When Polestar launched its first all-electric automobile final yr, it got here in a single taste: a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive configuration that value round $50,000 earlier than incentives. Subsequent yr, the automaker is including some selection.
Polestar is rolling out a extra inexpensive, single-motor, two-wheel-drive model of the sedan that also presents most of the options of the dual-motor Polestar 2 together with a number of modifications that make it a bit extra inexpensive, interesting and greener for these seeking to make the electrical swap. In a latest drive, we put it to the take a look at.
Single or twin motor
The 2022 Polestar 2 single motor presents a Polestar-estimated 270 miles of vary, a bit much less oomph and fewer choices but loads of know-how to make your drive simpler.
Relatively than having two motors that energy all 4 wheels — prefer it does with the twin motor — this single-motor model pushes all its 231 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque to the entrance wheels. The 2022 Polestar 2 single motor comes with a 78 kWh battery pack that sits beneath the ground between the entrance and rear wheels. Polestar says that its usable capability is 75 kWh. The identical battery pack is within the Polestar 2 twin motor. Polestar can and has pushed over-the-air updates to all of its autos to assist make charging quicker and tweak battery settings to make them extra environment friendly.
The 2022 Polestar 2 Single motor sedans additionally get the elective addition of a mechanical warmth pump (obtainable within the Plus Pack for $4,000 extra) that helps preserve that cost in additional antagonistic climates. Polestar says that beneath sure local weather circumstances the warmth pump will scavenge warmth from the skin air to increase the vary of the automobile by as a lot as 10%. Utilizing Polestar’s estimate, that signifies that the 2022 Polestar 2 Single motor might achieve a further 27 miles of vary because of the warmth pump.
For this mannequin yr, the totally loaded Launch Version has been eradicated. The Polestar 2 Single motor replaces it and comes with a simplified and fewer loaded setup together with a metallic roof as an alternative of the Launch Version’s glass one, environmentally-friendly upholstery and a selection of a handful of choice “packs,” as Polestar calls them.
You’ll be able to go for the Plus Pack, which incorporates the warmth pump, a glass panoramic roof, Harman Kardon premium audio and a wi-fi telephone charger (amongst different issues). This pack was on the prototype Polestar 2 I drove. You may also go for the the Pilot Pack ($3,200 extra) that features issues like adaptive cruise management and LED exterior lighting. Sadly, the automobile I drove didn’t have the upgraded ADAS system so I used to be not capable of take a look at out what Polestar says presents Stage 2 driver assist aids on my drive.
Native Android OS and OTA updates
The Polestar 2 has the excellence of being the primary automobile to make use of Google’s Android Automotive working system. Whereas Volvo has additionally rolled out the Android Automotive OS in a few of its autos just like the Volvo XC40 Recharge, the complete Polestar model makes use of the platform.
Android Automotive OS is an open supply working system that runs on Linux and is used because the underlying working system in automobile infotainment methods, together with Polestar. Consequently, Google providers comparable to Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Retailer are embedded into the automotive. Android OS isn’t the identical as Android Auto, a secondary interface that lies on prime of an working system and lets customers venture the capabilities and really feel of their smartphone to the automobile’s middle show.
Within the 2022 Polestar 2, customers can select to entry virtually all the things within the automobile through voice management by utilizing the handy “Hey Google,” initiation phrase. This phrase will get you entry to local weather management and driving instructions. For the reason that public has been so deeply steeped within the Google infrastructure for therefore lengthy now, it’s all extremely intuitive.
Inform the system your toes are scorching and Google OS will decrease the temperature within the footwell. Wish to discover the most effective taco place in Santa Barbara? Simply ask Google to look then navigate there like I did. I hardly ever touched the touchscreen whereas driving, as I might just about do all the things I wanted simply by asking Google to do it for me.
Pure language recognition is one thing Google has been engaged on diligently for a few years and it retains getting higher. Just a few instances, when utilizing the system, I botched a request or awkwardly requested for one thing like including a cease at an area seashore to take photographs. The system didn’t miss a beat and untangled my language to just do what I requested it to do.
Within the Polestar 2 Single motor I drove, charging places had been considerably built-in to the Google Maps platform on Android OS. There are some caveats, nonetheless.
Ask Google to seek out charging stations alongside your route, and you’ll filter by model. Whereas doing so in Google Maps, the system received’t let you know if a charger is on the market or working. Polestar has partnered with ChargePoint to supply charging entry, and you should utilize the ChargePoint App, put in on the middle display, to study extra about your chosen charger. It does take some tapping across the display earlier than hitting the street, which implies you’ll nonetheless want to drag over and cease earlier than heading to the closest charger. On my 200-mile roundtrip from the Pacific Design Middle in Hollywood to Santa Barbara I didn’t must cease to recharge.
If I had wanted to recharge, Polestar says that on DC quick chargers, I might have anticipated to get to 80% cost in nearly half-hour. That’s down from the 40 minutes it used to take to get to an 80% cost, in accordance with Glenn Parker, a Polestar technical operations specialist. Parker additionally mentioned that continued over-the-air updates will enhance the effectivity and vary of the complete portfolio as the corporate rolls out updates to all house owners.
Whereas discovering an obtainable charger continues to be clunky, the mixing of Google Maps into the very technological material of the Polestar 2 signifies that your estimated vary is displayed every time you navigate to a brand new place or add a cease alongside the best way. On my day journey, I arrived at every vacation spot with a number of miles extra vary than the system initially thought I’d have, which was a pleasant shock on condition that I timed my return to LA badly and sat in Westside site visitors for 45 minutes, whereas the vary hovered down round 20%.
On the street
The Polestar 2 Single motor is quiet, comfy and fast. Polestar says that it does 0 to 60 mph in seven seconds, and whereas that doesn’t appear to be a lot, it’s a lot to get you merged into site visitors on the freeway, particularly as a result of the low-end torque is so available.
On the prototype I drove, I might modify a number of driving options, together with steering really feel and one-pedal braking and will toggle among the driver help methods like lane departure warning on and off. Sadly, as beforehand talked about, my take a look at automobile didn’t have any of the superior driver aids that Polestar presents within the Pilot pack so I didn’t get to check these.
One of many joys of electrical autos is the provision of braking mode (B Mode), or one-pedal driving. Basically you’re adjusting the extent of regeneration you get from the rolling wheels once you elevate off the accelerator.
Within the Polestar 2, you may roll to a cease, or toggle on the “Creep” mode setting by the infotainment display and the automobile will transfer slowly with out the accelerator pedal being vital. I drive most electrical autos with essentially the most aggressive braking setting, because it’s essentially the most environment friendly and most gratifying mode to make use of in Los Angeles site visitors. Whereas most individuals might discover the very best setting within the Polestar 2 to be a bit stunning, after a couple of minutes of getting used to it, it turns into intuitive to make use of. I did nonetheless flip off the “Creep” operate because it felt unnatural when paired with the regenerative braking mode.
I additionally spent 90% of my time behind the wheel utilizing essentially the most aggressive steering setting, known as “Agency.” Basically the system modifications the steering ratio based mostly on the setting you’ve chosen. Agency presents essentially the most direct-feeling response, whereas the softer settings make the Polestar really feel a bit extra roly-poly and gradual to reply.
Proper to restore, recondition, recycle
Polestar makes no bones about its dedication to greener manufacturing and supplies. To that finish, the corporate is proactively contemplating the complete lifecycle of the batteries in its autos. In keeping with Parker, the corporate makes use of blockchain to trace the mining of cobalt for its batteries and is trying into utilizing the system to trace different parts utilized in constructing their autos.
Along with this, Polestar has additionally thought comparatively comprehensively in regards to the battery and proprietor lifecycle.
The stacked packs within the Polestar 2 Single motor might be individually changed as components fail. Parker mentioned that if one element fails, the corporate collects that materials again to type a closed-loop system. “We’re exploring remanufacturing and reusing these elements that come again,” he mentioned. Polestar additionally presents full restore instruction and entry to a catalog of components that house owners should buy straight from the corporate itself, too.
Costs for the Polestar 2 Single motor begin at $45,900 and autos can be obtainable beginning January 2022, not together with the vacation spot price or taxes. With the $7,500 federal tax incentive — in addition to incentives from sure states — that value can come right down to round $35,000 (once more not together with taxes and the vacation spot price).