By Breda Corrigan
The Polestar name may be unfamiliar to many motorists, but the Swedish premium electric performance-car brand’s links with Volvo are evident in many areas. In Ireland, the first model available is the stunning Polestar 2, which is the brand’s first fully-electric volume model, and is billed as a rival to the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E.
Practical Fastback Bodystyle.
The Polestar 2 is a premium five-door all-electric fastback that embodies the brands’ design-led philosophy with a real attention to detail. Stand-out highlights include a standard vegan interior with progressive textiles, pointing to a new more sustainable expression of luxury. A rear light-blade that stretches the entire width of the car (with adaptive brightness from its 288 LED’s) accentuates the vehicles powerful stance, while also adding terrific visual drama to the mix. There are some playful touches inside the car too, such as the unique Polestar symbol reflected into the glass roof above the front occupants. With a vegan interior as standard, Polestar also makes strong sustainability statements with the Polestar 2.
The Polestar 2 has been recognised as the ‘Best of the Best’ by Red Dot in the internationally-renowned contest’s Product Design category. The award is given to ‘ground-breaking design’ and is the top prize in the highly contested category. Additionally, the Polestar 2 was awarded the prestigious Product Innovation of the Year title at the renowned Sustainability Leaders Awards. The awards recognise organisations that have taken their environmental, social and financial performance to new heights in an effort to achieve a sustainable future, today. The Polestar 2 was the first car in the world to feature an infotainment system powered by Google’s Android Automotive OS, with Google built-in. Developed in collaboration with Google, the Android system revolutionises the way car infotainment systems can be integrated, and with Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store integrated, owners can benefit from the best voice and navigation systems in the world. The user interface is bespoke to Polestar 2, developed in-house and to exacting brand standards.
Range, Drivetrain & Charging Times.
The Polestar 2 is available in Standard Range Single Motor (2WD), Long Range Single Motor (2WD) and Long Range Dual Motor (4WD) variants with a WLTP driving range of up to 551kms depending on the version chosen. A 400V lithium-ion battery with a 75kWh usable capacity powers a single 150kW motor (2WD), or dual 150kW motors (4WD) in a refined and fuss-free manner. The on-board charger in the Polestar 2 allows for AC charging up to 11kW (1 or 3 phase), with DC charging up to 150kW also possible. As a result, charging from 0-100% via a wallbox charger can be completed in 8 hours, while a 10-80% charge from a DC fast charger takes just 35 minutes.
Standard & Optional Equipment.
A Pilot Pack comes as standard in the Polestar 2, and includes Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with steering support, Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, Rear Collision Warning and Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Emergency Stop Assist, 360-degree surround view camera, automatic dimming door mirrors, LED headlights and front fog lights with cornering function, along with front and rear light sequences. The optional Performance Pack allows more enthusiastic drivers to enjoy a heightened experience with the fitment of manually adjustable Öhlins Dual Flow Valve dampers, 4-piston Brembo brakes, forged alloy wheels and Polestar’s signature ‘Swedish Gold’ brake callipers, valve caps and seat belts. Also optional is a Plus Pack which includes a Heat Pump, Harmon Kardon premium audio with 13 speakers (600W), heated windscreen washer nozzles, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, Weave Tech vegan upholstery with Black Ash deco, panoramic roof with reflected Polestar symbol, fully electric driver seat with memory, fully electric passenger seat, front seat mechanical cushion extension, inductive phone charger, rear cargo ‘lid-in-lid’ with bag holder, and tinted rear windows. Single options consist of 20” alloy wheels with Continental Premium Contact tyres, ventilated Nappa leather with wood deco, metallic paint, and a semi-electric folding tow bar.
The Polestar 2 is one of the safest electric vehicles ever tested by Euro NCAP, achieving a five-star rating. Developed in the Volvo Safety Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden, the car’s crashworthiness was naturally a top priority. Standard safety equipment ranges from eight airbags, including the only inner-side airbags currently fitted to an premium EV that has been tested by Euro NCAP, to the Front Lower Load Path and Severe Partial Offset Collision Block that are designed to mitigate impact on the battery pack and passenger compartment alike. High-tech safety systems aim to ensure that safety extends beyond structural integrity and occupant protection, including vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian detection support, as well as lane and roadside departure warning and mitigation systems. The highly advanced Pilot Assist driver assistance system uses a radar and a camera to assist with acceleration, braking and steering at speeds of up to 130km/h.
My test car was a Polestar 2 Dual Motor Long Range with optional Plus Pack and Performance Pack, and was finished in striking Snow (white) metallic paintwork with contrasting 20” Y-Spoke black polished forged alloy wheels, and charcoal weave tech vegan upholstery. The Polestar 2 is impressively pleasing to drive, with a hefty 408bhp and 660Nm of instant torque from the dual motor set-up allowing the car to sprint from 0-100kms in just 4.7-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 205km/h (where permitted). The steering requires little effort to change direction, even in its firmest setting, and it does make the car easy to park – all of which is helped by front & rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree surround view camera. The car offers one-pedal driving, though it can be switched off if you prefer, and this system is extremely effective thanks to really impressive brake functionality. Polestar has done a terrific job of keeping the car comfortable to be in, while still making it thoroughly engaging to drive. The car is quiet too, with only a small amount of wind and road noise apparent at motorway speeds. The hatchback bodystyle of the Polestar 2 provides easy access to a generous 405-litre boot (including 41-litres of underfloor storage) behind the rear seats, and an even more practical 1,095-litres when the rear seat backs are folded flat, with an additional 35-litres of storage space under the bonnet.The car enjoys a 2,735mm wheelbase that affords generous space for up to five occupants with squared-off doors allowing easy access for all. Visibility is generally good thanks to large windows and mirrors. However, the tailgate window is narrow, but the standard surround-view camera takes the guesswork out of reversing anyhow.
Verdict, Pricing & Warranty.
The combination of handsome looks, carefully chosen materials, cutting-edge in-car tech and a thrilling driving experience makes the Polestar 2 a truly desirable premium EV. The cars stylish minimalistic cabin feels like it is built to last for generations, and it is a wonderful place to spend time in. Pricing for the new Polestar 2 starts at €51,135 (inclusive of an SEAI Grant of €5,000 if applicable), with my test car priced at €74,295 inclusive of optional packs and metallic paint. A 3-year vehicle warranty and roadside assistance plan come as standard, along with a 3-year vehicle service plan and 3-years of connected services.