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EV SUVs are finally getting some serious style that goes beyond the usual EV clues, like a flat grille and funky wheels. Cadillac launched the new Lyric SUV as the brand’s flagship EV SUV and gave it modern styling that could earn it a place in the MoMa. But, the new Polestar brand doesn’t want to let the flashy new Lyriq steal all the parking spaces at the next Met Gala and this week launched the Polestar 3, a stylish Swedish take on a luxury EV.

But which should you take to the next Chinati Foundation fundraiser? Well, that depends on if your tastes are more avant-garde or Bauhaus.

Both of these SUVs bring some Tate Modern details to their interiors

Starting with the Lyriq, when you turn it on, a reverse image graphic of a Lyric shows up and disappears on the curved 33-inch screen surrounded by vertical bars. Very cool. It also adds touches to the interior like lighted wood panels on the doors with dots that look like a flying flock of birds. And, while you can’t see it well in photographs, the Lyriq’s front armrest juts out over a blue wireless charger like a dock on a Frank Lloyd-Wright home.

The Polestar leans on its Swedish Volvo-based heritage and takes a distinct Swedish turn with its five-seat interior. The seats are slim, rounded, and form-fitting like Finn Juhl’s chairs from the 1960s. Where the Caddy has buttons, the Polestar just points a 13.25-inch screen at the driver. It’s an exercise in sustainable minimalism. Even the air vent is just a large bar, that whispers “classy,” not yells it.

Polestar 3 or Lyriq? It’s sci-fi LEDs vs. sharply-creased steel

Cadillac seems to have been inspired by some 1970s Sci-Fi, or the 1970s British Jensen Interceptor sports car (check one out at Hot Cars) with its clamshell-like rear liftgate. Instead of boring headlights, the Lyriq’s are a pair of vertical LED beams set far apart, like bridge trusses across the light-up black grille. Even the door handles are flush with the body, and you push (not pull) them to open the doors.

The Polestar leans on the brand’s racing heritage and cleverly incorporates a front wing into the hood, giving it a hint of a Formula 1 car. The red-led-inset winglets at the back force the perspective to give it a wide tromp l’oeil effect of a wider stance. While Cadillac had to work within the confines of an SUV platform that will be shared with other brands, the Polestar 3 seems to be all new in every simple crease.  

Both have more than 500 horsepower

Sure, these two are great-looking SUVs, however if they can’t get you there, what’s the point? The Lyriq gets a 102-kWh battery pack and comes in two- or four-wheel drive. Its two versions offer either 340 horsepower, up to 500 horsepower and up to 312 miles on a charge. Delivers of Lyrics have started, and prices start at $62,990.

The Polestar 3 comes from Volvo’s high-performance arm, and equally packs in up to 517 horsepower. The Polestar 3 isn’t cheap, however if you want to make a statement this could be the right piece. It starts at $83,900 with a long-range dual motor package or $89,900 with the performance pack. Deliveries will start in 2023.


What Is Polestar and What Does Polestar Make?