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What does Polestar make? We won’t be shocked if you haven’t heard of Polestar. But this electric car manufacturer isn’t a startup, in fact, it’s roots are with Volvo’s racing cars, and its vehicles are built in China by Geely. The hipsters in L.A. are clamoring to get their hands on these EVs because they combine many of the features of Volvos, like sleek new-age styling, incredibly sparse but modern interiors, and potent powerplants.

What is Polestar and how did it start?

Volvo Polestar race car on a circuit
A Polestar Racing V8 Supercar in 2015 | Thananuwat Srirasant, Getty Images

Polestar is, basically, Volvo. The brand started as a racing team that focused on making Volvo race cars that generally competed in international race series. In the U.S., we know Volvo cars as staid, safe, slow, subtle vehicles that blend in. Polestar tried to change that image and competed in the Swedish Touring Car Championship and other race series with bright-blue painted cars, often seen in Valvoline livery.

However, when Volvo wanted to start competing with BMW’s M series cars and Mercedes’s AMG vehicles, it started making Polestar-branded high-performance vehicles. Many enthusiasts will remember the C30 Polestar that turned the humble little hatchback into a track monster.

Polestar became its own company in 2017

A silver Polestar2 in a showroom
2022 Polestar2 | Polestar

However, all of that changed in 2017, when it was established as a standalone Swedish premium electric vehicle company, according to Geely. Racers founded Polestar, Volvo Cars acquired it, and then its new owner, China’s Geely Holding. Geely bought Volvo in 2010 and later acquired Smart Automobile and Lotus Group. The idea was to take the high-performance brand and spin it off into its own high-performance EV brand. That’s why many of the Polestars you see on the road kind of look like Volvos.

What else does Polestar make?

A Polestar2, left, and Polestar 1 parked
Polestar2 and Polestar1 | Polestar

Polestar makes two vehicles today as the the Polestar 1’s lmited production ended. Today, the Polestar 2 sedan and the upcoming Polestar 3 round out its offerings. The Polestar 1 was a two-door coupe that became the halo car for the brand, with a svelte body and a $150,000 price tag. Polestar 1 made 619 horsepower from its hybrid drivetrain and competed with special sports cars, like the Porsche 911, before its production ended last year.

Polestar 2 looks more like a Volvo sedan, but it has EV touches like a blank grille and smoother styling. But, it’s tall, like a crossover, and it has a hatchback. You can order it in a single-motor version, for about $50,000, and a very quick dual-motor version that makes 408 horsepower for about $54,000. It also comes in a long-range version that starts at $58,000.

The new Polestar 3 is the new SUV

A white Polestar3 SUV
Polestar3 SUV | Polestar

Polestar miffed many by not launching the brand with an SUV, which is the fastest growing segment. But, after several years of waiting, the details have finally emerged on the sustainable Polestar 3 SUV. It starts at $83,900 with a long-range dual motor package or $89,900 with the performance pack. It comes in six colors, and like the sedan, gets the minimalist treatement. Its minimalist cabin is dominated by one horizontal vent that runs the length of the dash and one giant touchscreen. Just like a Tesla.

The EV roadster Polestar 6 should be on its way soon, too. Polestar showed off the concepts for this car, which should take on some of the world’s best sports cars when it comes to the market. We will also get a 4, and a 5, which are sedan versions of the 3.


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