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L4 autonomy, RWD mooted for Polestar SUVs

Polestar outlines LiDAR technology adoption timing, cheaper RWD options for its SUVs

21 May 2024


POLESTAR remains committed to offering more advanced autonomous driving capabilities for its Polestar 3 and Polestar 4 SUV models – and a more affordable rear-wheel drive option for its six-figure Polestar 3 – fulfilling promises made by the Scandinavian car-maker late last year. 
Speaking with Australian media gathered for the international launch of the vehicles in Spain this month, Polestar global head of product communications Brent Ellis said the Polestar has been working closely with LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) provider Luminar and autonomous driving specialists Mobileye to ready the option for production. 
“(Customers) can already order a Polestar 3 with LiDAR from Luminar; it is an option on Polestar 3, and will be (standard) in forthcoming model years,” he said, noting that the system will build on the existing Pilot Assist technology offered in all Polestar models. 
“The LiDAR package adds three cameras (to the existing array of ultrasonic sensors, cameras, and radar units) … to offer an additional layer of driver assistance; and of course, this technology evolves over time. 
“As certain legislation allows, we can unlock various layers of the system and improve the experience for customers. 
“The system will provide next-level driver assistance, eventually leading to autonomous driving in the future … and we are working very hard to bring that out in the coming weeks.” 
Announced late last year, Polestar’s Mobileye Chauffer technology will build upon the SuperVision software fitted in the Polestar 3 and 4 to offer eyes-off, point-to-point autonomous driving on highways, as well as eyes-on driving in other environments. 
Being the first production vehicles to offer Mobileye’s Chauffer autonomous driving technology, Polestar’s new SUVs “lay the foundation” for autonomous driving, a point Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath says will eventually enable autonomous driving wherever customers want. 
“A collaboration with Mobileye can significantly push innovation in our Polestar 4 electric performance SUV coupe,” he said in a statement late last year while announcing his satisfaction with “how Polestar 4’s production readiness is advancing”. 
“We know that driving yourself is not always fun and exciting – this technology means our customers could enable autonomous driving when they want, making all future journeys enjoyable.” 
And while pricing for the Polestar 3 (from $132,900 plus on-road costs) and Polestar 4 (from $81,500 + ORC) has already been announced, it is now apparent prospective buyers may have an even more affordable ‘3’ alternative available soon, with the arrival of a rear-wheel drive model to be offered before the end of the year. 
“Later this year (2024) the single motor version of the Polestar 3 will be available,” Mr Ellis told Australian media. 
“It will be rear-wheel drive and we will have more details a few months from now when the time comes to launch.” 
While specifications and further details of the rear-driven Polestar 3 are still a closely guarded secret, GoAuto understands an output figure of around 180kW is expected, the model using the same rear motor as featured in its all-wheel drive counterpart. 
It is also expected that the 111kWh battery pack featured in dual-motor models will power the rear-wheel drive variant, the combination offering increased range, beyond the 628km (WLTP) figure of the dual-motor Polestar 3 Long Range. 
The five-seat Polestar 3 range will launch in Australia next month (June) with the Polestar 4 coupe-SUV to follow in August. 

Visit GoAuto again soon for our international launch review of the Polestar 3 and 4 range from Spain.

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