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Potent new electric car confirmed


Polestar people say the 5 is their “manifesto model”, and this four-door coupe going into production in 2024 is a persuasive statement of intent from the Swedish electric vehicle specialist.

The Polestar 5 was previewed by the Precept concept of early 2020, and the exterior design of the production version will stick very closely to the show car’s luscious looks.

Long, low and athletic, it could almost pass as a replacement for the ageing Tesla Model S, though the Polestar 5’s sculpted panels and fuss-free details give it a Scandinavian flavour.

The car will have a big (100kWh-plus) battery to deliver a driving range that’s widely expected to exceed 600km. It will be an 800-volt battery pack, for speedy recharging.

If Polestar’s engineers are on their game, the 5 should also be a delightful drive.

They’re aiming to create a rival for the brilliant Porsche Taycan when it comes to performance and cornering ability.

They’re an ambitious bunch, Polestar, if relatively unknown in this country.

The brand only delivered its first cars to Australian customers in early 2022 but quickly established itself as an EV contender.

The only model it’s had to offer so far, the Polestar 2, was the fourth-best selling EV in the country last year. Despite the recent arrival of more affordable EVs from Chinese brands such as BYD and MG, the Polestar 2 remains among the top 10 best-selling EVs.

From next year Polestar’s portfolio will grow rapidly. It will add two all-new models to its line-up. The 3 will arrive early in 2024. Prices for this sporty-looking crossover will start from $133,000. Confusingly, the size and price of the 4, which arrives later in the year, mean it will slot between the 2 and 3.

The Polestar 5, when it arrives to expand the line-up to four models, will be more costly. Expect prices from about $150,000 or so, maybe more. But the money will buy a much classier pedigree.

The 2, 3 and 4 all share their core engineering with EVs produced by Volvo (from

which Polestar was spun off in 2017) and Geely (the big Chinese car maker which

bought Volvo from Ford in 2010). The 5, in contrast, is a clean-sheet design that’s all

Polestar’s work.

Its body is made from bonded – read glued – aluminium, not steel like other Polestars. As with Porsche’s Taycan, the 5’s slim battery pack has cut-outs to make space for rear-seat passengers’ feet. A full-length glass roof gives the interior a light and airy ambience.

While the 5 was designed in Sweden and will be manufactured in China, the development of its suspension, steering and brakes is being done by a 500-plus strong team in the UK. Many used to work for Formula 1 teams, well-known car brands or big-time automotive suppliers.

Polestar’s base is the MIRA proving ground in the English Midlands. After a background briefing on the 5 project, we were given a chance to ride around a dry handling circuit in a prototype Polestar 5 with dynamics engineer Chris Baguley.

This prototype has a single motor driving the rear wheels. Polestar plans to also produce a more powerful dual-motor 5, but Baguley quickly shows the rear-drive is plenty quick and very playful.

Except for the lack of engine noise, the Polestar feels very like one of the best rear-

drive M cars from BMW’s legendary high-performance division.

It turns decisively and slides gracefully. If Baguley was determined to show Polestar’s manifesto is best written in wisps of tyre smoke, he succeeded.


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