Volvo's Polestar 2 picks a fight with Tesla's Model 3

Volvo's Polestar 2 picks a fight with Tesla's Model 3

The Polestar 2 launch edition starts at $63,000 in the U.S. before a $7,500 federal tax credit, effectively bringing the price down to $55,500.

Volvo is putting the Tesla Model 3 on notice, and is doing so with the reveal of its new Polestar 2 electric vehicle. According to information released Wednesday, Polestar confirms the initial Launch Edition vehicle will cost $63,000, and less-expensive versions will follow shortly thereafter.

The Polestar 2 has a fastback roof and seating for five. Volvo Cars is now accepting preorders from the initial Polestar 2 launch markets (the U.S., Canada, China, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom).

The Polestar 2 is one of the first cars in the world to embed an infotainment system powered by Android. Polestar is offering the 2 on a subscription basis as well and says that pricing is coming "at a later date". That version offers a range of 560km. "Polestar delivers electric performance cars that are great to own and drive", said Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar. But the new Tesla Model 3 competitor is causing a stir in the auto industry not only for its performance, but for being the first vehicle to feature Google's native version of Android built for cars.

Volvo's Polestar 2 picks a fight with Tesla's Model 3
Volvo's Polestar 2 picks a fight with Tesla's Model 3

Frameless side mirrors and a panoramic glass roof with the Polestar logo reflected onto it from just underneath will also help distinguish the Chinese-made sedan from its American competitor.

The €39,990 Tesla-baiter (although that balloons to €59,990 for the "launch edition") is based around a two-motor platform, so you should already know it won't be slow.

China will be the biggest market, followed by Europe and North America. The affordable electric auto aspect isn't the only talking point of this; it's also the first vehicle with Google's deeply-integrated Android Automotive infotainment system. The system will use native Google services like Google Maps which will have support for electric vehicle ownership with the same voice-control you've come to expect from Google. That feature works in conjunction with a phone-as-key Bluetooth-enabled function that allows the vehicle to be shared easily with friends and family via an app. Also, there are golden seat belts (well), brake callipers and valve caps as well as a "standard vegan interior with progressive textiles", according to the presentation.

Polestar will make its formal public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, with production set to begin in early 2020. Well, Volvo says that the Polestar 2 has a 78-kWh battery that sits low in the vehicle's chassis and will allow customers to travel 275 miles per charge.

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