2022 Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 is the first full-electric model from Polestar, the electric performance brand from Volvo Car Group and its parent company Zhejiang Geely Holding. The Polestar name was previously used for high-performance versions of Volvo models before the electric brand launched in 2017. The first Polestar production vehicle was the limited-edition hybrid Polestar 1 containing four propulsion systems, 619 horsepower and a carbon fiber body. Polestar 1 production has been limited to 1,500 examples and is scheduled to end December 2021.
The Polestar 2 debuted last year via the dual-motor Polestar 2 Launch Edition — a high-performance all-wheel drive, full-electric 4-door hatchback, equipped with many available options. For the 2022 model year, Polestar now offers the Polestar 2 Single Motor as well as a lower starting price for the Polestar 2 Dual Motor with available option packages. The Polestar 2 Single Motor offers a Polestar-estimated range of 265 miles, and the 2022 Polestar 2 Dual Motor offers a U.S. EPA-estimated range of 249 miles.
Scheduled to begin production early in 2022 in Ridgeville, South Carolina, the next Polestar model will be Polestar 3 — an electric 5-seat SUV. Polestar 3 will debut a new EV architecture for Polestar and the Volvo Car Group. Polestar 2 is based on existing Volvo architecture shared with the Volvo S60.
For 2022 Polestar will offer the Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor starting at $45,900, as well as the Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor starting at $49,900 (and an additional destination charge of $1,300). Buyers may be eligible for a federal tax incentive of $7,500 — state tax incentives and utility rebates vary. Options include a Plus Pack for $4,000, a Pilot Pack for $3,200, a Performance Pack for $5,000, metallic paint for $1,200, Nappa leather for $4,000, 20-inch wheels for $1,200 and a semi-electric tow hitch for $1,200.
The Polestar 2 is built on the Volvo Group CMA platform in a 5-door fastback configuration and what Polestar calls Avant-garde modern design. This design is both modern and attractive, with a definite Volvo family resemblance — not that there’s anything wrong with that. Although Polestar says that with Polestar 3 on the new EV architecture, a new design language will emerge — both inside and out.
Polestar 2 Powertrain
For 2022 Polestar adds the Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor, powered by an electric motor driving the front wheels to produce 231 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque. The Polestar 2 Dual Motor adds a second electric motor driving the rear wheels for total system output of 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque.
Both the Single Motor and Dual Motor variants are fitted with a 78 kWh battery consisting of 27 modules and 324 pouch-type cells fully sealed and wrapped in an aluminum cage. Total battery weight is 849 pounds, and they are stacked to maximize interior comfort and legroom. The batteries are liquid cooled and heated for improved performance. Up to 155 kW charging is available, and the batteries can be charged from 10 to 80 percent in 33 minutes at 150 kW, or take 8 hours on an 11 kW home charger.
Standard on last year’s Launch Edition, the Plus Pack is available for either of the 2022 Polestar 2 variants with a premium interior, a panoramic glass roof, a 13-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, Black Ash wood deco panels and heated front and rear seats. The Plus Pack also includes a new heat pump that captures residual thermal energy from the drivetrain and uses it to warm the cabin, reducing the need to rely on the batteries for climate control. Polestar estimates this could reduce the draw on the battery by as much as 50 percent in colder climates, which could provide up to a 10 percent increase in overall driving range.
The Pilot Pack also included in the launch edition features Pixel LED headlights, LED fog lights, adaptive cruise control , all-around parking sensors, a 360-degree-view camera, blind-spot information system, rear collision warning and rear cross-traffic alert with brake support.
The Performance Package adds Brembo front 4-piston fixed Monobloc aluminum calipers combined with 375 mm ventilated and drilled front discs. The Performance Package also includes Ohlins Dual Flow Valve dampers, 20-inch forged lightweight wheels, sport tires and Swedish Gold calipers, springs, dampers and seat belts.
Polestar specifically designed the Polestar 2 to be environmentally friendly, and that extends beyond the electric powertrain. Many elements of the vehicle are 100 percent vegan and made from a material called WeaveTech, including the seat trim and the steering wheel, which looks and feels as if it is trimmed in leather. All interior wood accents are created from irregular pieces that are typically discarded but reclaimed for use by Polestar.
While the interior materials of the Polestar 2 provide a comfortable feeling, the car also creates a high-tech vibe with a large center display and a smaller digital driver display. Other than the buttons on the steering wheel, the interior has virtually no physical buttons for vehicles systems, relying on the large center display for all functions.
In terms of technology, the Polestar 2 is the first model to use Google’s Android operating system as the platform for infotainment. The system brings together apps and vehicle functions, and also features embedded Google services such as Google Maps, Google Assistant and the Google Play Store. These functions are accessed via voice control or an 11-inch touchscreen display. Google users can log into the vehicle to sync personal preferences as well as Google Maps locations. During our drive route through remote areas with limited cell coverage, there were times when the system could not be controlled via voice commands.
On the Road
We enjoyed driving Polestar 2 Single Motor — the new entry-level option for Polestar 2 — which offers plenty of power and sporty driving dynamics. The responsive steering and balanced overall demeanor make this car a lot of fun to drive. The driver can select from Light/Standard/Firm for steering; we prefer the Standard setting since it offers balanced feedback. The Polestar 2 Single Motor has plenty of power for merging comfortably onto highways and it is easily driven in everyday situations.
One Pedal Drive
The Polestar 2 offers One Pedal Driving, with the vehicle braking when the driver releases the accelerator pedal. The system has three settings: Off/Low/Standard. We prefer the Low setting on faster, straighter highways with more gradual corners, so braking is not as aggressive when releasing the pedal. On roads with more frequent or sharper corners, we prefer the more aggressive braking of the Standard setting when letting off the pedal. Of course the driver can modulate the experience in either setting by not releasing the accelerator pedal completely; we appreciate having the choice to determine how the car responds to one-pedal driving.
Polestar 2 Dual Motor
Where the Polestar 2 Single Motor is sporty and fun, the Dual Motor transforms Polestar 2 into a sport sedan with power delivered to all four wheels. The rear-wheel bias can be felt immediately, and the Dual Motor is incredibly quick. According to Polestar, zero to 60 mph takes a mere 4.5 seconds — and even slightly less with the Performance Pack.
During our drive in the mountains outside Santa Fe, we encountered a thunderstorm that dropped a considerable amount of hail on the road in a few areas, accompanied by temperatures in the 40s, making road conditions treacherous at times. Although equipped with summer tires, the Polestar 2 Dual Motor handled the conditions easily, transferring power between the axles to maintain stability and control through some dicey spots. Once the road dried out again, the Polestar 2 immediately regained its spirited nature on the twisty mountain roads.
Right for You?
Polestar 2 offers a great, new option in the electric car space with comfortable room for five and the practicality of a hatchback. The car possesses a modern, attractive design, and for 2022 Polestar offers two available drivetrains and a lower entry price for the Dual Motor version. For any buyer in the market for a sporty, 5-seat electric vehicle, the 2022 Polestar is one of the best choices in its class.
Pros: Powerful motors; fun to drive; Dual Motor feels like a sport sedan.
Cons: Price competitive options; expensive with all option packages.
Bottom Line: A sporty, fun-driving electric car with a stylish design, a comfortable interior and commendable performance.