2020 Polestar 2 arrives to rival the world’s best EVs in Geneva
It takes aim squarely at the talented (but not perfect) Tesla Model 3by Andrei Nedelea, on LISTEN 03:43
Polestar 2 is the second bespoke model under the new Polestar electric performance sub-brand by Volvo. After revealing a sleek plug-in hybrid coupe at last year’s edition of the Geneva motor show, this year the Swedish brand has returned with its first all-electric offering, one whose specs appear to have been benchmarked against the popular Tesla Model 3.
The car is a slightly tall hatchback, a production version of the Volvo 40.2 concept from 2016. However, it isn’t slightly taller because its designers wanted to turn it into a crossover. Instead, this is the natural shape of a car that has its battery pack in the floor yet still provides ample headroom for occupants inside.
It should therefore be more spacious inside than its Tesla Model 3 arch rival and thanks to the hatchback design, more practical overall as well.
The car rides on a version of Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, it has its battery pack in the floor and two electric motors, one for each driven axle - together they make 402 horsepower and 660 Nm / 487 pound-feet of torque, good enough to propel the Polestar 2 from naught to 100 km/h / 62 mph in under 5 seconds.
Its 78 kWh battery pack is of a decent capacity too, bestowing it with a range of 500 km according to WLTP guidelines and 275 miles based on EPA estimates. This version of the car will cost from €39,900 in Europe, but you won’t be able to buy the cheapest version immediately after it goes on sale - only the Launch Edition model will be available at first and it has extra goodies that push the price to €59,900.
Polestar 2’s interior is noticeably different compared to any other Volvo model. It looks like an evolution of what the automaker currently offers in its range.
The main focal point is still the 11-inch portrait infotainment screen, like you get in the rest of its cars.
However, according to Volvo, it is one of the first production cars to get an Android-based infotainment system that allows for additional apps to be installed, as well as various Google services too (Google Assistant, Google Play Store and Google Maps with support for electric vehicles). Other pieces of tech include what the company calls Pixel full LED headlights, using your phone as a key and “natural” voice control.
Volvo also offers performance options for those buyers who want to get the most out of their Polestar 2. Adjustable Öhlins dampers can be added, along with high performance Brembo brakes and special 20-inch wheels. Cars with this pack fitted also get gold seat belts, brake calipers and valve caps to set them apart.
The plan is to first launch the Polestar 2 for the Chinese market (where it will do very well because it’s electric, a crossover-like high-rider and it has ample legroom in the back - the latter is a hugely important selling point in the People’s Republic).
It will also be sold in the U.S. (where you won’t be able to spec the cool Pixel headlights), Canada and some western and northern European countries. Expect to see it hit the road sometime in 2020.
Aside from facing the Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2 will also have to ward off the likes of the Jaguar iPace (currently considered the best driving and handling EV in the world, even though it too is a crossover), as well as the production version of the VW ID Crozz that will make it to market in the coming years.
Polestar 2 versus the Tesla Model 3
|Polestar 2||Tesla Model 3|
|Motor||two e motors with 300 kW of power||single motor|
|Battery||78 kWh||50 kWh|
|Range||275 miles||220 miles|
|Charging||150 kW charging available||125 kW charging available|
|0-60 mph||5 sec or less||5.6 seconds|
|Top speed||TBD||130 mph|
|Availability||Only $68,000 Launch Edition available||Available|
|Length||181.4 inches||184.8 inches|
|Width||70.9 inches||76.1 inches|
|Height||58.2 inches||56.8 inches|
|Wheelbase||107.7 inches||113.2 inches|
|Trunk capacity||14.2 cubic feet||15 cubic feet|
Read our full review on the 2018 Polestar 1.
Read our full review on the 2016 Volvo Concept 40.2
Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.
- Polestar 2