By The Biz Team (Nicholas)
The Polestar 2 is a new electric vehicle (EV) on the market that has grabbed some significant attention. Polestar is a spinoff of the Volvo brand, and maintains some similarities to its previous parent company in its mission to deliver stylish, electric cars. The Polestar 1 was released in 2019, and was sturdy and comfortable, but at $155,000, not exactly affordable. Now a bit wiser and more knowledgeable, Polestar released its second iteration, with capable features that would make it competitive in the EV market.
The aesthetics of the Polestar 2 are quite sleek and functional. It may not appear as an EV on first glance. The headlamps and taillights give a futuristic feel to the vehicle, due to sharpness of their lines. The grille is not imposing, while the rest of the front is moderately curvy, not betraying anything about its unusual nature. The Polestar logo is tastefully done at the foot of the hood, and that is one of the only indications of the brand identity, along with the 20-inch lightweight allow wheels wrapped in Continental rubber. If the goal is Swedish minimalism and broodiness, then the Polestar is the optimal vehicle.
The interior tells a different story, as the design and material quality are elegant. Napa leather options are available on request. High-quality weave tech fabric is found on the seating, but the thick strip which extends across the dashboard is what grabs the most attention. When coupled with recycled black ash wood trim, the Polestar pulls it off a stunning look. The bright gold seatbelts also contrast with a stygian type of cabin. The center console between the front row seating is tall, thus leading to distinct spacing for the driver. The backseat passenger space is a bit snug, compared to what the back row feels like within compact EVs such as the Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan LEAF. Polestar claims the design decision allows for a deeper space for rear passengers' feet. Considering the fastback design, the headroom for tall passengers happens to be limited.
The digital dash places the most significant decision in front of the user on an 11-inch touchscreen. The Polestar 2 also borrows the Pilot Assist suite for advanced driver features from the brand. That entails adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist and departure. The graphics are quite crisp and impressively rapid, with no loading time or stuttering. It is one of the most smartphone-seeming displays available. There are also further displays configured with a widescreen map, as well as the speed and range data.
Android Automotive OS
The Polestar 2 uses the Android Automotive OS, which is Google's homemade infotainment system. That is not the same as Android Auto, that brings some of the smartphone functions on the infotainment screen of most modern vehicles. The system being proposed is going to be rolling out in several brands of cars over the next few years. With the android automotive operating system, several services including Google Assistant and Google Maps, will be directly integrated into the vehicle. That would mean that several of the technology features not used in cars before, like voice commands and navigation, can now be used with ease.
The powertrain is where the Polestar excels with all-wheel drive, courtesy of electric motors at the front and rear axles. These produce an estimated 408 horsepower and 487 pounds per feet of torque. The liquid-cooled battery pack provides 75-kilowatt hours of useable capacity, allowing for an EPA range of more than 200 miles. Polestar claims the time from 0 to 60 miles per hour is 4.45 seconds, so it may be placed as an electronic performance machine. Acceleration may be high, but the windier the road becomes, the more the vehicle shows its real character. The all-wheel-drive system has a 51/49 front/rear weight distribution, active brake-based torque vectoring, and low center of gravity. It can pull itself through an aggressive corner without under-steer, which is unique considering the lack of engine noise involved. It does not have any pre-programmable drive modes, but there are some settings which are adjustable within the infotainment system. The electric power steering has three modes of feel, and it is possible to adjust the stability control.
The onboard AC charger is expected to support an estimated 11 kilowatts of power, which are sufficient to add 25 to 30 miles per hour, when it is connected to a 240 volt home charging station. The DC quick charger that utilizes the CCS combo cord protocol can handle 150 kilowatts. That means charging from 0 to 80% adds 220 miles of range in three-quarters of an hour.
The Polestar is going to be released in West Coast cities in mid-2020. During the first year, the price is set at $63,000. A single motor variant would be added in 2021, and it would retail at $55,000. These do not include federal and local incentives. It will also be available to buy, lease, or subscribe on an all-inclusive plan. For a fast technology-packed electric vehicle, the technological provisions are not bad at all.
The first version of the Polestar may not have hit the market right, but this iteration is on the money. The interior concept is future proof, and there is some humility concerning the newcomer considering its aesthetics. It appears like a gas-powered road car, but it is anything but, considering the power and the technology features, along with the power source. The pricing is also very attractive to a market that is learning to tear itself away from petroleum.