Polestar 2 overview
We've already driven the Polestar 2 in Ireland, but that version was the 'sensible' single-motor version; now it's time for the more powerful Long Range, Dual Motor model to show us what it can do.
From the outside, things look largely the same, with the Polestar 2's high-riding saloon/coupe-SUV shape offering something different - and it certainly gets comments from passers-by, with some people even suggesting that it looks like an SUV in their eyes.
What marks this version of the Polestar 2 out is its twin-motor set-up, which increases power from the 231hp for the single-motor model to a healthy 408hp. With one motor on each axle delivering four-wheel drive, that means there's a 0-100km/h time of 4.7 seconds, for the kind of performance that puts the Polestar 2 head-to-head with the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, as well as other all-electric options such as the BMW i4 and Audi Q4 e-tron.
A 75kWh battery gives the Polestar 2 a potential range of 480km, which is also competitive with rivals, while fast charging allows you to top up the battery from 10 to 80 per cent in 35 minutes from a 150kW source.
As well as twin electric motors, our car was also fitted with the €4,815 Plus Pack, which adds tinted rear windows, heating for the back seats, steering wheel and screen wash nozzles, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, panoramic glass, synthetic leather and electric front seats.
The Polestar 2 model range
Irish pricing for the Polestar 2 starts at €56,135, while the Long Range, Dual Motor model tested here is €63,850. Standard equipment is generous, with an Android-based infotainment system controlled via a large 11.5-inch digital display. This incorporates Google functions such as Maps, the Play Store and Google Assistant, while over-the-air updates and an integrated sim card mean the car is always connected. Other standard kit includes auto-activating LED lights and rain-sensing windscreen wipers, two-zone climate control with preconditioning, a reversing camera and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Since the Polestar 2 shares its platform with the Volvo XC40, it will come as no surprise to learn that it has a similarly high level of safety equipment. Eight airbags, whiplash protection front seats and tyre pressure monitors are all included, while the Safety Assistance package is standard and includes collision avoidance, run-off road mitigation, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, road sign and driver alert and lane assist.
All cars also come with the Pilot Pack, which includes adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, Pilot Assist (which helps with acceleration, braking and steering), 360-degree cameras, blind-spot detection and Pixel LED headlights with active beam-bending.
This standard kit list applies to all models, because the extra cost of the Dual Motor model pays for the additional power and larger battery. There are optional packs that can be added, though. As well as the Plus Pack mentioned earlier, there's a Performance Pack for the Long Range, Dual Motor model. This replaces the 19-inch wheels with 20-inch items fitted with Continental SportContact 6 tyres, plus Brembo brakes with gold calipers and adjustable Öhlins dampers.
If you want to buy a Polestar 2, your only option is to head to the Polestar Ireland website. There you'll find the latest finance offers and be able to spec up your perfect car, but you won't be able to follow this up with a visit to a Polestar dealer to purchase, because there aren't any. Instead, the whole process takes place online. The company is opening boutique-style stores where potential buyers can get behind the wheel for themselves, but there's no sales pitch to endure - you still have to purchase the car online. You can collect your new car from one of these outlets, though, or have it delivered.
The Polestar 2 interior
Polestar doesn't necessarily promote the 2 as an SUV, but you can see where some people might get the idea that it is one, with its raised ride height and subtle black plastic exterior additions. Either way, it's a cool looking, understated machine, helped by those jewel-like LED headlights.
The SUV angle soon unravels once you get inside, because the Polestar 2 is moderately spacious, but nothing more. It doesn't feel like an SUV in terms of layout, while synthetic leather and other sustainable materials are used, but it still feels like a premium product. The plastic drive selector is a case in point: while rivals would add metal and leather here to give a car a premium feel, the Polestar's set-up still feels of a high quality without it.
The switchgear inside is clearly shared with Volvo, though, with items such as the column stalks, steering wheel and air vents all looking and feeling familiar. That's no bad thing at all, though, while the hidden cup holder, which is revealed when sliding the centre armrest back, is a neat touch.
As already mentioned, the Polestar 2 has an adequate amount of space, but it doesn't set standards for passenger room or boot space. Back-seat space is fine, but the rear doors are a little narrow, which will make fitting child seats tricky. There are ISOFIX mounts on the two outer rear seats and front passenger seat, while four USB-C sockets will help to keep devices charged.
The hatchback rear opens to reveal 405 litres of space, with a useful 41-litre storage area under the floor, where the charging cables can sit. There's another storage area under the bonnet with 35 litres of space, though, which means the cables won't be buried beneath a boot full of luggage if you need them.
The Polestar 2 driving experience
Climb aboard the Polestar 2 and there's no start button. Instead, the car detects the key on you and automatically switches on, ready for you to select Drive and pull away. The driving position is a bit higher than you get in a Tesla Model 3, but again, it's not tall enough to be described as SUV-like. Either way it's easy to get comfortable, and the controls are easy to get along with for the most part.
This Dual Motor model has masses of power, and feels very strong off the line. In fact, it almost feels overpowered - in instances on wet tarmac, the car skated up the road under full power in a slight four-wheel drift, which was an odd sensation.
On dry roads, that four-wheel traction helps to deliver the 4.7-second 0-100km/h time, while the suspension delivers flat cornering. The trade-off for this is a firm ride, which is almost too firm most of the time. Maybe that's something that can be rectified if you choose the Performance Pack and those adjustable Öhlins dampers.
We managed an average energy consumption figure of about 22kWh/100km in warm conditions, but without much motorway driving, and we'd expect a range of around 400km, if not quite the official 480km quoted by Polestar.
Our verdict on the Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 is a handsome looking car that is moderately practical. It's more of a car with a raised ride height than an SUV, but that's no real harm, and it is well equipped. Beware of upgrading to 20-inch wheels, because the Polestar 2 already rides pretty firmly on the standard wheels, and while this 400hp all-wheel-drive model is silly fast and capable, most buyers will be content with the single motor model - it's powerful enough while offering a longer range than the dual-motor car.