What Is Polestar? Here's What You Need to Know

Like Volvos...but sexier.

polestar 2 us launch august 2020copyright freeref  polestar2uslaunch 0015jpg

There's no shame if you've never heard of Polestar, yet. But here's everything you need to know to have the inside scoop on this growing electric car brand.

What is Polestar?

If you happen to be driving one, it's a question you'll get asked constantly. In short, Polestar is a Swedish electric performance car brand. The name stems from the Polestar racing team, which was also a Volvo performance tuner. Volvo bought the performance tuning portion of the company and the Polestar name. Polestar began producing high-performance Polestar Engineered versions of Volvo cars, created Polestar as a standalone brand and spun it off it as a standalone company with an IPO in June 2022.

Who owns Polestar?

It’s complicated. Broadly, Volvo is the biggest shareholder, with just under 50% of Polestar. Affiliates of Geely chairman Eric Li own a little under 40%. Of course, Geely owns more than 80% of Volvo and Eric Li is also Volvo’s chairman. Polestar shares are traded publicly on the Nasdaq.

Financial maneuverings aside, Polestar will still be heavily partnered with Volvo. The companies will share technology, platforms and production facilities. Polestar will sell sportier cars and take on sportier development projects that wouldn't be a fit with Volvo branding.

Current Polestar Cars

polestar 1 from the side in a well lit studio

Polestar 1

Polestar is an electric car brand. But they debuted with an off-the-wall plug-in-hybrid, 600-plus horsepower, limited production supercar, the Polestar 1. The Polestar 1 has sleek but oddly sedate Volvo-esque styling — sort of like if Volvo made a muscle car. And its price tag, starting around $155,000, is $20,000 more than a Porsche 911 GTS. Polestar is ending production this year.


polestar 2

Polestar 2

Polestar’s first (and currently only) electric car is the Polestar 2. Polestar calls it a liftback body style. Consider it a cross between a sedan, hatchback and SUV. It’s far more of a mass-market vehicle than the Polestar 1, starting at $45,900. It comes in a long range single-motor FWD version with 231 hp and 270 miles of EPA range and a long range dual-motor AWD version with 408 hp and 260 miles of EPA range.


Future Polestar Cars

polestar 3 from the side with a blank background

Polestar 3

The Polestar 3 will debut in October. It will be the brand’s first SUV and slot above the Polestar 2 for price, reportedly starting around $75,000. It will launch with a dual-motor AWD version and Polestar is targeting north of 300 miles of range. It will be the first Polestar vehicle built in America and receive Volvo’s autonomous highway piloting system with best-in-class LiDAR systems.


polestar 4 electric crossover under a sheet flanked by the polestar 3 and polestar 5

Polestar 4

The Polestar 4 is expected to arrive in 2023. It reportedly will be an SUV coupe version of the Polestar 3, offering roughly the same package as the Polestar 3 but with a trendy tapered roofline.


polestar 5 prototype in camouflage testing at goodwood festival of speed

Polestar 5

The Polestar 5 will be a flagship, four-door grand tourer that should rival the Porsche Taycan. It should look a lot like Polestar’s stunning Precept concept car from 2020 and be far more than a tuned-up Volvo. Reports have the Polestar 5 getting new battery technology and a rigid, lightweight bonded aluminum platform — a feature typically reserved for supercars. Polestar is targeting a nearly 900 hp output. The car will go on sale in 2024.


Polestar O2 Concept

Polestar released a sharp-looking O2 convertible sports car concept in February 2022. The concept is a two-door, four-passenger vehicle that runs on a bespoke version of the Polestar 5’s platform. It also featured a built-in cinematic drone that can tail the car at speeds up to 56 mph. Polestar has said they are looking at building a production version of the O2, but plans have yet to be confirmed.


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