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Game-changing combination of speed, handling and interior quality

Polestar 2 Fastback (20 on) - rated 0 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £49,900 - £49,900
Fuel Economy 3.2 miles/kWh
New

PROS

  • Swedish styling and hatchback practicality
  • Two electric motors produce 408hp
  • Can go 294 miles between charges
  • Debut of excellent Android infotainment

CONS

  • Early models will be the most expensive
  • Not much in the way of personalisation
  • Headroom in the rear is not exactly huge
  • No super-fast charging tech

Written by Adam Binnie on

The Polestar 2 is a fully electric five-door Swedish fastback that could be plugged-in and parked on your driveway by July 2020. Suddenly the Tesla Model 3 has competition.

We've not seen a production version of the car yet but we have driven a very early pre-production model and got a comprehensive idea of how the final car will look and feel. And the result is a good one.

You can find those driving impressions in the various sections of this full review.

Polestar – isn’t that a high-performance Volvo?

Yes. And no. That’s certainly how things started off, but Polestar is now a standalone electrified brand that, like Volvo, is owned by Geely. Polestar has already launched its first model, the 1 – a luxurious, plug-in hybrid two-door coupe based on the Volvo S90 – but the smaller 2 is its debut pure-electric model.

Polestar says it's a performance marque and as such the sole version of the Polestar 2 at launch is far from slow, courtesy of a pair of electric motors sending power to all four wheels. Producing 408hp and 660Nm of torque, a 0-62mph time of 4.7 seconds suggests it will trouble many a traditional sports car. No top speed has yet been quoted, but we saw 200kph (about 120mph) on track.

Recognising that electric car buyers aren’t simply choosing to ditch petrol and diesel engines purely for environmental reasons, Polestar will offer the 2 with a Performance Pack that includes stiffened Ohlins dampers for the suspension, larger Brembo brakes, 20-inch alloy wheels and gold-coloured accents.

Sounds quick, but how far will the Polestar 2 go between charges?

Again, so far we only have details of this single version of the Polestar 2, but you still get a strong 294 miles of range. Although the precise figure in the real-world will be determined by a number of factors, including driving style, you should expect 250 miles+ without much bother.

2020 Polestar 2 interior

Its 27-module battery pack, which is located within the floor of the Polestar 2’s architecture, has a capacity of 78kWh. Polestar hasn’t confirmed any official recharge times yet, but suggests an 80% fill from empty should be possible in 35-45 minutes on a fast DC charger. A battery if of that capacity is likely to take around 10 hours for a full cycle on a conventional domestic wallbox, but again, that's to be confirmed.

Polestar will make locating these public chargepoints even easier with an in-car and smartphone app that will be linked to the sat-nav system, plotting the most efficient route to the facilities.

Is the Polestar 2 based on an existing car?

Given the spirally cost of developing new cars, particularly electric ones, inevitable efficiencies have to be made, particularly where the parts involved aren’t going to be seen. Therefore, like many cars, the Polestar 2 uses the same underpinnings as the Volvo XC40 SUV, a model that will also become available in electric guises in the near future.

As we've detailed in our Performance and Handling sections however, the Polestar feels completely different to drive than a Volvo. It's actually really good - bear in mind that our impressions are based on a pre-production car - but we think its a bit of a benchmark in its class.

Interiors are also likely to be broadly similar between the Polestar 2 and the next V40, with the dashboard highlighting an evolution of the existing Volvo theme. That floating-style multimedia touchscreen is 11 inches diagonally and uses Google’s Android platform as its operating system, the first car in the world to do so.