2022 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor First Test: Model 3 Battler

polestar 2 full overview

We had several opportunities to rate the Polestar 2 in both single and twin engine settings. But even as Options amplified their bottom line, those cars didn’t leave us in shock. So when we had the chance to ride a no-frills 2022 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor we didn’t think it would dazzle us either, and that turned out to be pretty much the case on the test track. However, we wanted to see how well this particular 2 would stand up against a similarly-spec Tesla Model 3, and the overall results turned out to be a lot closer than we expected.

Base price battle: Polestar 2 vs. Model 3

Well, the Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor we used for testing isn’t exactly a car without a choice. The Pearl Magnesium Paint costs $1,200, just like every color Polestar offers besides black. Other than that, it captures the bare essence of the Polestar 2 by avoiding the $3,200 pilot (expanded driver aids, surround-view cameras, auto-dimming side mirrors), and $4,000 plus (glass roof, heated rear seats, upgraded speakers) , and $5,000 performance (Öhlins dampers, Brembo brakes, summer tires) optional packages. Standard equipment highlights included 19-inch wheels, heated front seats, and a digital display on our $48,400 test vehicle, although available tax incentives will lower that final price. (Tesla’s base model, Standard Range Plus rear-engine Model 3 at $48,190 to start, does not qualify for federal credit.)

Half the motors and half good?

The single engine sends 2 231 horsepower and 243 pound-feet to power the front wheels. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 6.8 seconds, with the test team reporting notable torque vectoring and an otherwise stoic response. We’ve also tested the Polestar 2 twin-engine all-wheel drive, which delivers performance comparable to its $4000: 408 horsepower and 468 pound-feet of torque to be exact, enabling a quick 4.0-second pickup from 0 to 60. Meanwhile , the Model 3 in its single-rear-engine configuration makes 283 horsepower, 307 pound-feet and reaches 60 mph in a solid 5.0 seconds.

In our quarter-mile test, the Spec 2 in the Single Motor crossed the line in 15.3 seconds at 93.4 mph, trailing 12.6 seconds, 110.0 mph in the dual-motor setting. The equivalent, single-engine Model 3 also pulled it off, running 13.4 seconds at 104.9 mph. Our test team noticed how acceleration waned on the two single engines after about 50 mph. We’ve also found the same in highway merging and swiping situations, although the throttle is more reactive once you start up.

Despite the downside to torque vectoring, front-wheel drive offers a potential advantage in electric vehicles. Because deceleration naturally moves the vehicle’s weight forward, regenerative braking can be made stronger because the front wheels take the brunt of the force’s deceleration. We’re not sure if any of that really made an impact during testing, but the second single motor dropped from 60 mph to 0 in more than a reasonable 114 feet. Adjusting the regeneration makes one-pedal driving very intuitive, and switching to friction braking is almost imperceptible. It’s no surprise that the Twin 2 motors stop a little shorter at 102 feet, thanks to larger Brembo brakes and sturdier tires that come with the Performance Package. Showing the rear in a big way is the 128-foot result we scored back in 2019 for the rear-engine 3 model.

Full grip is good on the 2 Single Motor, coming in at 0.88g around the skidpad, slightly higher than the Model 3’s score of 0.84g. It’s also close in the Figure VIII test: 26.6 seconds with an average of 0.65 grams for the Polestar and 26.4 seconds with an average of 0.69 grams for the single-engine Tesla. In these measurements, the 2 Dual Motor Performance Package delivers big numbers: 0.95g on the skateboard and 24.7 seconds with an average of 0.79g on the figure-eight. Although the 2’s chassis feels solid and balanced, the Model 3’s beautifully precise steering adds spirited vitality to a truly efficient dynamic setup.

Scope and Shipping Polestar 2

Regardless of the motor arrangement, every Polestar 2 sold in the US is powered by a 78 kWh battery. Level 2 charging takes about 8 hours at 11 kW, while a 150 kW fast charger can charge a filtered package to 80 percent in about 40 minutes. Given the long range in its name, as might be expected, the single-engine version goes farther on a charge (270 miles) than its twin-engine sibling (249 miles). The 272-mile range rating of the entry-level Model 3 is a negligible advantage.

Star design, environmental luxury

The appearance of the Polestar 2 concept car is no accident. We were impressed with its crisp body, with its wide taillight assembly and wraparound window graphics adding a modern touch. Sure, it’s similar to a Volvo, but that’s not a bad thing from our point of view. The Model 3 looks plain and subtle by comparison.

Simply put, 2 are assembled to higher quality standards than Tesla. Everything seems solidly built, unlike the tiny bits and inconsistencies that put some 3 models at risk. Polestar’s commitment to recycled and plant-based materials reduces the Vehicle 2’s overall environmental impact while giving drivers a convincingly premium cabin. In addition, its hatchback cargo area makes the Polestar 2 much more practical than conventional sedans.

Having information readouts in front of the driver – unlike a Tesla – is limitless. While the Model 3’s touchscreen is larger, at least the 11.2-inch unit on the Polestar 2 works just as well, with a Google-designed user interface and great voice recognition capabilities. Like Tesla, Polestar promises future improvements via over-the-air updates. Unlike Tesla, Polestar charges extra for driver aids like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and blind spot monitoring, features that come standard on every Model 3.

Despite its attractive cabin, the 2022 Polestar 2 isn’t always a comfortable place to sit. This single-engine vehicle with the standard suspension and smaller 19-inch wheels experiences a powerful, springy ride, like the 20-inch rim, adjustable damper Polestar 2 models we tested earlier. Although there is less harshness, we would not call it amaranth. It’s so stiff, in fact, that choppy pavement can reduce accelerating traction, as if the steering wheels were bouncing off the road.

2022 Polestar 2 or Model 3?

The Polestar 2 lineup as a whole is impressive in many ways, but it doesn’t quite match what Tesla brings to the table with the Model 3, and the 2022 Polestar 2 Single Motor Long Range doesn’t tip that balance. However, it is an interesting alternative, whether it affects the price, design, practicality or simply the fact that it is different. Although the future of the Polestar shines with promise, its entry-level car meets the right moment for EV-buyers and is more than a reliable alternative to its nearest Tesla competitor.

Look well! More details?

2022 Polestar 2 specs (single engine)
Base price $47,200
Price as tested $48,400
car design Front engine, front wheel drive, 5-lane, 4-door hatchback
Engine type permanent electromagnet
POWER (SAE NET) 231 hp
Torque (SAE NET) 243 lbs ft
transition 1 speed automatic
Appropriate weight (front and rear distance) 4,378 lbs (55/45%)
wheelbase 107.7 inches
Length x width x height 181.3 x 78.1 x 52.8 inches
0-60 mph 6.8 seconds
quarter mile 15.3 seconds @ 93.4 mph
Braking, 0-60 mph 114 ft
lateral acceleration 0.88 g (medium)
MT figure VIII 26.6 seconds @ 0.65g (average)
EPA CITY / HWY / COMB FUEL ECON 113/100/107 mpg
EPA scope, comb 270 miles
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