It is impressive how much change Volvo’s former sports daughter Polestar has made in recent years. At the Geneva Motor Show 2018, the Swedes announced that Polestar (dt. Polarstern) would act as an independent sports and electrical brand alongside its parent company Volvo from 2019.
Even then, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath (who also remains Volvo’s chief designer at the same time) showed the first big hit: the exotic plug-in hybrid coupé Polestar 1. As dynamic and stylish the 1 Series looks, it also drives (here the test of the Polestar 1). The only catch on the first independent model: The Polestar 1 only cost 185,000, currently still 165,000 francs.
Electrically to success
The first work, limited to 1500 pieces, is not intended to bring Polestar mass, but to attract attention. For the purely electric Polestar 2, which was launched just a year later after the plug-in coupé, and which is much cheaper at around 58,000 francs. Polestar also made this start to measure.
In the first tests of the 4.61-meter sedan, which, despite its independent design, was clearly “Volvo!” says, we get a lot of appreciative thumbs up and felt: Polestar could become a real success brand! The members of the expert jury who voted it “Swiss Car of the Year” saw it that way.
Now come budget polestars
In order to make the Polestar 2, which apart from the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class also Tesla’s Model 3’s life more difficult, accessible to more customers in terms of price, two cheaper versions will follow in September. While the sedan was previously available as an all-wheel drive with 408 PS (300 kW) and a large 78 kWh battery, it will then also be available with front-wheel drive and a smaller 64 kWh (224 PS / 165 kW) or still 78 kWh battery (231 PS / 170 kW) on the road.
Visually, there are no compromises compared to the AWD model, as we can see in Polestar’s new “Space Center” below Zurich’s Lindenhof. On the outside, the unobtrusive, Swedish cool design language remains. Inside with beautifully crafted wood, fabric and leather surfaces. The highlight in the cockpit is the Google-based infotainment, which can be controlled like a tablet and is excellent at inputting both touch and voice.
Not quite that jagged
After a leisurely swim in the city traffic, the test on the country road follows. Is the front-wheel drive just as much fun as the all-wheel drive? First finding: The basic 2 series is not as brutal as the AWD (0-100 km / h in 4.7 s) (0-100 km / h in 7.4 s). The top is also lower at 160 km / h than in the top version (top 205 km / h). The front engine has to build up power, especially from a standing start, until the almost two tons of Swedish steel then pull lightly forward. But when it comes to driving behavior, the new ones also remain real fun-makers, albeit on the sporty and tight side. But they iron away bumps comfortably enough. The steering can be adjusted more easily or more firmly via the touchscreen.
40 minutes to 80 percent
According to the standard, the Polestar 2 can travel between 440 and 540 kilometers, depending on the size of the battery. In the version with a 78 kWh battery, that’s 60 kilometers more than the powerful 4×4 (480 km). In practice, the values should therefore range between 350 and 500 kilometers. Charging is done with a maximum of 116 kW on the fast charger, which means a 40-minute stop when the battery is empty until the battery is 80 percent full again. A full charge on the three-phase wallbox at home usually takes between seven and eight hours.
A look at the price tag: with a smaller battery, it starts at 43,900 francs, the long-range version starts at 46,900 francs. In addition, there are the absolutely recommendable equipment packages “Plus” and “Pilot”, which include comfort and safety features for 4500 and 3500 francs respectively. For comparison: the top version starts again without options from 49,900 francs.
Conclusion: With new basic versions, the five-door Edellimo is now a serious competitor, for example for the Volkswagen Group’s e-models such as the Audi Q4 E-Tron, VW ID.3 and ID.4 or Skoda Enyaq. Good as we think. After all, competition stimulates business – including electrical business.