When it was first announced that the Polestar brand was going electric, people were worried. After all, Polestar built a name for itself as a temple of speed and power by cranking out some of the hottest Volvos ever made. Fears were mitigated when the Polestar 1, a 600-horsepower super coupe was unveiled in 2018. An incredible effort for a manufacturer’s first car, but one that’s nowhere near as important as their latest offering. The 2020 Polestar 2.
From the outside, it’s easy to think that the Polestar 2 looks a bit unusual. It may be a three-box design but it appears a bit short and tall, partially thanks to its actual dimensions and partially thanks to the band of black plastic that runs the lower perimeter of the car. This unusually rugged appearance doesn’t just evoke shades of the departed Volvo S60 Cross Country, it helps some of the sharpest styling lines on the market appear simply natural instead of overstyled. The beltline, the hood lines, the lines over the wheel arches, they’re all as sharp as carving knives and add both solidity and drama to what is otherwise a fairly conventional form.
Inside the Polestar 2, it’s easy to spot bits of Volvo. The steering wheel and door handles, for example, are shared with many current Volvo models. What isn’t shared with any Volvo is the 11.15-inch infotainment system. It’s the first-ever OEM Android-based infotainment system, capable of over-the-air updates and optimized to run all sorts of apps. Indeed, high technology is a running theme with the Polestar 2, as owners can use their phones as keys and the whole car doesn’t even require a start button. Instead, the Polestar 2 has a sensor in the seat that turns the car on when there’s someone in the driver’s seat and the phone-as-key system says everything is okay. Melding old luxury with new luxury is the black ash or reconstructed wood on the dashboard which adds a dose of old-school class to an otherwise new-age interior.
Technology on the Polestar 2 isn’t just limited to connectivity. The car packs two electric motors, one up front and one out back, which are mated to a 78 kWh battery pack to crank out 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque. Range on the WLTP cycle is expected to be 500 kilometres and the electric power system supports DC fast charging of up to 150 kilowatts. Keen drivers may wish to tick the box for the Performance package, which adds Öhlins Dual-Flow valved dampers, Brembos up front, forged wheels and Polestar’s signature gold seat belts. Of course, Polestar also brings Swedish safety to the table with semi-autonomous driving functions, a birds-eye 360-degree camera system and a whole host of airbags.
Canadian-market pricing for the 2020 Polestar 2 is expected to start at $69,900 which makes it one of the biggest threats the Tesla Model 3 has faced. And unlike the Tesla Model 3, the Polestar 2 sports a liftback for extra practicality. The Polestar 2 can be reserved online right now, with deliveries expected to start in the early half of 2020.