2021 Polestar 2 Price Shows Brand Intends to Challenge Tesla

Jack R. Nerad | Apr 23, 2020

For anyone needing more confirmation that Polestar intends to compete head-to-head with Tesla in the battle for the hearts and minds of performance-oriented electric-vehicle (EV) buyers, the official pricing announcement for the new 2021 Polestar 2 makes the EV automaker’s intentions clear.

How much does a Polestar 2 cost?

The Swedish brand's first pure electric car is the 2021 Polestar 2. It will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $59,900 in the United States. That places the price of the performance-oriented fastback right on top of that on the Tesla Model Y. In standard Long Range specification, the Model Y costs $52,990. Get a Model Y Performance and the MSRP amounts to $60,990.

2021 Polestar 2 Gray Side View

Based on Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture platform, the 2021 Polestar 2 is a premium 5-door fastback with two electric motors and a 78 kWh battery capacity that is expected to offer a range of about 310 miles on a charge. The all-wheel-drive Polestar 2 delivers 408 horsepower and 487 lb.-ft. of peak torque, and Polestar says acceleration to 60 mph takes less than five seconds.

In addition to the obvious challenge it represents to Tesla, Polestar 2 pricing is below individual thresholds for incentives in EV-friendly states like New York and California. That is important because the under-$60,000 MSRP qualifies the Polestar 2 for state rebates (for instance $2,000 in California) and for total incentives of up to $9,500. Most of the total incentive is a $7,500 federal income tax credit for the purchase of a qualifying electric vehicle. Of course, receiving that requires that you have a tax liability of $7,500 or more.

Polestar 2 vs. Tesla Model Y

The similarities between the Polestar 2 and Tesla Model Y extend well beyond the prices. Both vehicles are dual-motor all-wheel drive with similar capacity battery arrays and similar range on a charge. Tesla doesn't officially specify the horsepower of its vehicles, but in Performance trim a reliable estimate is 450 horsepower and 471 lb.-ft. of torque. Tesla claims its highest-performing version of the Model Y will streak from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, while the standard setup scoots to the same velocity in 4.8 seconds.

Both vehicles can be equipped with factory upgrades to improve their overall capabilities. For example, the Polestar 2’s optional Performance Pack improves driving dynamics by adding Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes and unique 20-inch forged alloy wheels. Polestar's signature gold seat belts, brake calipers, and valve caps lend an exclusive visual style to the hatchback. The Tesla Model Y Performance can be equipped with 21-inch Uberturbine performance wheels and a tow hitch.

Polestar 2 vs Ford Mustang Mach-E

Though Ford pitches the Mustang Mach-E as a crossover SUV, similar to the Tesla Model Y, it remains a direct Polestar 2 competitor thanks to a 5-door hatchback body style and available all-wheel drive. When it comes to price, the Mustang Mach 3 is significantly less expensive than the luxury-brand Polestar 2 with a base MSRP of $43,895. That price qualifies for state rebates and a $7,500 federal tax credit as described above.

The Mustang Mach-E GT performance model is a more appropriate comparison with the Polestar 2 than is the base model. With an estimated MSRP of just under $60,000, it will offer 459 horsepower and an immense 612 lb-ft. of peak torque, and Ford expects that will translate to a 0-60-mph time of about three seconds. Estimated peak range will be less than that of the Polestar 2 at 235 miles on a charge even though the GT version will carry a 98.8 kWh battery pack. Forged 20-inch alloy wheels hint at the overall performance equipment the model will carry.

Polestar 2 Prices and Details

As part of the overall pricing announcement Polestar has also revealed the prices of key packages and options. Of course, adding any of them pushes the price beyond the $60,000 threshold for state rebates:

  • Performance Pack: $5,000
  • Nappa leather interior: $4,000
  • 20-inch alloy wheels: $1,200
  • Metallic paint colors: $1,200

Notably, the Polestar 2 is first car in the world to have an Android-powered infotainment system. It features voice command via Google Assistant, and its version of Google Maps helps owners find EV charging stations.

Production of the Polestar 2 began in China late last month, and U.S. deliveries are expected to begin this summer to reservation holders.

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