With Polestar 2, Volvo’s EV Brand Is Set to Give Tesla a Run for Its Money

Plus five more EVs to keep an eye out for in 2021 (yes, including a Tesla)

In 2017, Volvo, Sweden’s maker of relentlessly safety-conscious, gasoline-powered vehicles, launched Polestar, a stand-alone brand dedicated to…relentlessly safety-conscious, electric-powered vehicles. As 2021 dawns, the second offering from the marque, a luxury crossover felicitously named Polestar 2, will be among us soon.

Starting at $59,000, Polestar 2 is meant to eat the lunch of Tesla’s Model 3 and upcoming Model Y. Having piloted one around L.A. recently, I say, bring them on. Polestar’s remit is to field EVs with Volvo’s fabled integrity intact while torpedoing the marque’s association with granola-tinged self-righteousness. Done and done. The exterior leads with a faceted fascia that evokes Volvo’s traditional grille after a testosterone patch; acceleration is a face-flattening 4.45-second leap to 60 mph. The interior’s muted vegan upholstery is the only concession to Volvo virtue-signaling, and Polestar will swap in leather if you insist.

Then again, why mess with this near-perfect balance of circumspect beauty and beastly performance?

Five more EVs to watch in 2021

Telsa Cybertruck

“We need something different,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk quipped, unveiling this literally bulletproof brute. We’ll soon find out whether winking Mad Max aesthetics play in the U.S. pickup-truck heartland.

Volkswagen ID.4

Eager to bury the Dieselgate scandal, VW is investing $37 billion in next-generation EVs. First to hit these shores, the ID.4  brings decent 250-mile range and a retro-future, Jetsons-esque cabin.

Rivian R1S

Americans are besotted with gas-guzzling trucks, so startup Rivian made its debut EVs a pickup and this seven-passenger SUV with beguiling lozenge-shaped headlamps and 300-plus miles of range.

Lucid Air

So-called Tesla killers abound, but Cali-based Lucid’s foxy debut sedan has the goods to get the job done: 1,080 horsepower, 517 miles of range, and the fastest charge time of any EV.

Mustang Mach E

Ford’s iconic pony car is reimagined as a high-performance, compact crossover that gallops from zero to 60 in under four seconds and could be a game changer on the level of its namesake.

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