Polestar 3 with Head of Design Maximilian Missoni
Minimalism is the order of the day in the cabin. The driver faces a three-spoke steering wheel, a digital instrument cluster and a dashboard with horizontal trim pieces that augment the sense of width. Don't look for buttons on the dashboard or on the center console; every function is lumped into a 14.5-inch, portrait-oriented display programmed with the next evolution of the 2's Android-powered infotainment system.
Beyond infotainment, there is a tremendous amount of technology stuffed beneath the sheet metal — including some features that will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows. The 3 is the first member of the Polestar range fitted with Nvidia's DRIVE automotive platform, which serves a number of functions. It processes the data generated by the armada of onboard sensors and cameras and uses it to power the electronic driving aids. It also powers the driver monitoring technology, which is a closed-loop system that relies on two cameras to track your eyes and detect whether you're distracted, drowsy or disconnected, and act accordingly. Its responses vary from triggering audible and visual warning messages to initiating an emergency stop, though there's no word yet on precisely when or how it brings the car to a halt.
Keep the rear seats up and you've got 17.1 cubic feet of space for your stuff. Folding them down increases that figure to 49.8, including a 3.2-cubic-foot compartment under the trunk floor. There's not much of a frunk: Polestar pegs its capacity at 1.1 cubic feet.
The list of standard features reflects Polestar's upmarket ambitions. Factory equipment includes 21-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting, a panoramic roof panel, heated front seats, four USB-C charging ports, adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera. Options include two equipment packages called Plus and Pilot, respectively. Plus bundles a 25-speaker (!) Bowers & Wilkins sound system, a power-adjustable steering column, soft-close doors, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, among other features. Pilot adds Pilot Assist, Park Assist Pilot, and a head-up display. Both packages will be standard during the 3's first model year on the market, however.
MAXIMILIAN MISSONI: The fascinating thing about Polestar 3 is its way of reinterpreting the SUV because it doesn't lose in the characteristics of an SUV, it is extremely distilled to the essence of an SUV but at the same time it clearly shows a step into a new era. In design, you have tools to play with proportion and with dimension. You can work with those elements in a way that you can visually reduce the size of a car or the impression of a car, so we work a lot with contrast and graphics.
In Polestar 3, we have contrast materials within the body side, we have very clear SUV claddings, and they also have a contrast color, so we, let's say, disguise the shape of the general body in a very clever way. So SUVs, they mostly come with a lot of space on the interior, which is good. But there are three dimensions to this space and the crucial dimensions for the feeling within the cabin of a car is the length of it and the width of it.
In the height, there is oftentimes a lot of excess space, which has a few negative connotations. It leads to a bigger frontal area, which is worse for efficiency. And it creates those typical tall SUV proportions that are also controversial sometimes. So if there is one dimension you can debate, then it's the height of the car and that's what Polestar 3 does. There is a lot of space laterally and in length and the car has a very sporty characteristic when it comes to height. And for us that is the perfect symbiosis of SUV characteristics and an extremely dynamic car.
So Polestar 3 has this extremely compact and sporty impression from the outside because we have these massive wheels that we get through electrification, that also really paint into the whole SUV character. And then we have an extremely sporty cabin on top. What it means, though, is that the only dimension that you are reducing is the extra space that you are carrying around above your heads, which, arguably, you probably don't need. So have a massive cabin on the inside, but you have a near sports car proportional look on the outside.