- The 470 kilometers WLTP range is realistic
- Optics: independent, but also simple
- Interior: a lot of Volvo, but also a lot of Google
- Operation: Few buttons, no start button either
- Recuperation: one-pedal driving at it's best
- Impressive acceleration up to top speed
- Charging with alternating current up to 11 kW
- Chassis: Tight, but not too much
- Adaptive Ohlins shock absorbers: only adjustable with a screw
- Cheaper front-wheel drive version will be available in 2021
- More about Polestar 2:
- Conclusion: 8/10
- Picture gallery: Polestar 2 (2020): Own pictures
The 470 kilometers WLTP range is realistic
Volvo's electric offshoot named after the Pole Star will launch its second model, the Polestar 2, on the market in August. While the Polestar 1 is a plug-in hybrid with a hefty price tag, the Polestar 2 is a more affordable electric car with sporty ambitions.
The car belongs to the middle class; Despite the fossil fuels, the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and the Tesla Model 3 are named as competitors. The electric drive of the Polestar 2 is essentially the same as that of the Volvo XC40 Pure Electric. With two times 150 kW, so a total of 408 hp, it offers plenty of power and with 470 kilometers (WLTP) also a decent range. We tested the Polestar 2 on a short trip in and around Munich; We also paid attention to power consumption.
Optics: independent, but also simple
As chic as the Polestar 1 It's not model number 2 for a long time, but the look is independent, especially at the rear. The car is not a "swanky car", it remains simple, for example with the representation of the brand emblem on the front hood (in car color).
And the Polestar 2 looks much more angular than the competitor Tesla Model 3. According to Germany's Managing Director Alexander Lutz, design is one of Polestar's core values: Our customers value good design and are looking for something special, says Lutz. Like Volvo, I ask. Something like that, he says, but Volvo puts more emphasis on safety, while Polestar focuses on performance.
Independent: frameless exterior mirrors. When adjusting, the housings move, not the mirror surface
The Polestar 2 does not have the bright colors of Ferrari or Lamborghini: The five cars that Polestar brought to Munich are black, white, light gray and dark gray.
Interior: a lot of Volvo, but also a lot of Google
On Polestar 2 you can see what the Polestar boss Thomas Ingenlath, who is connected via video conference, means when he says: We are between the Chinese parent company Geely, with their way of thinking that is not burdened by tradition, and the traditional car manufacturer Volvo with almost 100 years of experience.
On the one hand, there is a lot on the Polestar 2 that is reminiscent of Volvo, from the Thor's Hammer light signature to the typical Volvo steering wheel to the design of the air vents. The affinity to modern digital technology is also clearly noticeable. The display system uses Android as the operating system. You can address it with "Ok, Google" and it replies. If you want, it also tells jokes. And the navigation is based on Google Maps.
The instrument display shows me the navigation map when I get in; unlike Volvo, you can choose different views here. In the middle of the cockpit there is also a large, vertically arranged display.
The displays and the map image are nicer than Volvo's, but still pretty plain. Eye-catching gimmicks like the two-dimensional instrument display of the Peugeot 2008 or the 3D Google Earth view in the VW Touareg (with spectacular snow-capped mountains if you drive through the mountains) one looks in vain here. The satellite view of Google Maps, which is familiar from the mobile phone, is also not offered. That would be too distracting and would not be beneficial for navigation, explains Ingenlath. So the brand has retained a bit of Volvo thinking.
In terms of materials, the Polestar 2 cannot keep up with Mercedes; some parts (for example the storage compartments of the doors) are made of very simple hard plastic. Visually, however, the cockpit is successful.
Operation: Few buttons, no start button either
What was very important to Ingenlath is the ease of use. And the Polestar 2 is easy to use. For example, the car has no start button. To drive away, simply move the automatic lever to "D" and off you go. With the introduction of the digital key (at the end of the year), the car key can also be left at home, and the car will open when you approach it with your mobile phone in your pocket. The seat then also moves to the saved position.
The Polestar 2 doesn't have many buttons. Most of it is set via the display, including the air conditioning. The strength of the recuperation can also be set here. Quickly changing the recuperation for a downhill slope is hardly useful here. It's impressive that you can even turn the crawler gear on or off at the traffic lights – I haven't seen that anywhere else.
"One-pedal drive" is not a good translation, but we know what is meant …
Recuperation: one-pedal driving at it's best
The strength of the recuperation is also regulated here. Polestar relies entirely on the famous one-pedal driving, apparently one of Ingenlath's favorite features on the car. Driving with just one pedal actually works very well, as I notice from the first few meters. In the standard setting (maximum recuperation, crawler gear off) you can actually manage without a brake pedal as a rule.
With a little practice, I can also manage an acceptable stop at traffic lights: When I switch to red, I don't just let go of the pedal, as I do with a combustion engine, but instead slowly reduce the pressure. The car then stops completely at the stop because the crawler gear is switched off. Perfect, I've loved this feature since I got to know it when I introduced the BMW i3. Unfortunately, this is not possible with all electric cars.
Impressive acceleration up to top speed
From the north of Munich I first drive across the city with the fully fueled Polestar; The 408 HP of the electric drive cannot even begin to be experienced in heavy traffic. But on the autobahn to Garmisch I hit the gas, and before I know it, the speedometer reads just over 200 km / h. The Polestar 2 does not have any difficulties in reaching the top speed (205 km / h). And the acceleration is tremendous.
The calculation follows when I take a look at the electricity consumption at the southern end of my exit: 26.3 kWh / 100 kilometers. That's hard. I'll pull myself back together, I swear to myself. Not because I'm afraid I'll run out of juice (the display is still at 83%). I just want to know how much electricity the car needs for everyday use.
The result (I'll say it in advance) amazes even Polestar managing director Alexander Lutz: 14.8 kWh / 100 km, Polestar has never managed that little, says Lutz. I really wasn't driving overly economical. With this consumption, the specified 470 kilometers are in any case feasible – 72 kWh net divided by 14.8 result in even 486 km.
On-board computer display: 14.8 kWh / 100 km after manual reset at the reversal point, the average was 20.6 kWh (right)
At the turning point, I take photos and explore the rest of the interior. My car has the performance package on board, so it has gold-colored Brembo brakes and belts in the same shade.
The seats offer little lateral support. This is not noticeable negatively on my route, which is not very winding, but it should be different on serpentine routes. And it doesn't fit a brand that is committed to "performance". In the rear, as a 1.75 meter tall giant seat, I have more than enough space for my legs, but my head is tight:
Just two or three fingers still fit between the top of the skull and the roof
The trunk is also not ideal in terms of everyday practicality. The large tailgate offers very good access, but the sloping body shape at the rear means that tall objects are difficult to accommodate:
The flap opens wide, but it should be difficult to move the refrigerator
Another minus point in terms of everyday usability is the small rear window; Because of the non-folding rear headrests, the view to the rear is even worse:
Practical (and fascinating for playful car editors like me), on the other hand, is the all-round camera system, where you can switch between the four cameras. When resetting, the Polestar 2 even brakes automatically if the display isn't lying:
The foldable board with which purchases can be secured against slipping should also be useful:
The Polestar 2 also has a trunk at the front, which is mainly used to neatly accommodate the charging cables. There is a type 1 cable for "grandma charging" at the household socket and one for the AC charging station.
Charging with alternating current up to 11 kW
Charging is via a CCS connection on the rear left. At the fast charging station, it should only take 40 minutes to reach 80 percent again. The value up to which it is loaded can be set via the display. 11 kW are achieved with alternating current, so 22 kW are not possible. When charging, the state of charge just reached is visible from the outside:
Chassis: Tight, but not too much
Because of the built-in performance package, my test car is more tightly tuned than the normal version. A journalist colleague says that other testers found this chassis to be quite hard, but I have nothing to complain about in that regard: Yes, the car is firm, but not hard. But the impression depends (apart from personal preferences) a lot on the roads you drive on, and they were well paved on my exit.
Adaptive Ohlins shock absorbers: only adjustable with a screw
Polestar has a quirk when it comes to shock absorbers: the performance package includes adaptive dampers from Ohlins, which comes from the tuning area. Therefore, the dampers cannot be adjusted via switches in the cockpit as usual, but only with a screw.
The Polestar men show how it's done: You turn the wheels in the front and then you have to reach deep into the wheel arch up to your elbow to turn a (naturally gold-colored) screw: six notches in the direction of "sporty" or six in the direction of " comfortable". Since the rear shock absorbers are installed the other way around, you need the help of the workshop to jack up the car and remove the wheel.
After a few contortions on the front wheel arch, the photo was successful: See the golden screw?
Cheaper front-wheel drive version will be available in 2021
The version currently on offer costs 57,900 euros. However, this price still includes 19 percent VAT. If you calculate with 16 percent and deduct the subsidy of 7,900 euros, you get 48,540 euros. This makes the car significantly cheaper than the Volvo XC40 Pure Electric with the same motor.
All of this relates to the currently offered Launch Edition, which will be shipping from August. If you only order now, you should get the car in October. From the end of August, interested parties can test the car in seven German cities; Information on this should be communicated via the Polestar newsletter. The initially announced Polestar 2 price of less than 40,000 euros will come true in 2021. Then a version with a smaller battery, only one motor (front) and less equipment is added.
More about Polestar 2:
Polestar 2: Production started, deliveries from summer
Polestar 2 and Tesla Model 3: Which is the better electric car?
408 hp and 660 Newton meters of torque, sprint in 4.7 seconds: the data doesn't promise too much, the Polestar 2 inspires when it comes to acceleration, right up to top speed. But word has got around by now that electric cars are a lot of driving fun. I personally also enjoy one-pedal driving.
The range of 470 kilometers is less than the Model 3 Long Range (560 kilometers). But Polestar relies heavily on optics, and the angular characteristics of the Polestar have aerodynamic disadvantages compared to the "slippery" type of the Tesla. When it comes to design, however, Polestar has to attest to many interesting ideas – in the overall picture (especially at the rear) as well as in detail (frameless exterior mirrors, Polestar logo as an Easter egg in the glass roof).
However, the use of adaptive dampers, which can only be adjusted with a screw, has a quirky effect. Something like this does not match the premium claim (suit wearers don't like to get their shirt sleeves dirty) or the ease-of-use claim of Polestar. The displays are also committed to user-friendliness. As a result, some chic eye-catchers (which the author admittedly likes to be dazzled by) remain banned.
Picture gallery: Polestar 2 (2020): Own pictures
Picture by: Stefan Leichsenring
Polestar Polestar 2
engine 2 electric motors, one per axle
power 2 times 150 kW (204 PS) = 300 kW (408 PS)
Max. Torque 2 times 330 Nm = 660 Nm
drive all wheel drive
Gear type Input gear
Acceleration 0-100 km / h 4.7 sec.
Top speed 205 km / h
consumption 19.3 kWh / 100 km (without specification of the standard)
Electric range 470 km (WLTP)
battery 78 kWh gross, 72 kWh net
Charging port CCS connection, up to 11 kW AC, up to 150 kW DC
Charging time AC: 8 hours (100%), DC: 40 min (0-80%)
length 4,606 mm
broad 1,859 mm (with folded mirrors)
height 1,479 mm
Trunk volume 405-1,095 liters
Empty weight 2,123 kg
Payload not specified
Base price 57,900 euros with 19% VAT. (48,540 euros with 16% VAT after funding)
Market launch August 2020 (if ordered now, delivery in October)
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