Starting price is now $49,900 in Canada.
This version is now eligible for all Federal and Provincial incentives.
The new Long range Single motor version will be available from January 2022.
Over the last few months, you may have noticed a new slightly-familial-looking vehicle driving about. Though your gut probably thought it was a Volvo, it did not sport the brand’s famous chemical symbol for iron on its front grille. This quiet EV was likely a Polestar 2 and there’s a good chance you will see more of them come next year.
Remove a motor, save many $$
For the 2022 model year, Polestar has introduced a new “base” version that is every bit a Polestar 2 with one main exception. The initial iteration of the Polestar was exclusively offered with a dual-motor setup. By removing one motor, Polestar’s created the Long range Single motor and a new entry-level model.
The goal of the new 2022 Polestar 2 Long range Single motor is purely volume thanks to a lower price-point that renders it eligible for various incentives. At $49,900, the Polestar 2 will see its total price cut by $8,000 in Quebec and $3,000 in British Colombia. The new pricing makes the Polestar more interesting however will it be enough to get buyers to opt-out of twin motors and accept a near 50% drop in output compared to the $56,900 Long range Dual motor version?
In addition to the new trim, 2022 Polestar 2s gain extra range from the standard 78 kWh battery (75 kWh usable). The dual-motor configuration is now rated at 400 km (vs. 375) while the single-motor boasts 435 km. Charging times, thanks to its 155 kW charging speeds, is 33 minutes for a 10-80% charge (8 hours for at-home charging at 11 kW).
Although I could not evaluate these claims over the short time I was in possession of the car, I’m fairly convinced that the 35 km gap will represent little more than a few kilometers in real-world driving. Either way, however, a roughly 400 km range is beyond acceptable.
New for the 2022 model year is a mechanical heat pump which can and will increase range by up to 10%. It is an absolute must in Canada however, and unfortunately, it is only offered as part of the $5,500 Plus package. The latter includes a heated steering wheel and rear seats, a fixed panoramic sunroof, a Harman Kardon sound system, and more. I say unfortunately as the gains provided by the pump are long lost because of pricing.
Instant torque all but kills any weaknesses
The real question then is: Does the new single-motor Polestar 2 suffer any real weaknesses over the dual motor? The short answer is no, it does not. The main reason why this is has to do with an electric motor’s instant torque. The front-mounted motor generates 231 horsepower and 243 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s the latter that makes all the difference.
From a dead-stop, the twisting power pulls the Polestar out of the way briskly, capable of reaching 97km/h in 7 seconds. In fact, the tested dual motor Polestar 2 reviewed did not seem much faster despite its 408 horsepower and whopping 487 lb.-ft. of torque. Despite impressions, this is enough power for a 4.5-second 0-97 km/h sprint.
A good driver
The reason behind Polestar opting to keep to the front motor and ditching the rear is based on the Geely/Volvo/Polestar-shared CMA platform (compact modular architecture). This same structure can and will likely support a RWD vehicle soon, according to Polestar. The downside to a FWD vehicle with this kind of torque is a tad of torque steer under heavy acceleration forcibly prompting the hard-working stability control system to quell wheelspin.
One other comment has to do with options. The Single motor car cannot be fitted with the Performance Pack which includes both Öhlins dampers and 20-inch wheels. And now that I’ve driven a 2 without the pack and shod with the standard 19-inch wheels, the $6,500 investment, though “cool”, isn’t worth it. Ride quality is dramatically improved with the regular dampers and the thicker-sidewall-ed tires.
Still unique and familiar
Beyond these points, both iterations of the Polestar 2 are identical. Physically, the Polestar 2 remains an attractive 5-door hatchback that parades as an urban SUV. It’s distinct, unique, and incredibly familiar all rolled into one vehicle.
The cabin is much the same as well. The WeaveTech seats are exceptionally supportive and comfortable while the rear bench will easily accommodate two adults. The rear trunk is quite usable and spacious while the frunk’s 35-litre capacity serves mostly as a second glove compartment.
The dashboard continues to be highlighted by the 11.15-inch touchscreen centre display with a full suite of Google services powered by Android. Unfortunately, Apple CarPlay continues to elude Polestar as a must-have feature in 2021 and 2022. For reasons beyond their control, they are unable to offer it now but hope that an upcoming over-the-air update, perhaps later this year or early next, will include the function.
Long range Single motor for most
There is but one real “disadvantage” to this new version of the Polestar 2 and it will be felt by those that live above the famed Snowbelt. AWD, or a dual motor setup, will make short work of any snow- or ice-covered surface, and, for some, the extra power is a big plus. I, for one, would select AWD and the power in the name of driving enjoyment over savings.
The new pricing strategy better positions Polestar against the likes of Tesla but competition will come from the lesser-expensive Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Aryia, and others. Although Polestar is a premium brand, it’s not yet well enough established, nor are there sufficient EVs to select from, to justify its price point over a Volkswagen ID.4 (AWD Pro $49,995) or perhaps even a base $50,495 RWD Ford Mustang Mach-E.
The 2022 Polestar 2 remains a very good EV.