UPDATE 23.03.22: This review was supplemented by test results for a single-engine model.
What is Polestar? This was the next question from a curious couple who asked us to identify 2022 Polestar 2 we drove in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico. To paraphrase, we explained it Polestar is a fully electric subsidiary Volvo, and the squat car of Scandinavian design is currently the only production model in its portfolio. It turned out that only a Volvo certificate was registered, so we missed the information that Polestar 2 is the company’s first EV, made in China and sold directly to customers online.
For 2022, new configuration options and other notable improvements make Polestar 2 more competitive in premium EV space, especially compared to the popular Tesla Model 3. Previously, the Polestar 2 was only offered as a multifunction Launch Edition with twin engines and a starting price of $ 61,200. Now that many previously standard features are instead divided between the new $ 4,000 Plus and $ 3,200 Pilot packages, the starting point for a dual-engine transmission configuration is $ 10,000 less. To make the 22-year-old Polestar 2 even more affordable is a new single-engine, front-wheel drive version that went on sale in January. It starts at $ 47,200 (an amount that falls below $ 40,000 when you consider an available federal tax credit of $ 7,500).
Since we are already protested a twin-engine 2 with a Performance package for $ 5,000 and Polestar says the changes in 2022 don’t affect its driving behavior, we focused on the single-engine example. Its driving experience is less satisfying from an enthusiast’s point of view, but the differences are probably insignificant to most buyers. The single engine delivers 231 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels, creating the instant traction typical of electric vehicles. The feeling is available on demand from a dead end or when driving on an interstate track. The effect is simply amplified when the two engines do a combined 408 pony and 487 pound-foot, sending our twin-engine tester up to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. The single-engine model weighs 254 pounds less and runs much slower to reach 60 mph in 6.8 steps. This 2.7-second delta is almost identical to the difference between the two powertrains on the resistance strip, where the standard car completed a quarter mile in 15.3 seconds at 93 miles per hour versus 12.7 seconds in a twin-engine at 109 miles per hour. The top speed of the front-wheel drive model is electronically limited to 101 miles per hour; an additional electric motor that powers the rear axle raises this threshold to 125 mph.
The front-wheel drive Polestar 2 also lacks “point and shoot” dynamics, making its all-wheel drive counterpart more playful. With the stability control system installed on ESC Sport, you can make the tail of the AWD model come out controlled for maximum enjoyment. For those less interested in such youthful antics, the FWD version still feels sporty and refined. Even on standard 19-inch wheels, it holds up well and is confident, including thanks to the standard summer tires – Michelin Primacy 4s, in the case of our test car. The clutch of the Skidpad is 0.88 g, and stops from 70 mph occur at 161 feet, which lags behind the twin-engine version by just 0.02 g and four feet respectively. The worst flaws of the road are more pronounced on models with an additional 20-inch combination wheel and tire, but the cabin is impressively isolated from the outside world. Precise steering includes three adjustable effort levels – light, standard and solid – but neither generates actual feedback. The most aggressive recuperative braking setting provides a deceleration of 0.3 g and allows true single pedal control. The firm action of the brake pedal and short stroke also feel more confident than in many other EVs.
Regardless of the number of engines, each Polestar 2 has a 75.0 kWh battery. Although net power will not change until 2022, Polestar attributes the increase in range to “improving controller software and vehicle efficiency.” The EPA estimates the single-engine model has a range of 270 miles on a single charge, which is just 21 miles more than the 249-mile rating of the twin-engine model (16 more than before). In addition, thanks to the magic of air updates, 2021 models can also unlock this extra range. The same goes for the car’s maximum DC charging speed, which increases from 150 to 155 kW (we saw a 154 kW peak on the Electrify America unit). Polestar says charging a battery from 10 to 80 percent on a 150 kW unit should take 33 minutes. In our test, 10 to 90 percent of the charge to reach 80 percent took a little longer than stated – 39 minutes. And the charging rate drops well above 80 percent; Reaching 90 percent took 56 minutes at an average power of 75 kW, which is the slow end of modern EVs.
The single-engine example we drove to New Mexico started the day with almost a full charge, and after two trips on the roads and highways between Santa Fe and Los Alamas (only about 180 miles) the charge of our battery was about one – third. Returning home on our route with a range of 75 miles per hour, our front-wheel drive test car drove 220 miles on a full charge and spent an average of 89 MPGe. For comparison, the Polestar 2 dual-engine drove 200 miles and scored an average of 84 MPGe in the same test.
Pulling those miles into the Polestar 2 is nice thanks to the raised seating position and high greenhouse with good visibility ahead. The rear seat is comfortable enough for two adults, and between the rear hatch and the smaller compartment under the hood there is plenty of cargo space. Interior 2 looks minimalist, but the space has a distinctive finish and a sturdy panel. It feels like sitting in a Scandinavian coffee shop – except that there is only one easily accessible armrest between the front seats; the second is hidden under the center console cover. The centerpiece of the cabin is a vertical 11.2-inch touchscreen with innovation An infotainment system developed by Google designed to replicate the feel of a smartphone or tablet.
While this is familiar to most people, the Polestar brand and this high-ride hatchback aren’t that many. Polestar acknowledges its lack of brand awareness and says raising it has been a top priority this year. Then you can count the soft launch of Polestar 2 over a year ago, the company says it has increased marketing in 2021. In addition, it has expanded its North American network of Polestar Spaces (aka dealerships) from three in 2020 to about 30 today. It is expected that these efforts will not be the next Teslabut it should improve sales and arouse interest in future models such as future Polestar SUV 3. Then maybe early Polestar 2 users won’t have to answer so many questions.
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