Polestar, the Volvo Cars brand and performance company, today unveiled the “Polestar 2,” a battery electric vehicle (BEV) designed from the get go as a “Tesla 3 killer.”

Polestar 2 is the first electric car that competes against the Tesla Model 3, and its starting price of $45,400 (€39,900) in Europe supports this contention. The starting price of $55,000 (with federal incentives) for the launch edition to be sold in the U.S. is, however, substantially higher than the Tesla Model 3 priced at some $43,000 (before federal incentives).

The limited launch edition, which will be manufactured during Polestar 2’s first 12 months, starts at €59,900 ($68,200). Pricing of Polestar 2 in China will be announced later, said Volvo Cars. Polestar 2 will only be available for ordering online.

Because Volvo Cars is owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Polestar 2 will be built in China. Volvo Cars is now accepting preorders from the initial Polestar 2 launch markets (the U.S., Canada, China, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom). The BEV will be available by 2020.

Polestar 2 will make its first public appearance at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show in March. It will later embark on a global roadshow in Europe, North America and China throughout 2019.

“Polestar 2 is our first fully electric car and first volume model,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath at the Polestar 2 launch event Wednesday.

“Everything about it has been designed and engineered with passion and dedication. As an electric performance brand, and through the forthcoming launch of a portfolio of fully electric cars, Polestar is determined to address the world’s air quality challenges. Polestar delivers electric performance cars that are great to own and drive.”

Ingenlath also said the buzz around the Tesla Model 3 “showed where electric mobility is relevant for society today. And with Polestar 2 we bring an exciting premium electric car that will broaden the choice on offer in exactly this segment.”

Polestar 2 is a premium five-door fastback with two electric motors and a 78 kWh battery capacity that will enable a targeted range of 500 km.

The 27-module battery pack is integrated into the floor and contributes to the rigidity of the chassis, as well as minimizing the car’s noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels. Road noise has been reduced by 3.7 dB compared to a traditional chassis.

The all-wheel drive electric powertrain in Polestar 2 produces 300 kW (408 hp) and 660 Nm (487 lb-ft). This translates to a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of less than 5 seconds.

Volvo Cars says Polestar 2 is one of the first cars in the world to embed an infotainment system powered by Android. The Android backbone provides a solid and adaptable digital environment for apps and vehicle functions to coexist.

Polestar 2 all-alectric car
Polestar 2 all-alectric car from Volvo Volvo Cars

Polestar 2 brings embedded Google services to a car for the first time. These services include Google Assistant, Google Maps (with support for electric vehicles) and the Google Play Store. There’s also a natural voice control and a new 11-inch touch screen display.

Phone-as-Key technology enables Polestar 2 to sense the driver upon approach. Polestar 2 can also predetermine the driver’s next move to create a seamless experience with a prepared cabin and quick start sequence.

Volvo Cars says Polestar 2 offers avant-garde design and a unique customer experience in the premium compact electric segment. Maximilian Missoni, head of Design at Polestar, said they decided to bring something different to the segment.

“Our avant-garde design has evolved from Polestar 1 into an edgier, bolder statement,” said Missoni. “We have also designed a standard vegan interior with progressive textiles that will appeal to the forward-thinking audience who will subscribe to Polestar 2.”