This is the car for you if… want a high performance electric car with ethical credentials.
If you’ve come across the Polestar brand before, you’re in for a real treat. Because although its cars might not be very imaginatively named – there’s a Polestar 1 and now the Polestar 2. It’s one of the most forward-thinking and innovative manufacturers of electric cars today.
The Polestar’s price puts it firmly in the premium performance category, alongside Audi and Mercedes. But unlike the Audis and Mercedes of the world, which have adapted their existing fuel-powered vehicles to work on an electric powertrain. Polestar wants to be recognised as a standalone electric performance brand. And that pits it directly against Tesla… With the Polestar 2, in particular, a direct challenge to the Tesla Model 3.
So why might you consider the Polestar 2 over the Tesla Model 3?
The Polestar 2 is a luxury five-door ‘fastback’. What this translates as is in the real world is an electric car that’s slightly taller than a saloon. And one that has a single sloping rear from roof to bumper – unlike a hatchback. It gives the car a streamlined finish. But more than that, it looks and feels like a discreetly classy car. With a tinted glass roof that flows from front to back. And frameless wing mirrors – such a neat invention, why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?
Its features like these that give the Polestar 2 real stand out in an expanding electric market. It’s an electric car for drivers who want a sporty number without being flashy. For individuals who want a car that’s good for the planet, but ethically made too. And for those who want a performance car that values quality as much as safety.
Take its pixel LED front lights. These origami-inspired headlights look slick. But, more importantly, they’re an important safety feature. It turns out that having 84 LEDs controlled individually means you can drive permanently on full beam, without worrying about dazzling oncoming drivers.
Then there’s the grid at the front. It looks like a conventional radiator grille. But turns out to be home to the radar and front 360º camera. These drive the active safety systems in the car – of which there are an incredible 16. But that’s what you get when you spin out a premium performance brand from Volvo, a manufacturer renowned for its safety credentials.
But don’t assume that this makes the Polestar 2 a dull, uninspired drive. It’s anything but. It does 0-60 in less than five seconds. Its two electric motors generate 300kW of power. And it accelerates smoothly and quickly – as you’d expect from an electric car.
But fork out for the additional performance pack and you get the Polestar 2 on steroids. Brembo brakes and Öhlins’ dampers transform the Polestar 2 into a racy drive with minimal roll and good grip on even the most challenging of surfaces. While 20” alloy wheels and gold-coloured seatbelts bring a bit of bling to an otherwise understated car.
The interior of the Polestar 2 is as elegant as its exterior. There’s a large touchscreen with pleasingly large tiles. And in a world first, the Polestar 2 is the first electric car to come with an Android-powered infotainment system. It puts Google at your fingertips – whether you’re using Maps or the voice-controlled Google Assistant.
Everything about the Polestar 2 is familiar but slightly different. From its vegan interiors – inspired by high-tech sportswear – to its hexagonal gear shifter. And that’s what makes it such an exciting entrant to the electric car market. Polestar has shown it isn’t afraid to challenge convention… Tesla better watch out.
Our three favourite Polestar 2 features:
- The Crystal Light Blade – Some might call it a gimmick, but we rather like the choreographed light sequence that plays out on the Polestar’s rear when you approach the car.
- The driver profiles – It’s a first-world problem, but having to re-adjust your seat and mirror positions when someone else has driven your car is a pain. Thankfully, with the Polestar Connect app, the car automatically adjusts to your preferences when you sit down behind the wheel.
- The Acoutic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) – Polestar has taken a necessary feature – the sound all electric cars must make when reversing or travelling below 13mph – and made it unique to the car. And – dare we say it? – it’s really rather pleasant.
You’ll like the Polestar 2 if you… want an electric car that screams luxury without being overly bling.