The 2022 Polestar 2 is a lot of things, specifically a four-door hatchback with the proportions of a sedan and the ride height of a crossover, but above all else it’s an electric vehicle. The original Polestar 2 was introduced in 2021 as a dual motor high-performance model. For 2022, the company increased its range, made significant pricing and standard feature changes and added the “Dual Motor” suffix to its name. Then it added the Polestar 2 Single Motor, a lower-cost, longer-range single-motor version that retains much of the sporty driving character of the Polestar 2 Dual. Its Polestar branding will be familiar to fans of Volvo’s performance division, but now it signifies pure-electric and plug-in-hybrid models, with the Polestar 1 coupe classified as the latter. The car with the single-motor setup is front-wheel drive and has an estimated driving range of 265 miles. The dual-motor 2 has a shorter range, but that’s offset by all-wheel drive and significantly more power for quicker acceleration.
Polestar is a Volvo subsidiary, and the Polestar 2 shares its platform with the XC40 crossover—there are visual similarities with the S60 sedan in the shapes of the grille and headlights. However, the Polestar 2 aims to be different in look as well as function. The first all-Polestar design shows up with the forthcoming Polestar 3 SUV, but the Polestar 2 has plenty of detail separating it from its Volvo cousins. The Polestar name originates from the STCC Polestar racing team which spawned Polestar Performance AB, in turn acquired by Volvo Cars in July 2015. Polestar is a Swedish automotive brand established in 1996 by Volvo Cars’ partner Flash/Polestar Racing and acquired in 2015 by Volvo. Geely describes the brand as “independent” from 2017 onwards and “co-owned” by it and Volvo Cars. It is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden with vehicle production taking place in China. The company develops electric performance cars and offers performance hardware upgrades and engine software optimisations for Volvo models through their Polestar Engineered division.
The government has not released ratings for the 2022 Polestar 2, but last year’s dual-motor Launch Edition earned 92 MPGe combined and had an EPA-rated range of 233 miles. Like the Volvo XC40 crossover, the 2 rides on the Swedish brand’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), though the electrified version of the platform accommodates a 78.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the floor. The electrical system supports fast charging up to 150 kilowatts, and Polestar claims this method will recharge a dead battery to 80 percent in 40 minutes. The single-motor model has an estimated range of 265 miles, and the dual-motor is rated at 249 miles of range on a single charge. An 8-hour overnight session on 240-volt Level 2 equipment will replenish a fully depleted battery for home and workplace charging.
Unlike on the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive variants of the Polestar 2, the 231-hp single motor is mounted on the front axle. While we haven’t driven this new configuration yet, we have tested the more powerful Launch Edition, which features an electric motor on both axles and generates a total system output of 402 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque. The result is an impressively quick hatchback that zipped to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and sped from 50 to 70 mph in 2.2 ticks during our testing. Our example was equipped with the Performance package, which includes 20-inch wheels and summer tires, stiffer suspension components as well as adjustable Öhlins dampers, and upgraded Brembo front brakes. This combination contributed to the 2’s 0.90 g of cornering grip and 157-foot stopping distance from 70 mph in our tests. Polestar also provides three levels of regenerative braking, with the strongest capable of bringing the car to a complete stop without you touching the brake.
The Polestar 2 claims a mere 14.3 cubic feet of room under the hatch and behind the rear seats, which, on paper, makes it the smallest cargo hold in the competitive set. In practice, the Polestar 2 likely will be fine for most uses— just don’t try to cram an easy chair back there. The Polestar 2’s biggest apparent flaw is the lack of interior storage space. The door panel pouches are narrow and shallow, and there’s almost no room in the center console. One cupholder is visible, just rear of the shifter, but the other occupies what otherwise would be the console’s storage space. There is a small, thin cubby at the front of the console and a small net pouch the size of a pocket tissue package on each side of the console just below the dash. But purses, laptops and the like? They either go onto an unused seat or roll around on the floor. If the back seats aren’t needed for people, flipping them down increases the interior cargo area to 38 cubic feet. Add a properly fitted tow hitch (for $1200 Polestar will provide a hidden hitch that deploys at the touch of a button), and the Polestar 2 can tow a ton or so.
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