POLESTAR COMES TO U S DEALERSHIPS
Volvo’s electric vehicle brand features style with performance.
It seems like nearly every month a new battery electric vehicle is announced and in many cases, introduced with a new approach to connecting with buyers. Polestar is the new electric offshoot of Volvo and is rolling out through carefully vetted dealerships, and its newest location just popped up at UTC in La Jolla.
Although Polestar may be new to the multitudes who aren’t tasked with following the automotive business, the brand name began life in the early 2000s as a Swedish racing team featuring modified Volvos. In 2009 Polestar became Volvo’s official partner to performance modify its vehicles and in 2015 Volvo acquired the fledging company and brand. And in the middle of all this activity, in 2010 Volvo was purchased from Ford by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
Not many years ago, a performance brand would seem out of place to land on an electric vehicle, but many of today’s EVs are quicker than their gasoline-powered counterparts. And driving fun is exactly the image Polestar means to deliver in its electrified offerings. My first encounter with the new marque was in the stylish Polestar 1, a limited edition, plug-in hybrid coupe that produced 609 HP and 738 pound-feet of torque. This carbon fibre stunner was fast, laugh-out-loud fun to drive and sold out quickly.
Polestar 2, the company’s current offering, leaves petrol behind in a new battery electric sedan that’s a sleek rival to Tesla’s Model 3. A single motor, rear drive model is the base offering that retails for a reasonably competitive $49,800 with freight and before any incentives. For just another $3,500, the dual motor model jumps from 231 to 408 horsepower plus the added traction at all four corners. Both deliver a reasonable 260 to 270-mile range.
We tested the single motor Polestar with a Plus package, a $4,200 option that added quite a bundle of luxury options including a panoramic roof, Harmon Kardon sound system, heated seats and steering wheel as well as a heat pump system to increase real life range. It’s a reasonable value for all the added luxury, but you’ll want the dual motor performance. And while we’re talking about performance, Polestar recently announced an over-the-air software upgrade that moves the dual motor power up from 408 to 476 horsepower and the 0-to-60 time down to 4.2-seconds for a reasonable one-time (no subscription) charge of $1,195.
Sensible Sports Luxury
Automotive styling is clearly in the eyes of the beholder, but in my view the Polestar design language is a nice balance of contemporary fashion while still retaining the appearance we’re accustomed to in petrol cars. On the road, the Polestar maintains great grip with its low center of gravity riding on 245/45R19 tires and the steering inputs are nicely neutral.
The spacious cabin is nicely quiet at highway speeds and Polestar’s big, tablet size screen provides plenty of information with high resolution graphics. Google has been employed to provide software features that range from voice commands to maps that find the most efficient routes and charging stations. The Polestar 2 is available now in both new and a few pre-owned models and the new Polestar 3 SUV arrives in a few months.
THE FINE PRINT
2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor
TYPE: Battery Electric Vehicle
BATTERY: 78 kWh
MPGe 113-city, 100-highway, 107-combined
BASE PRICE: $45,900.00
AS TESTED: $52,400.00