I was granted the opportunity to drive and get a hands on look at the upcoming Polestar 2 (thanks to Polestar and Classic Car Club of Manhattan). To preface, Polestar is Volvo's performance division but has recently broke off and became it's own brand for the Polestar 1 & 2. Now there is some strange quirks as some Volvo models come in Polestar fashion, the one that I'm personally into is the S60.
So what's so great about another electric car in the world of appliances for automobiles? Well for starters, the Polestar 2 comes straight out the door in lieu of having 400 horsepower. And around 470 lb-ft of torque. So needless to say its not slouch. One thing that stands out with this car over others is the UI/Infotainment. It's a completely Google made interface that is special to the Polestar 2. Quite literally it feels like using a tablet. In the Tesla world, it feels less like a phone or tablet for an infotainment and feels more automotive like. So it's quite nice to see Polestar doing something different yet in a way natural.
Initial impressions. Firstly the build quality, fluidity is the best verb I can give it. the materials dont feel like they're opposing each other. Like hard plastics in places of contact, that's abysmal to see in a car of this segment and I was glad that it was not present even in the rear. Mentioning about the rear, standardly equipped it has a large one piece glass roof AND heated seats. Something that's an option on so many cars these days. There isn't a start/stop button, quite literally I only have to put my foot on the brake and then use the gear selector to choose Drive or Reverse. It is surrounded by piano black veneer which is a take it or hate it thing. That's about the only major downside until they offer a different trim option (Possibly wood)? Next is the side view mirrors, what's so special you say? They do not have a bezel. Yes, it's quite strange hearing it but if you get the chance to see it. You will probably have the same reaction as I did. "Why doesn't every car have that?". No really, I said that in real life to the Polestar product specialists. In terms of options, it's really just the Performance package or not. The Performance package has the yellow seatbelts found on the 1, gold valve stem caps because why not, Öhlins dampers and fat Brembo brakes, special 20" forged alloy's and lastly a black trimmed roof.
It's a really simple spec car. They give you everything you need and nothing you don't. With the one package catering to enthuisiasts of course.
Driving impressions: 400 horsepower and 470 "torques" as Clarkson says. And boy does it feel like it. Plus its going to all 4 wheels. There is 3 settings for One Pedal Driving. Its simply Off, Low, and High. Strangely enough the pedal has a zone where its not doing any regenerative braking or giving throttle. And in the Off mode specifically, the pedal does nothing until a quarter of the way in. Reason being is to have coasting capabilities. However I would've wished that the car would program itself to not have that deadzone in the first quarter. When the driver puts the vehicle in reverse, the 360 degree camera view comes alive abd it is deadly accurate and in very high resolution. The gauge cluster has the navigation map directly in the middle and it fades into the drivers information such has power/charge indicators and speedometer.
Despite all of this, there has to be some cons. This is a very hard con for myself but maybe not to everyone else and its the seating position. It doesn't feel very dynamic. I like to feel like im cucooned in the cabin and not over it. Now the Polestar 1 has it the total opposite because it is more low slung. One other con is the factory tire choice. It's leaning on being more durable than soft and sticky. How do I know? Well to start the harshness from the road just shows that its a stiff tire and how quickly it loses grip in the corners on power. After driving many vehicles especially those with soft Michelin Pilot's, it makes anything else stand out. Despite how great the Google infotainment UI is, it looks a little bland. I wish there was some more color and taking more advantage of the screen real estate. There's a lot of empty space and its mainly 3 colors in the menus. With that, the gauge cluster controls are a little less intuitive to use and took some time to get used to. I guess its one of those swedish car quirks (Doug DeMuro is gonna love this car).