals, and sounds and even trigger emergency braking functions when they detect distractions, drowsiness, etc.
The Assisted Driving Package with LIDAR (Pilot Pack) includes LIDAR from Luminar (currently not fitted in new vehicles, and is optional) and an additional control unit from NVIDIA, with the addition of three cameras, four ultrasonic sensors, and front and rear view camera cleaning functions that provide real-time detection of the vehicle's surroundings (especially for long distances). The vehicle can perform a more comprehensive 3D scan of its surroundings, helping to prepare for future autonomous driving. The package will be opened as an option at a later stage.
For the Chinese market, the first Polaris 3 is available in two versions: a dual-motor long-range version and a dual-motor high-performance version. Both versions are equipped with a dual-motor powertrain based on the rear motor. The dual-motor long-range version provides 360 kW of maximum power and 840 N-m of maximum torque. The dual-motor Performance version delivers 380 kW of maximum power and 910 N-m of maximum torque. Both versions come with an adjustable single-pedal mode as standard, and the rear axle is equipped with a dual-clutch electric torque vectoring system, originally developed for Polaris 1 and now newly upgraded for Polaris 3. In addition, the rear motor is also decoupled, allowing the car to run solely on the front motor in order to reduce power consumption in certain situations.
The new car is equipped with a high-capacity 111kWh battery pack, giving the Polaris 3 dual-motor long-range version a target range of 670km (CLTC conditions). The lithium battery is a prismatic cell housed in a protective aluminum case with boron steel reinforcement and liquid cooling. The battery pack comes standard with a heat pump system to help the Polaris 3 utilize ambient heat for temperature regulation and battery pre-treatment. The Polaris 3 is also equipped with bi-directional charging and discharging capabilities, with the potential for inter-vehicle network charging and external discharging in the future.
The Polaris 3 will also come standard with an adaptive dual-chamber air suspension and active dampers, enabling the vehicle to dynamically adjust from a comfortable state to a sporty driving state, flexibly adjusting the softness and stiffness of the dampers to adapt to different road conditions by adjusting the dampers at a frequency of every two milliseconds (500 Hz).
It has been several years since the birth of the Polaris brand, and now it is finally launching a more sellable SUV with excellent performance and luxury features to showcase its brand's charm in full. Officially, the Polaris 3 will be the starting point, and Polaris plans to launch one new all-electric product each year for the next three years and increase the number of global sales markets to 30 by the end of 2023. 2021 will see Polaris sell close to 29,000 units worldwide, and by the end of 2025, Polaris' global annual sales are expected to double tenfold to approximately 290,000 units. As for the starting price of 880,000 yuan, it is still a wait-and-see attitude to see whether the Polaris brand will be favored by consumers in terms of its domestic popularity, and it is expected that a low and medium version will be launched subsequently to lower the price threshold and make the Polaris 3 more popular.
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