Polestar 2 gets new styling, more range

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The updated Polestar 2 gains power and range and gets a new drive configuration and revised front styling that adopts the design language that debuted on its SUV sibling, the Polestar 3.

Polestar has started taking orders for revised versions of its five-door fastback in Europe and the U.S. Orders in China will begin in the second quarter. Deliveries will start in the third quarter.  

The starting price for the entry Polestar 2 rises 3.5 percent to 50,190 in Germany while the brand’s other variants will get a price hike of 10 to 12 percent in Europe’s largest market.

The 2024 Polestar 2 goes on sale in the U.S. in the third quarter, with pricing to be announced later. The current 2023 rear-wheel-drive base car starts at $48,400, while the dual-motor car starts at $51,900. Shipping is an additional $1,400 on the 2023 model.

Given the increased content and upgraded components in the revised Polestar 2, the automaker said it has no immediate plans to adjust European prices downward despite changes in the EV market.

The updated Polestar 2, like its XC40 and C40 siblings from major shareholder Volvo, gets a new-generation permanent magnet electric motor and new silicon carbide inverters to help boost efficiency and performance. It also gets larger, improved lithium ion batteries.

The power in the car’s single-motor variants, which switch for the first time to rear-wheel drive from front-wheel drive, rises to a high of 220 kilowatts (295 hp) from 170 kw (228 hp). Newton meters increase to 490 (360 pound-feet of torque) from 330 (243 pound-feet).

The revisions reduce the car’s 0-100 kph (62 mph) time by 1.2 seconds to 6.2 seconds, the company said Tuesday.

The Polestar 2’s dual-motor version remains all-wheel drive, but now with a rear-drive bias. The new rear motor is the variant’s primary drive source, while a new asynchronous motor on the front axle provides added support.

The two motors combine to provide total system output of 310 kw (416 hp) and 740 Newton meters, up from the previous car’s 300 kw (402 hp) and 660 Newton meters.

A key change in the dual-motor variants is that the front motor can now be disengaged when not needed, which boosts efficiency. For example, using this function in the car’s long-range, dual-motor variant increases range 105 kilometers to 592 kilometers, the automaker said in a press release.

The front motor reengages instantly when the driver wants more power.

The car’s top-of-the-line Performance Pack variant offers up to 350 kw (469 hp) and a 0-100 kph time of 4.2 seconds.

That matches models such as the 2022 BMW 2 Series M2 3.0 Twin Turbo G87 and 2021 Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder, according to performance car-focused website AutoSnout.com.

“Changing from front- to rear-wheel drive in the single-motor variants, and re-calibrating the torque ratio in the dual-motor variant for an increased rear-wheel drive feel, elevates the Polestar 2 driving experience to a whole new level,” Polestar chassis development boss Joakim Rydholm said in a statement.

The revised standard-range, single-motor Polestar 2, which is not sold in North America, gets a 40-kilometer boost in range to 518 kilometers, according to preliminary tests done by the automaker per Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure standards. The official figures that come from an independent testing agency may vary slightly, Polestar said.

The long-range, single-motor Polestar 2 variant adds 84 kilometers, for 635 kilometers of range, the automaker said.

Long-range Polestar 2 versions sold in Europe now feature an 82-kilowatt-hour battery from CATL with 27 modules. That is an upgrade on the 78-kWh battery with 27 modules previously provided by LG Chem, which continues to supply that system to Polestar 2s sold in the U.S., Canada, China and South Korea, the company said.

The battery for standard-range versions of the Polestar 2 continues to have a capacity of 69 kilowatt-hours with 24 modules, but the pack will be supplied by LG Chem instead of CATL.

The most noticeable change on the updated Polestar 2 is that the brand’s so-called SmartZone replaces the previous version’s grille. Like with the Polestar 3, SmartZone is home to active safety features such as a front-facing camera and mid-range radar.

“Typically, in the car industry, a face-lift introduces superficial visual changes that often destroy the original intention of the car’s design theme. With the new model year Polestar 2, we rather went below the surface and upgraded substantial tech and mechanical components of the electric drivetrain,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said in the release. “This is the best Polestar 2 yet, and with the updated front design with the new SmartZone, the best looking one, too.”

Polestar also is boosting the car’s standard equipment by not charging extra for features such as blind-spot warning with steering support, cross-traffic alert with brake support, rear-collision warning and mitigation.

The new Polestar 2 will come standard with a 360-degree surround-view camera, automatic dimming exterior mirrors and a wireless phone charger.