Polestar recently added a new 2 sedan in Long Range, single-engine configuration to the American brand’s lineup. With an estimate of 270 miles of range and lower prices for the base Tesla Model 3, Polestar clearly hopes to attract more buyers to the nascent Volvo spinoff customer base.
The Car 2’s interior and exterior design should help, as well as the fact that visitors to the growing network of Polestar “Spaces” can spot a purchase and possibly pick up their car in less than 36 hours. After following Polestar’s growth over the past three years, from the Super-GT 1 to the Precept and O₂ concept, I found myself very excited to climb behind the wheel of the company’s first mass-produced electric vehicle.
Introducing the Long Range Single Motor
The most pressing question on my mind approaching the 2 Long Range Single Motor was Polestar (and parent company Geely’s) decision to run the front wheels, rather than the rear. How can all this instantly available torque be translated into driving dynamics, compared to a rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive EV?
But more importantly, with a starting price of $45,900 for 2022—less than any government rebates and incentives, which Polestar still qualifies, unlike Tesla—that 2 now offers 270 miles of all-electric range, plus 231 horsepower and torque. 243 lb-ft. Like most current electric cars not called the Taycan or the RS e-tron GT, the 2 uses a single-speed transmission but still produces impressive acceleration with a respectable 6.8 seconds 0-60 time.
- 270 miles of all-electric range
- Low specification interiors to save costs
- Single motor to drive the front wheels
- Android driver and infotainment screens
- horse power: 231 hp
- torque: 243 lbs ft
- payment system: front drive
- Transmission: single speed
- It includes: 270 miles
- Lowers Tesla Model 3 Prices with Discounts and Incentives
- Scandinavian design inside and out
- A solid set with a lot of strength
- Map in the instrument cluster, large touch screen
- Front wheel drive isn’t great for one-pedal driving
- Quiet-friendly interior is likely to quickly show erosion
- The fast charging time isn’t too fast, on purpose
Stripping inside to save costs
The specific long-range single engine I drove arrived with zero-added-cost options, which translates to a squishy interior that largely features textile and plastic surfaces. The black exterior paint (which Polestar calls “emptiness” for a bit of existential humor) and simple 19-inch wheels contribute to the overall unadorned aesthetic, which avoids feeling cheap thanks to the impressively cohesive design language on display throughout.
A largely horizontal dash mingles with a vertical touchscreen and smart knob, which I found strange at first but have grown to appreciate it greatly. The seats offer firm, comfortable cushioning and just a hint of sporty cushioning, with excellent forward and aft adjustability. The sunken footrest adds to the legroom that’s already impressive, although when driving with cruise control activated—the adaptive cruise control buttons on my steering wheel didn’t work on my car—my bent legs and ankles felt a little weird given the floor sloping down.
Electric performance with front wheel drive
I drove 2 a lot through city traffic, as well as about 140 miles of highway driving. Altogether, the claim to 270 miles of range sounded very accurate as it combined strong acceleration and steady speeds, as well as stop-and-go. Two different remaining range monitors regularly displayed different readings, adding to the feeling that drivers need to pay more attention to their next charging location.
The base spec 2 in a long-range monocoque obviously arrives without adjustable suspension settings, though the steering weight and single-pedal driving modes allow for some customization for those who want connectivity on the ride. Both point to this car’s biggest challenge, though: the tendency toward torque-vectoring and throttle lift due to a combination of massive torque, front-wheel drive, and regenerative braking. To help dampen torque out of the line, I kept the steering on a softer setting—oversteering appears at its worst on long sweeping curves with maxed-out one-pedal driving, when the front wheels are only trying to slow the car but the rear wants to keep it spinning. I normally like single-pedal driving and appreciate the extra range that can be achieved via regenerative braking, but in this car, it seems that sacrificing these EV pros is necessary to improve the powerful driving dynamics that is achievable thanks to the low center of gravity of the skateboard battery design and excellent damping. Empty vehicle weight is 4,400 lbs.
Overall, controlling the car’s various driving modes, climate control, media, and navigation settings via the Android touchscreen was relatively intuitive (although in full disclosure I’m an iPhone user and definitely missed Apple CarPlay).
Spacious interior front and back
Low-spec Polestar like the 2 Long Range Single Motor is clearly intended to appeal to urban buyers looking for the perfect daily driver. Utility-wise, I’ve come to be impressed with the spaciousness of the front and rear seats, the real big hatchback, and the small but much appreciated front trunk. The small knobs include a strange lack of rearview despite the large rear windshield, as well as the thin material of the trunk privacy lid.
This trunk lid initially caused me to worry for a moment, as the previous reviewer (or perhaps the cleaning team) failed to install the hinges properly, causing a serious rattle until I diagnosed and fixed the problem. My first thought turned to all Teslas, which look like they might be shaken to pieces even when brand-new from the showroom floor. But with the cover installed correctly, the rest of the Polestar 2 felt tight and rattle-free — hopefully a good indication of the overall build quality that most industry experts and consumers hope will bypass Tesla’s widespread anxieties. Whether the fabric seat and dashboard materials will age well, not to mention the piano black plastic on the center console, remains a question that only time can answer.
Can Polestar Really Take Over Tesla?
Overall, the Long Range Single Engine 2 delivers an excellent combination of performance, everyday driveability and design at an attractive price point. However, jumping to the Dual Motor adds all-wheel drive and almost doubles the power output to only about four times. I can’t wait to test those specs and hope to get the full Polestar experience, even if the long-range monocoque feels like the natural contender to my favorite Model 3, the primary rear-wheel drive variant.
Polestar continues to be admired as an expanding participant in the burgeoning electric vehicle market. Subsidiary Geely knows to focus on sustainability using optional plant interior materials and a new blockchain tracking system to alleviate any concerns about mineral mining practices and if the upcoming 3 and 4 crossovers can adapt some of the design principles of Principle and 02 concepts, which distinguish Polestar from Volvo All this is better. Based on Total Package 2, Polestar’s goal of reaching 290,000 units sold by 2025 appears to be quite within reach – although losing a major boon from big discounts and incentives may require a slight shift in strategy to continue to challenge Elon Musk’s Tesla products as well as 2 One long-range engine can today.
Sources: polestar.com, youtube.com, apple.com and tesla.com.
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