When Polestar launched its first all-electric automobile final 12 months, it got here in a single taste: a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive configuration that value round $50,000 earlier than incentives. Subsequent 12 months, the automaker is including some selection.
Polestar is rolling out a extra reasonably priced, single-motor, two-wheel-drive model of the sedan that also gives lots of the options of the dual-motor Polestar 2 together with just a few modifications that make it a bit extra reasonably priced, interesting and greener for these trying to make the electrical swap. In a latest drive, we put it to the check.
Single or twin motor
The 2022 Polestar 2 single motor gives 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.
Moderately 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 underneath 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 automobiles 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 (accessible within the Plus Pack for $4,000 extra) that helps keep that cost in additional antagonistic climates. Polestar says that underneath sure local weather situations 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 implies that the 2022 Polestar 2 Single motor may achieve an extra 27 miles of vary due to the warmth pump.
For this mannequin 12 months, the absolutely 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 steel roof as a substitute 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 cellphone 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 check out what Polestar says gives 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 automobiles just like the Volvo XC40 Recharge, your 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 techniques, together with Polestar. In consequence, Google providers corresponding to Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Retailer are embedded into the automobile. Android OS just isn’t the identical as Android Auto, a secondary interface that lies on prime of an working system and lets customers challenge the features and really feel of their smartphone to the automobile’s middle show.
Within the 2022 Polestar 2, customers can select to entry virtually the whole lot within the automobile through voice management through the use of the handy “Hey Google,” initiation phrase. This phrase will get you entry to local weather management and driving instructions. Because the 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 sizzling and Google OS will decrease the temperature within the footwell. Need to discover one of the best 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 may just about do the whole lot 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 seaside to take photographs. The system didn’t miss a beat and untangled my language to do exactly what I requested it to do.
Within the Polestar 2 Single motor I drove, charging areas had been considerably built-in to the Google Maps platform on Android OS. There are some caveats, nonetheless.
Ask Google to search out charging stations alongside your route, and you’ll filter by model. Whereas doing so in Google Maps, the system gained’t let you know if a charger is accessible or working. Polestar has partnered with ChargePoint to offer charging entry, and you need to use 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 highway, which suggests 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 Heart in Hollywood to Santa Barbara I didn’t have to cease to recharge.
If I had wanted to recharge, Polestar says that on DC quick chargers, I may 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 line with Glenn Parker, a Polestar technical operations specialist. Parker additionally mentioned that continued over-the-air updates will enhance the effectivity and vary of your complete portfolio as the corporate rolls out updates to all house owners.
Whereas discovering an accessible charger remains to be clunky, the mixing of Google Maps into the very technological cloth of the Polestar 2 implies 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 just a few 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 highway
The Polestar 2 Single motor is quiet, snug and fast. Polestar says that it does 0 to 60 mph in seven seconds, and whereas that doesn’t seem to be a lot, it’s loads 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 may alter just a few driving options, together with steering really feel and one-pedal braking and will toggle a few of the driver help techniques like lane departure warning on and off. Sadly, as beforehand talked about, my check automobile didn’t have any of the superior driver aids that Polestar gives within the Pilot pack so I didn’t get to check these.
One of many joys of electrical automobiles 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 while you raise 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 mandatory. I drive most electrical automobiles with essentially the most aggressive braking setting, because it’s essentially the most environment friendly and most pleasant 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” perform 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, referred to as “Agency.” Basically the system modifications the steering ratio primarily based on the setting you’ve chosen. Agency gives 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 your complete lifecycle of the batteries in its automobiles. In response to 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 components utilized in constructing their automobiles.
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 could be individually changed as elements 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 parts that come again,” he mentioned. Polestar additionally gives full restore instruction and entry to a catalog of elements that house owners can buy instantly from the corporate itself, too.
Costs for the Polestar 2 Single motor begin at $45,900 and automobiles shall be accessible 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 worth can come right down to round $35,000 (once more not together with taxes and the vacation spot price).