A star rises

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A star rises

First test drive in the Polestar 2. The Swedish electric car wants to challenge Tesla’s Model 3 – and is well equipped to do so.

The Polestar 2 can currently be reserved in advance, regular orders can be placed from October. The first customer cars should be on the road from the end of November.

“We didn’t want to do what everyone else is already doing. That would be boring,” says Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar. “You take the skateboard-shaped battery as the basis, put the passengers on top – and you have an SUV.” Volvo is bringing such a thing onto the market with the XC40 Recharge. For this reason alone it is obvious that the subsidiary brand Polestar does not rely on the same concept – especially since the basic technical building blocks are the same for both cars. Above all, Polestar wants to take on the first purely electric model of a previously almost unrivaled car: the Tesla Model 3.

What does it take? Long range, simple operation and unmistakable design. The latter is a top priority at Polestar anyway, after all CEO Ingenlath was Head of Design at Volvo before joining Polestar. And you can see that in the “2” – if only because the car cannot be classified in well-known categories. Increased ground clearance like that of an SUV meets a “fastback” body, a combination of sedan and coupe with a large tailgate for easier loading of the trunk.

Not only the Matrix LED headlights with eye-catching daytime running lights are installed as standard, but also the large panoramic glass roof. It is well insulated against heat, but at the same time provides a lot of light and better headroom in the interior. Unfortunately, the glass roof cannot be completely darkened with a roller blind. Otherwise there is nothing to complain about in the modern interior. Despite the batteries in the underbody, the seating position in the car is pleasantly low, and there is enough space in the front and back, even for tall people. The workmanship is impeccable and the materials used are anything but cheap. Incidentally, the Polestar 2 comes with a completely vegan interior as standard; if you want leather, you pay a surcharge. However, only the trailer hitch (up to 1500 kg) and the performance package, which offers color accents in gold outside and inside, a reinforced brake system and a manually adjustable sports suspension for 6000 francs, cost extra.

The touchscreen infotainment system is always included. It is not based on a self-developed software architecture, but runs on an Android operating system like many tablets and smartphones. “It would be stupid if we thought we could do a better job of making such a system than the people who program smartphones and tablets,” says Ingenlath.

In fact, the touchscreen in the Polestar 2 is much more reminiscent of a tablet computer than a car operating system, which in this case can definitely be taken as a compliment. You can find the right functions intuitively without any major detours. The touchscreen also reacts smoothly and without delay. As with a tablet, apps can also be downloaded in the Polestar. For example, you can stream music directly from Spotify and navigate directly via Google Maps – including reliable traffic information and several route suggestions. In addition, charging stations can also be found using the extensive map material.

Of course, voice control also comes from the world of smartphones. It listens to the keyword “Hey Google” and can reliably control almost all functions for navigation, music, air conditioning and telephone.

Fluid with a pedal

Not only the operation wants to be simple, but of course the driving as well. You’ll look in vain for a start button. The key stays in your trouser pocket – get in, put your foot on the brake and set the small selector lever to “D”, and the Stromer starts rolling. The level of recuperation can be set on the touchscreen. It’s best to drive at the highest level because you hardly ever need the brake pedal. With a bit of foresight, the deceleration of the “motor brake” is easily sufficient, so that energy is fed back into the battery every time you decelerate. The mechanical brake is therefore only needed in an emergency, but feels pleasantly firm and strong, especially with the optional performance package.

Of course, the drive is also powerful. The two electric motors provide 408 hp and 660 Nm of torque. “The car shouldn’t appear nervous, but the power is there when you need it,” explains Ingenlath. This is achieved through a very conservative tuning of the gas pedal. The Polestar 2 looks tame and supple, especially in urban use; only when the gas pedal is pressed hard does the e-car accelerate in a sporty manner – despite a surprisingly high curb weight of more than 2.1 tons. The Swede also hides this well in curves. The “2” is not a poisonous sports car, but rather designed for smooth but quick cornering, which with the powerful electric drive makes for driving pleasure.

The price is also a source of joy. 57,900 francs is very fair, especially since the equipment is almost complete – including all-wheel drive and a range of more than 400 km.

pole star 2

Engine: 2× E-Motor Asyn. permian.

Power: 408 hp/660 Nm

Drive: auto 1 speed, 4×4

L×W×H: 4606×1895×1479mm

trunk volume: 405-1095L

Weight: 2123kg

0-100km/h: 4.7 sec.

Vmax: 205km/h

Consumption WLTP: 19.3kWh/100km

Range WLTP: 470 km

Price: from 57900 francs

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