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Faster-charging Polestar 2 with 635km range

Polestar 2 upgrade includes switch to rear drive, more power and longer battery range

29 Jan 2023

RELATIVELY soon after launching Polestar 2 in Australia, the Swedish battery electric vehicle (BEV) specialist has announced a major revamp to the five-door fastback that sees power and battery upgrades and, on lower-cost two-wheel-drive versions, a switch from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive.


The re-engineering effort brings the Polestar 2 in line with its main competition from Tesla, whose Model 3 sedan, Volkswagen Group’s BEV offerings and various other higher priced European models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz that are available with RWD and AWD.


Scheduled for Australian delivery in the third quarter of this year, overseas price increases of between 4.2 per cent and 6.9 per cent depending on variant suggest the updated range will open from around $66,500 for the Standard Range Single Motor variant and top out in the region of $78,500 for the Long Range Dual Motor (both before options and on-road costs).


At the moment, the two variants mentioned are respectively priced at $63,900 and $73,400 before options and on-road costs.


Polestar says the new 2 gains “substantial performance increases” through new electric motors and more powerful batteries along with sustainability improvements to materials sourcing and manufacture.


Concurrent with rear-wheel drive availability and performance upgrades, the car’s styling is revised with a focus on the front bringing “high tech” design language to the headlights and grille area in line with the forthcoming Polestar 3 SUV.


Aiding the Polestar 2’s boost in power and performance are so-called next-generation electric motors and inverters that are fitted to all Polestar 2 variants and claimed to offer substantial increases in efficiency and performance.


The single motor RWD variants run a newly developed permanent magnet motor and silicon carbide inverter with an output of 220kW (previously 170kW) and optimised for greater efficiency, resulting in significantly greater torque of 490Nm (previously 330Nm) to improve acceleration and responsiveness.


Polestar claims the result is a 0-100 km/h sprint time that drops by up to 1.2 seconds to 6.2 seconds.


Dual-motor versions now have a rear-biased AWD set-up said to deliver a sportier drive feel thanks in part to a completely rebalanced drivetrain and torque ratio.


The design facilitates a higher total system output of 310kW and a whopping 740Nm representing an increase from the original 300kW and 660Nm.


Drive is primarily delivered through the rear axle, supported by drive to the front axle through a new asynchronous motor that is disengaged completely when not needed to improve energy efficiency.


“If more power is required the front motor re-engages instantly and seamlessly,” says Polestar.


Polestar says the new set-up also results in “vastly improved traction, greater overall efficiency and higher performance” and claims 0-100km/h is achieved in 4.5 seconds.


If that is not enough, there’s always the 350kW optional Performance Pack available that results in a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 4.2 seconds. 


Buyers wanting this option can subscribe to it as a downloadable over-the-air performance software upgrade on any eligible Long Range Dual Motor Polestar 2.


Also optionally available are 20-inch forged alloy wheels in the Performance Pack which have been updated to align Polestar 2 in its sportiest expression with that of Polestar 3.


Making EV life easier with the revised Polestar 2  are upgraded lithium-ion battery packs, which have a positive impact on efficiency and capacity as well as charging times.


Long-range models feature 82kWh batteries with 27 modules from manufacturer CATL while the battery for standard-range versions retains a capacity of 69kWh with 24 modules supplied by LG Chem.


Both batteries feature a redesigned disconnect unit, upgraded busbars and improved cell chemistry – enabling faster charging rates of up to 205 kW DC for long-range batteries and 135 kW for the standard-range battery.


All revised Poleastar 2s have more range due to the larger and improved batteries, and the optimisation of power delivery from the more powerful motors.


The entry level Polestar 2 is now capable of up to a claimed 518km of range according to the WLTP standard, up 40km, while the Long Range Single Motor variant can now achieve up to a claimed 635km WLTP, up 84km, and the Long Range Dual Motor flagship is now up to 592km WLTP, an increase of 105km.


Powertrain upgrades aside, revised Polestar 2 gains what the company refers to as the  SmartZone which reflects the high-tech nature of the vehicle and the company says Polestar vehicles in general.


Lifted from Polestar 3, the SmartZone hosts some of the car’s most important active safety features, including the front facing camera and mid-range radar.


Polestar also claims to have improved environmental credentials on the new 2, which, despite the larger batteries and more powerful motors create fewer carbon emissions during production.


Versions with the new 82kWh battery have so-called embedded emissions come down by 1.1 tonnes to 5.9 tonnes per car (previously 7.0 tonnes per car). 


Standard equipment is upgraded on the revised Polestar 2 to bolster comfort and convenience. Driver awareness features are now standard, including blind spot information system (blis) with steering support, cross-traffic alert with brake support, rear collision warning and mitigation, along with the 360-degree surround view camera and automatic dimming exterior mirrors. All versions also gain a wireless phone charger.


Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said: “Typically in the car industry, a facelift introduces superficial visual changes that often destroy the original intention of the car’s design theme. 


“With the new model year Polestar 2, we rather went below the surface and upgraded substantial tech and mechanical components of the electric drivetrain. This is the best Polestar 2 yet, and with the updated front design with the new SmartZone, the best looking one, too.”  


Polestar head of chassis development Joakim Rydholm added: “Changing from front- to rear-wheel drive in the single-motor variants, and re-calibrating the torque ratio in the dual-motor variant for an increased rear-wheel drive feel, elevates the Polestar 2 driving experience to a whole new level.


“The updated Polestar 2 is an even more playful and agile car, retaining its compactness and complete sense of control, while at the same time becoming more mature with added comfort.”

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