Road test | Polestar 2: the star guided by ecological sensitivity

Unless you are arguably Swedish car enthusiasts, chances are you’ve never heard of Polestar. Founded by Volvo four years ago after having been its racing partner, this brand has become the Swedish high performance electric arm. The Polestar 2, launched here last year, expresses the desire of this manufacturer to build its entry level with an original offer with a sporty temperament.

Posted on August 24, 2021 at 11:45 a.m.

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Charles René

Charles René La Presse

Its design

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The Polestar 2 presents an understated look.

Judging by the many questioning looks that sprinkled the week of testing behind the wheel of this Polestar 2, this new creation manages, at least visually, to capture the attention. This observation, we owe it to a body design that sulks the outrageous extroversion of many manufacturers. Very discreet, the concave grille is constructed from a succession of squares. The headlights make for their resolutely Volvo by presenting the visual signature of the “hammer of Thor” employed for several years to harden the look. The rear is also not left out with the most remarkable design element: a huge and elegant lying diode hook that furnishes the top. This underlines the confident presence of the Polestar 2 with its broad shoulders. Its logo painted in the body color and the lack of a label to identify the model, however, make it difficult for the uninitiated to know what they are dealing with.

On board

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Its interior relies on textiles made partly from recycled materials rather than leather.

At first contact, the interior of the Polestar 2 can be slightly confusing for a luxury vehicle. The brand places great emphasis on textiles made in part from recycled materials and avoids the use of leather. The decor is therefore almost entirely made up of these fabrics with slight variations of gray and black. It’s a bit dull, but seamless and tightly tied. The layout of the center console also leaves a little thoughtful, it which encroaches a lot on the legroom of the driver and front passenger without being able to benefit from additional compartments. If you look at the overall volume, that’s okay, but rear passengers have to negotiate with limited headroom and little footroom. The sedan also benefits from a fairly large boot (405 L) accessible by means of a Sportback-type tailgate. It is assisted by a small space under the front hood of barely 35 L.

Under the hood

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The model offered in the country has two electric motors, one per axle.

In Canada, the Polestar 2 is only entitled to a combination of two electric motors – one per axle – to set the tone. Do not look for the ignition switch, however, the sedan moves automatically as soon as you engage the “Drive” position of the gear lever. You can then take advantage of a total power of 408 hp and maximum torque at 487 lb-ft. Like all electrical mechanics, it is the immediate aspect of this performance that remains both gripping and immensely satisfying, no matter if you overtake or take off from a stationary position. 0-100 km / h is estimated in a very respectable 4.7 s. The range drawn from the 78 kWh battery oscillated around 350 km during the test, driven mainly on the motorway. That’s good, but again, not at the level of the Tesla Model 3, or even the Ford Mustang Mach-E at an equivalent price ($ 70,000).

Behind the wheel

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The vehicle displays great precision in its dynamic execution.

The Polestar 2 stands out in a tangible way on its handling. Taking advantage of the inherent advantages of its platform’s very low center of gravity, the sedan displays great precision in its dynamic execution. Admittedly, the management is not an example on the communicative level, but supports a great precision of the whole and a homogeneity in the movements of the body. There is solidity and a reassuring neutral aspect. The distribution of the torque could however favor a little more the rear on the dynamic rendering. The braking, the regenerative function of which can be adjusted, is progressive and very powerful. The only downside is when it comes to low and medium speed comfort. Undoubtedly because of the stiffness of the springs, one feels a rebound effect which can annoy, especially when one has to negotiate with the too firm padding of the seats. It fades at higher speed.

Embedded technologies

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The infotainment system is on an Android basis.

The Polestar 2 infotainment system is the first to be Android based. If the idea of ​​partnering with the giant with immense resources that is Google is excellent, the youth of the product gives the impression of navigating a beta system. Apple CarPlay is not available at the moment and to use the navigation function of Google Maps, you must have an internet connection, which is included with the vehicle for three years, but is not always possible depending on where the location is from. ‘we are. The electric vehicle component of the system is also disappointing, although it does not have the effect of various variables on range (air conditioning, heating, driving, etc.). However, we must underline its fluidity, the beautiful definition of the large screen as well as its speed in processing orders. Finally, the Harman Kardon audio system is somewhat disappointing, lacking in definition, especially on the mid frequencies.

Verdict

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The Polestar 2 is a very eloquent first electric attempt from Polestar.

Resilient, endowed with an undeniable driving pleasure and altogether original in its approach, the Polestar 2 is a first electric attempt all the same eloquent of Polestar. It also has a great ecological sensitivity in its manufacture, from the choice of fibers that line the passenger compartment to the traceability of the minerals used in its battery. The power of its electric motors delivered in an extremely smooth manner also makes this vehicle very pleasant. However, the work is not finished. There are some interior setup missteps and its infotainment system still needs development to get it right. Finally, we cannot silence the issue of maintenance. Polestar currently has only five points of service in Canada, including one in Quebec. There is therefore a long way to go, but the method is good.

Notebook

Charging tested

On a 100 kW Electric Circuit charging station, the Polestar 2 took 41 minutes to go from 20% charge to 80%. The maximum charging power briefly reached 83 kW. The car can theoretically accept a power of up to 150 kW.

Almost perfect mass distribution

One of the secrets of its excellent road handling lies in the almost perfect distribution of its masses between the front and the rear (51: 49), which attenuates the effect of its high total weight comparable to a Dodge Durango of series (2123 kg).

For sharper behavior

Polestar offers a Performance Package that adds 20 ” rims, mechanically adjustable Öhlins shocks and Brembo four-piston front calipers. This group increases the price by $ 6,000.

Soon a cheaper version

Polestar will launch at the end of the year a more affordable version of the front-wheel drive Polestar 2 with a range of 51 km greater than the twin-engine livery for a total of 426 km. Its price has not yet been revealed.

She can tow a small trailer

The Polestar 2 can be equipped with the necessary gear to tow a small 900 kg trailer. This obviously has an effect on autonomy.

Technical sheet

Price (with options, transport and preparation): $ 71,800
Motor: two liquid-cooled electric motors
Power: 408 ch
Torque: 487 lb-ft
Transmission: planetary gears (one per axle)
Drive architecture: two motors, one per axle
Estimated range: 375 km
Direct competitors: BMW i4, Tesla Model 3
New in 2021? New model (marketed in 2020)

For more information visit the Polestar website

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