One historic drive: Polestar 3 and the Pacific Coast Highway

There are a few journeys that every car fan should make. Sacred asphalt imbued with a unique kind of history. One not just of cars themselves, but celebrities, food, music, and everything else in between. The Pacific Coast Highway is one of them.

Polestar 3 rear driving down the PCH.

Stretching 656 miles (over 1,000 km), State Route 1 is the major arterial highway that covers nearly the entire North American Pacific Coastline.

But it's the Pacific Coast Highway of SR 1, or PCH as it's known to locals, that is the most famous part of that epic road. The whole drive takes about 10 hours and is perfect territory for testing cars in real-world situations.

In this case, it's the Polestar 3 with its 300-mile (482 km) range that will be embarking on that epic drive. The car is currently being tested extensively around the world, only recently visiting the UAE for hot-weather testing.

Next up, range and charging. Which is where PCH comes in.

Polestar 3 rear driving down PCH during sun set.
Polestar 3 HMI close-up.

The team set off from San Jose, picking up PCH from Santa Cruz. As Californian as it gets.

Home to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum, it is a true mecca for fans of the sport, with artifacts showcasing some of the earliest origins of Californian surf culture. Unfortunately for the Polestar 3 test team, however, there was no time to catch any waves.

Really though, PCH gets started properly around Monterey, known to gearheads the world over for Pebble Beach and its iconic car meet. Or to jazz fans for its world-famous Monterey Jazz Festival.

Collage of birds in the blue skies, a Polestar 3 side shot by the ocean and a close-up of the Polestar 3 front.

The Polestar 3 uses a powerful 111 kW battery with dual motors. This means plenty of power but also plenty of range. But all those miles are of no use if it takes forever to charge.

Polestar 3 is capable of up to 250 kW DC charging, which means 10–80% in 30 mins. It's exactly this that the team on PCH wanted to test.

Polestar 3 steering wheel.
Polestar 3 side view looking over the ocean.

There are plenty of chargers all the way along PCH, which made for a good opportunity to also test the car's intelligent route-planning tech, which uses Google Maps to plan any necessary charging stops on any given route.

With the Polestar 3's battery fully charged, the team carried on along the Pacific Coast Highway towards Bixby Bridge, where epic views of the Pacific meet crashing waves below.

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For a lot of Californians, the Bixby Bridge crossing is "peak PCH."

The views stretch out across the Pacific, with the occasional seal bobbing its head above the water. It's a real road-trip moment and perfect territory for the Polestar 3.

We conclude our journey at Big Sur or "el sur grande" ("the big south"). Here, PCH cuts a line through the land with the ocean on one side and the stunning Santa Lucia Mountains on the other. It's as rugged as California gets.

The Californian counterculture movement found its home there in the 1960s, with writers like Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac writing some of their earliest pieces from the small beaches and towns that dot the coastline.

For the Polestar 3, as bohemian as its test team might be, beatnik-writing is not on the agenda. This road trip is over and testing is complete.

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