Polestar 2: The Real Fun Begins

Although the Polestar 1 was a nice coupe, its plug-in hybrid drive only served as a warm-up. With the 100% electric Polestar 2, the Volvo subsidiary wants to set the premium electric segment on fire. A success?

Anyone interested in automobiles now knows the history of Polestar. Swedish tuner specializing in Volvos, he was bought by the Gothenburg brand with a helping hand from its Chinese patron Geely. The ambitious start-up then rapidly developed its range.

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This range still relies heavily on products from the parent company Volvo. No wonder: the CEO of Polestar is none other than Thomas Ingenlath, the former head of Volvo design. In addition, creating a dedicated platform costs a lot of money, especially for a start-up. That's why the Polestar 1 borrowed its aesthetics from the 2013 Volvo Coupé concept while this Polestar 2 is actually the production version of the 2017 Volvo 40.2 concept car.

This Polestar 2 also shares its platform with the Volvo XC40, which explains its "leggy" design, the presence of a transmission tunnel and its weight rather 2.1 tons. By comparison, the Tesla Model 3 is longer (4.69 against 4.61 m) but thanks to its fully electric platform, it manages to store its batteries better and it tears by 1.8 tonnes.

Design

Inside, Polestar tries to loosen ties with Volvo. Although we still recognize many controls, the screens and the center console are quite innovative. For example: the infotainment system runs on Android and therefore includes navigation via Google Maps and Google Assistant and you may used cars for export online.

With the exception of a few details, the finish is well made while the majority of the materials are animal friendly. Seating comfort is typically Swedish, roominess suffers a bit from the platform, and the rear view is blocked by large C pillars. Polestar supplies the necessary parking cameras as standard. At 405 liters, cargo space is rather modest and the 35-liter front compartment unfortunately adds nothing to that.

Even more Volvo

If we look at the powertrain specs, we discover another connection to Volvo. Indeed, the 78 kWh lithium-ion battery and electric motors together producing 408 hp are straight out of the Volvo XC40 Recharge. Another fine example of economy of scale. But that's no shame: the Polestar 2 goes from 0 to 100 km / h in 4.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 205 km / h.

Despite its heavy weight, the Polestar has no trouble getting out of the starting blocks smoothly, although the accelerator pedal is inconvenient due to its fairly heavy feel. The high recovery when lifting the feet ensures that the brake pedal can only be used in an emergency. We also appreciate the precise steering and unruffled handling.

Performance Pack: not necessary!

Against an additional cost of 6,000 euros, Polestar will equip its 2 with the Performance Pack. It not only features gold-tone tire valve caps and seat belts, but also 20-inch rims, stronger Brembo brakes, and manually adjustable Öhlins shocks. These adjustments clearly affect driving, but their added value remains low.

In the vast majority of cases, the factory settings will remain the norm. So the combination of rather firm damping and 20 "rims don't really mix on our rough roads, so smaller rims and standard shocks seem more than enough for everyday driving.

On socket

Before moving on to prices, a word on consumption and recharging times. Polestar has a WLTP range of 470 kilometers. Our first test was far too short to verify this but the on-board computer gave us an average consumption of 23 kWh / 100 km. In practice therefore, this Polestar 2 seems to have a high consumption and a reduced autonomy.

Thanks to its 150 kW fast charger, it is possible to charge the 78 kWh battery up to 80% in 40 minutes. Charging at home on the Wallbox or connecting to a public 11 kW terminal will require 7.5 hours to completely fill the battery.

Price

The Polestar 2 is not yet available in France. By way of comparison: in Belgium, for example, Polestar shows its 2 to 58,900 euros. The basic endowment is very extensive to such an extent that the option list is very limited. There is therefore in addition only the metallic color, the leather seats, the 20 "rims, the tow bar and the Performance Pack. Its main competitor will certainly be the Tesla Model 3 Long Range. It costs $ 57,800. - Even if the Californian manufacturer likes to take liberties and drastically change its prices - and its range is wider but its finish is much less qualitative.

As with the American, this Polestar 2 is not available in the showroom. You will have to go to a specific "Polestar Space" to get more information, take a closer look at the car, but buying the car will be done online. The delivery will be made at home and the same goes for maintenance.

Conclusion

This Polestar 2 clearly shows the direction in which the ambitious Swedish-Chinese start-up wants to go. The links with Volvo are still present but they are applied more freely while the format, the price and the sales tactics come directly to play on the borders of Tesla. Consumption and reduced space are certainly drawbacks, but the future of Polestar is no less bright. Especially when a more affordable version makes its appearance.


Bella Thomas

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