From Autoweek” data-reactid=”23″>From Autoweek
Polestar’s (Volvo’s electrified performance subsidiary founded in October, 2017) second car to be released is called the, wait for it, Polestar 2. But in many ways the name is misleading because this is the first real Polestar to the hit the market.” data-reactid=”24″>It’s fitting enough that Polestar’s (Volvo’s electrified performance subsidiary founded in October, 2017) second car to be released is called the, wait for it, Polestar 2. But in many ways the name is misleading because this is the first real Polestar to the hit the market.
The Polestar 2 you see here with its twin-electric motors, one for each axle, fixed drive-down gear transmission, and 78kwh battery pack powertrain is the first full battery electric vehicle the Swedish brand is selling. Going forward, it will sell nothing but BEVs.
Polestar 1, is a halo car and a hybrid. Polestar is building 500 a year for three years, about 150 of which come to North America annually, and that’s it. No refresh, no second generation. The Polestar 1 is one and done, a way to enter the automotive market with a splash.” data-reactid=”26″>Its first car, the Polestar 1, is a halo car and a hybrid. Polestar is building 500 a year for three years, about 150 of which come to North America annually, and that’s it. No refresh, no second generation. The Polestar 1 is one and done, a way to enter the automotive market with a splash.
Polestar Precept concept car, only taller. The Geely owned brand recently revealed it digitally, in lieu of the Geneva Auto Show.” data-reactid=”27″>And the car succeeding the Polestar 2 is another BEV, this one a low roof, two-row SUV coming in the near future with a name you’ll never guess in a million years: Polestar 3. If you want a hint of what the 3 looks like, Polestar says think of the Polestar Precept concept car, only taller. The Geely owned brand recently revealed it digitally, in lieu of the Geneva Auto Show.
But that’s the future and the Polestar 2 is the right now. And it’s a car living a complicated life. The 2’s aforementioned powertrain puts out a combined 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of right-now, no-delay electric torque. Furthermore, one option is the Performance package, including Öhlins adjustable dampers, Brembo brakes and performance rubber. And yet you can also choose a vegan interior.
AMG, making more powerful, quicker, more hard-edged Volvos.” data-reactid=”40″>Moreover, Polestar touts using recycled ash wood for trim and carpets made of recycled water bottles. Then there’s its claim of responsible cobalt mining in battery production, with block-chain traceability. And yet, Polestar started life somewhat like a Swedish AMG, making more powerful, quicker, more hard-edged Volvos.
So is the 2 a green car for well-off hippies or a performance car for futurist gear-heads? Is this car about saving the planet or destroying pavement? Or are we in a place that it’s somehow both? After a spirited 105-mile drive, you could make the argument that, yes, it is trying for both.
To start, just like most electric cars, the Polestar 2 provides immediate and immense acceleration. At 4,680 lbs, it’s no lightweight. After all, the battery and structural casing weighs 1,100 lbs alone. Yet electric torque is as consistent as it is instantaneous. With two motors, each making 204 hp and 243.4 lb-ft of torque, you get all-wheel-drive traction with 51 percent of the weight of over the front axle.
As a result, the 2 feels much faster than its 11.5:1 weight to power ratio would suggest. Polestar claims 4.5 seconds to 60 mph from rest, 10.8 if you continue to 100 mph and traveling a quarter-mile takes 12.8.
Porsche Taycan 4S. Performance claims from Porsche give the Taycan 4S enough power to walk away from the 2, which it probably does. Regardless, I absolutely love two-lane road passing in the Polestar 2, no lag, no delay, you’re around folks as quickly as you can mash the pedal.” data-reactid=”57″>Seat-of-the-pants feel puts performance on par with the Porsche Taycan 4S. Performance claims from Porsche give the Taycan 4S enough power to walk away from the 2, which it probably does. Regardless, I absolutely love two-lane road passing in the Polestar 2, no lag, no delay, you’re around folks as quickly as you can mash the pedal.
And when its time to slow down the 2 employs well-executed battery re-gen braking. You choose between two levels of deceleration. The higher level, called standard, provides plenty of stopping power for the vast majority of driving situations and makes one-pedal driving easy.
I put a good 40 miles of interstate driving at 80 mph and another 65 or so miles in the city and country, most of the time hustling. The calculated range held up well. Before I set off it read 190 miles of range with 95% battery charge. 105 miles later, I returned with 80 miles of range and a 41% battery charge remaining.
Range dropped faster on the highway, slower in the city and in between in the country. Polestar estimates that when the EPA releases eMPG figures for this car next month, it will have 250-275 mile range. That sounds entirely plausible with more subdued driving.
While the 2 is a great runner, things get a bit more complicated when you get to turning. It’s not a powertrain issue. Even though the 2 makes equal power at the front and rear axle, Polestar tends to make the rear motor work a little harder, giving a rear bias. Furthermore, the engineers employed brake based torque vectoring to send power to the outside wheel, which is nice.
But this is a heavy car. Despite coming equipped with the Performance pack and the legit Öhlins adjustable dampers as well as the Continental SportContact 6 performance summer rubber, ultimate grip is not that high. Furthermore, you experience both a stiff ride and a fair amount of body roll. And, perhaps most troubling, steering lacked feel, more akin to a sim racing wheel than a car. On the plus side, power assist is adjustable, making it easy to find a steering weight you’re happy with.
The car provides plenty of feel through the seat, giving you a good sense of grip levels. And the strut front and multilink rear suspension proved wholly competent to corner in anger. Overall you the can reach 2’s limits with little drama and get a feel for the car’s attitude in the middle of the corner. It’s fun to drive, lots of fun. Despite the firm ride, the seats remain both comfortable and supportive. It’s stiff, not punishing.
The Polestar 2’s overall experience is pleasant — and customizable, thanks in no small part to the Android Auto Operating System. More than connecting your smartphone to the infotainment system, the system itself works as seamlessly as your smartphone. The user experience is impressive, especially considering this is Google’s first try.
With a $61,200 base price the Polestar 2 certainly is not going after the fickle among us. But, to start, it’s only available as a well equipped Launch Edition, including two-zone climate control, four USB-c ports, heated and cooled front seats, and a novel illuminated Polestar logo projected on roof. Over time, the base price will drop.
However equipped, the 2 gets all LED lighting, a nice stereo with speakers hidden behind the trim, and a panoramic glass roof. Being tied to Volvo, there’s plenty of safety, too, such as level II autonomous driving, that’s your lane-keep assist and automatic emergency braking, and the like. You also get lots of airbags, including one that inflates in the middle of the car, in between the two front seats.
And it is a versatile machine. You get a decent 15.5 cubic feet of cargo space, 38.7 when the second row seats are folded. You can get a roof rack able to hold 165 lbs. And, you get an electric car, a fairly small one at that, rated to tow up to 2,000 lbs. That’s plenty to handle a couple motorcycles or a small boat.
To take one home, Polestar bailed on its original subscription-only business model and now has a tiny dealer network, independent of, but ultimately tied to, Volvo. Or you can order online.
If you’re a futurist gear-head, well-off hippy, trying to simultaneously save the planet and destroy the pavement, than this car is definitely for you. For everyone else, it’s at least worth a test drive.