Polestar 2 Takes Direct Aim At The Tesla Model 3 – Here’s How They Compare On Paper

The Polestar 2 is a much more practical (and affordable) proposition than the Polestar 1.

When the Polestar 1 first debuted back in 2017, we were impressed with just how well Volvo’s spin-off company tied in the brand’s styling to an electrified performance application. After all, that model claimed a substantial 600 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. Then we saw the absolutely eye-watering $155,000 price tag, and our hearts dropped a bit. Now, the Polestar 2 has arrived, as a much more practical — and affordable — proposition.

The Polestar 2 starts off at 39,900 euros, or around $45,410. The company will also build a more expensive Launch Edition during the first 12 months of production that starts off at $63,000. That’s the price before any available federal and state rebates, which should bump the effective price down into the $50,000 range.

All-electric powertrain

Unlike the Polestar 1, the Polestar 2 will pack an all-electric powertrain. This time around, the company fitted a drivetrain making 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque. Polestar claims a 0-60 time of “less than 5 seconds”. There’s also a “Performance Pack” available for the car, that features Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and bespoke 20-inch forged wheels. The standard output of the Polestar 2 competes favorably against the Dual Motor Tesla Model 3. That model manages 346 combined horsepower. While it does fall short on the Dual Motor Performance’s 450 horsepower, the Polestar 2 does beat the Tesla’s 471 lb-ft of torque.

Polestar’s first all-electric model does share some cues with the Tesla Model 3 on the inside. It uses a large, centrally-mounted infotainment display. It’s one of the first cars out there to base its infotainment on Google’s Android system, rather than integrating Android Auto into a bespoke system. That means the Polestar 2 will have access to Google Maps and the Google Assistant. Tesla’s infotainment system does use Google Maps, but does not integrate Android Auto nor Apple CarPlay.

Polestar 2 designed what they’re calling “Pixel LED” headlights — a series of small LED lights which can intelligently cut the beam on one side, say if a car is approaching from the opposite direction. However, those lights will not immediately be available in U.S. or Canadian models. Similar to Audi’s Matrix LED headlights, the technology is prohibited by current regulations. To that end, the car will just get standard LED headlights and daytime running lights.

Battery capacity and range

The Polestar 2 will launch with a 78 kWh battery pack, to the Tesla Model 3’s 62 kWh pack in the rear-wheel drive, mid-range battery model or 75 kWh pack in the long-range battery model.

Polestar 2 is aiming for a 500 kilometer range on the WLTP cycle. By EPA standards, the company is shooting for a 275 mile range. That lands right in the middle of the Tesla Model 3’s 264 (mid-range) to 310 (long-range) mile figures.

The Polestar 2 will go into production in China in early 2020. From there, customers will see the new car in global markets. Pre-orders are open now.

Polestar 2 vs. Tesla Model 3: How do they stack up on paper?

Polestar 2 (claimed)Tesla Model 3 (AWD)
Horsepower:408 hp346 hp (Dual Motor comb.)
Torque:487 lb-ft471 lb-ft
0-60:< 5.0 sec.4.5 sec. (Dual Motor)
Battery size:78 kWh75 kWh
Range:~275 miles310 miles (EPA)

*Pricing before incentives