Volvo is taking its performance brand to the next level with the fully electric Polestar 2. It’s the natural next step from the previous plug-in hybrid Polestar 1 coupe. The original Polestar garnered positive reviews from critics and caught the attention of consumers who don’t want to compromise on performance for the sake of being eco-friendly.
The Polestar 2 is generating a lot of buzz in automotive circles before it went into production. Now, the hype has kept building ahead of its debut in showrooms around the world this summer. Here’s an inside look at the latest electric performance car to catch fire with automotive enthusiasts.
The Polestar 2 comes from Volvo. Although they keep it at arm’s length from their traditional offerings, it shares many of the exterior traits that the Swedish automaker is famous for. While not as boxy as other Volvo models, the Polestar 2 does combine the three-box proportions of most sedans made by the company. That includes a sloping roof, a rear hatch, and the raised ride height of a crossover. The aesthetic may seem unusual to some consumers – especially those who compare the Polestar 2 to the rival Tesla Model 3. However, as far as electric vehicles are concerned, the Polestar 2 is a fairly stylish entry-level luxury sedan. A Nissan Leaf, it ain’t.
Engine and Performance
Under the hood, the Polestar 2 derives its power from two electric motors. There’s one up front and another in the back, which provides all-wheel drive. Each engine produces 201 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, for a total system output of 402 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque. That’s impressive for most sedans, but stellar for an electric vehicle. Early marketing materials claims that the Polestar 2 can hit 60 MPH in less than five seconds. That’s quite impressive but still slower than the Tesla Model 3. Elon Musk’s EV which can hit 60 MPH in just 3.5 seconds.
Like the Volvo XC40 crossover, the Polestar 2 operates using Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). The electrified version of the platform accommodates a 78.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the flooring. The electrical system supports fast charging up to 150 kilowatts. However, the overall charge time to get the battery back to 100% remains unknown. Polestar says owners should be able to cover 275 miles on a single battery charge. While that range is reasonable for a luxury electric vehicle, it’s less than the 310 mile range of the Model 3.
Trimlines and Prices
The Polestar 2 is priced at $61,200 and basically comes in one model. Regarding the price, you should keep in mind that there are usually federal government incentives available for electric vehicles. They can bring the sticker price lower. There is also a subscription option for the Polestar 2, which covers insurance, maintenance, and excessive wear for one monthly fee.
You will will have your choice of six muted colors for the exterior, three for the interior, and not much else in the way of customization. There is an optional “Performance” package that costs an additional $5,000. It provides Öhlins dampers, 20-inch forged wheels, and Brembo brakes with gold-colored calipers and matching seatbelts. Leather upholstery costs an extra $4,000 on top of the Performance package.
The Polestar 2’s interior is quite lavish. You’ll find quality elements ranging from wood, fabric, and plastic. The end result is an interior that is both modern and luxurious. Like other Volvo sedans, the Polestar 2 utilizes steering-wheel buttons and a knurled start knob. In keeping with its eco-friendly credentials, the Polestar 2 uses politically correct vegan fabric (as mentioned, leather is only available as an upgrade). A power-operated liftgate opens to a cargo hold that is 14 cubic feet. There is another cubic foot of storage space in the Polestar 2’s frunk, giving owners a decent amount of storage. Overall, the interior design and storage area is where the Polestar 2 really shines.
Technology and Safety Features
The Polestar 2 comes equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, as well as a centrally located touchscreen. Google’s new Android Automotive OS infotainment system comes standard. Google Maps is also integrated directly into the Polestar 2’s navigation system and provides useful electric vehicle-specific information to the driver, such as where nearby charging stations are located. There are also two USB ports in the front and two in the rear. Satellite radio also comes standard.
The Polestar 2 has yet to be crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, it does come loaded with several standard driver-assistance and safety features. Highlights include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.
Warranty coverage for the Polestar 2 is about standard for the automotive industry. It’s also similar to the warranty offered by Tesla. Although the details of the powertrain warranty for the U.S. market haven’t been announced yet, it will likely be similar to the four year, 50,000 mile guarantee offered on most Volvo models. Unfortunately, the Polestar 2 doesn’t offer the same three-year complimentary maintenance program available on most Volvo vehicles. The Polestar 2 comes with no complimentary scheduled maintenance whatsoever. Then again, who needs oil changes on a battery powered car, right?
An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efficiency rating is not yet available for the Polestar 2. Those numbers should be available sometime this summer once the electric vehicle hits showrooms. Obviously, the car uses no gas at all. The real question is whether the Polestar 2 can live up to its promised 275 mile range on a single, full charge.
- Stylish exterior befitting the car’s luxury brand.
- Lavish interior with loads of high-end technology.
- Cargo space in both the front and rear end of the vehicle.
- Engine not as powerful as the rival Tesla Model 3.
- Limited options and upgrades.
- No scheduled maintenance available.
The Last Word
The Polestar 2 is an impressive luxury electric vehicle aimed squarely at competing against the Tesla Model 3. While the Polestar 2 is not all things to all people, it’s a step forward for many. Anyone who wants an electric vehicle that is good for the environment and also looks pretty sitting in the driveway should check out the Polestar 2. While there are some issues to quibble with, like the lack of upgrades and ho-hum warranty coverage, this sedan is nevertheless an enhancement over some of the more basic electric vehicles that populate the roads. If you’re in the market for a high-end electric vehicle, you should definitely consider the Polestar 2 when it goes on sale in summer 2020.