The Polestar 2 electric fastback is about to get much cheaper with FWD


Polestar, the premium electric brand owned jointly by Volvo and China’s Geely, is adding new variants and a handful of equipment packages for the creatively-named Polestar 2. It’s the marque’s first all-electric vehicle, following the also-creatively-named Polestar 1, which was a plug-in hybrid GT car meant to drum up excitement around the fledgling brand.

The chief development here is that a single-motor variant is joining the Polestar 2 lineup, due later this year. At present, only the dual-motor Launch Edition that has been available since launch last year is being delivered. This single-motor variant will offer an EPA range of approximately 260 miles, retaining the center-tunnel-mounted 78 kWh LG Chem battery. There’s a heat pump offered as part of the Plus Pack (more on that in a minute) that can extend the stretch the range even further. Whereas the dual-motor cars boast 204 hp at each end, this single-motor unit will offer 231 horsepower to just one set of wheels—the front ones.

Polestar 2 white car geometric side profile

The dual-motor option will offer an EPA-estimated 240 miles of range, but will also offer that same heat pump to increase range beyond that EPA figure. Polestar says that dual-motor cars are available in a simplified configuration, in order to let customers better spec the vehicle to their needs. Presumably, that’s through one of the three packages Polestar will now offer. Standard equipment now includes a new embossed textile upholstery.

Of the three packages, the Plus Pack is the headliner here. Ticking that box gets you the aforementioned heat pump, which captures ambient heat and residual thermal energy from the Polestar 2’s drivetrain in order to mitigate the amount of battery charge needed to warm your interior as your waft along. That pump is responsible for reducing said battery draw by as much as half, which is quite impressive. In its ideal operating window—40-60 degrees Fahrenheit—Polestar says that the heat pump will help boost range by as much as 10 percent.

Polestar 2 interior
Polestar | Stefan Isaksson

Opting for the Plus Pack gets you more than just a neat hairdryer-style range extender; the package will also net you a full-length panoramic glass roof, as well as a Harman Kardon 13-speaker sound system (in place of the 8-speaker standard one) and Black Ash wood decorative panels throughout the car.

For the safety-minded driver, there’s the Pilot Pack, which bundles a raft of driver-aids such as adaptive cruise control, a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), rear cross traffic alert, and a rear collision warning system.

If you’re more interested in pace than pre-collision systems, the Performance Pack ($5000) is a must. It scores you Öhlins four-way adjustable dampers at all four corners, upgraded Brembo brakes, forged 20-inch alloy wheels, and sport tires for added grip.

Polestar 2 front three-quarter close dynamic road action
Polestar/Michael Simari

Pricing details are scant, but a Polestar spokesperson confirmed that $45,000–$50,000 is a safe estimate. Expect more details in the coming weeks, ahead of the single-motor Polestar 2’s debut in North America at the end of 2021. Alternatively, if you can’t wait that long, the $61,000 Polestar 2 Launch Edition is available right now with a $2000 trade-in assistance (read: incentive) for those swapping their internal combustion vehicle for a Polestar 2. That deal will be available through the end of April, and as of this writing the 2 is still eligible for the full $7500 EV tax credit.

When we reviewed the Polestar 2 last fall, we felt that it was an impressive first attempt that signaled more great things on the way. By adding meaningful upgrades like the available heat pump and the more affordable single-motor variants, Polestar is molding the 2 into a worthy competitor in the forthcoming onslaught of lifted-up EV hatchbacks.

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