The first Volvo-based Polestar electric car is due on sale locally later this year with deliveries expected in early 2022.
However, Australian customers will likely be forced to pay fixed prices.
Volvo dealers have so far been cut out of the Polestar equation, with the company reportedly considering direct sales through “pop up” stores – which would lead to fixed prices.
While the company is yet to iron out the details on how it plans to roll out Polestar as a standalone brand, the newly appointed boss of Polestar Australia, Samantha Johnson, a former Volvo executive, confirmed the first model will be on sale later this year (around November) ahead of local customer deliveries in early 2022.
It is unclear where the cars will be sold and who will service them, though CarAdvice understands Polestar will lean on Volvo service centres to maintain the vehicles. More details will be revealed in the coming months.
Volvo’s Polestar brand started life on the race track but has been repositioned as the company’s electric car division.
While the first model to be built in right-hand drive – the Polestar 2 – is based on a Volvo and shares some of the Swedish brand’s design themes, the Polestar brand is run as a separate entity and future models will have a unique appearance.
All Polestar cars will be made in China, the headquarters of Volvo’s parent company Geely, which bought the struggling Volvo brand in 2010 and saved it from the brink of bankruptcy.
The company describes the Polestar 2 – a five-door liftback – as a rival to the Tesla Model 3 and will be priced accordingly.
The vehicle is powered by two electric motors and has a claimed battery capacity of 78 kWh, which should give it a real-world driving range close to 500km on a single charge (officially around 450 to 480km on Europe’s WLTP test cycle).
The company claims the all-wheel-drive, long-range powertrain has a combined output of 300kW and 660Nm, enough to do the 0-100km/h dash in 4.7 seconds (about as quick as a Holden Commodore V8 or a twin-turbo V6 Kia Stinger).
Cheaper models with one electric motor driving the front wheels were recently introduced overseas, offering up to 540km of WLTP range, and a starting price in the UK undercutting its key Tesla rival.