Polestar has confirmed the launch price of its all-electric, Tesla Model 3-rivalling 2, which will go on sale at £49,900. The production lines at the brand's plant in Luqiao, China, will whir into life early next year and the first deliveries across all European markets – Norway, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and the UK – will start in June.
Included in that price is three years' routine servicing and maintenance, including customer car pick-up and drop-off, which is a nice bonus. Launch edition cars also come with a higher level of kit than subsequent series production cars will receive.
At a snip under £50k, the fully electric Polestar 2 undercuts the forthcoming Polestar 1 PHEV by a significant margin, with the latter only being produced at a rate of 500 per year and priced at £139,000. But how does the Polestar 2 stack up spec-wise?
Under the body, the Polestar 2 is powered by two 201bhp electric motors – one on the front axle and one on the rear. Alongside the combined 402bhp is 487lb-ft of torque which makes the 2 good for 0-62mph in 'less than' five seconds; Polestar's target is 4.7 seconds for the sprint.
Holding the juice is a 27 module, 78kWh lithium-ion battery which is situated in the floor of the 2. According to Polestar, the inherent rigidity of the battery aids ride and handling, and – due to its size and weight – reduces noise, vibration and harshness. Cabin noise is apparently 3.7dB lower than in equivalent cars. A performance pack featuring Brembo brakes and adjustable Öhlins dampers will help on the dynamic side of things.
Polestar has a 311 mile target range for the 2 on the WLTP cycle – which is ambitious, but would put it in the same ballpark as the Tesla Model 3, forthcoming BMW i4 and potentially even the electric XC40 from sister brand Volvo, which will première on October 16. The 2 has an on-board 11kW charger as well as front and rear DC and AC inverters. Charging input is up to 150kW on DC.
It's a fair bet that down the line, Polestar will release 'detuned' versions of the 2 in order to fulfil demand at a lower price point.
To look at, the Polestar 2 clearly draws a lot of its form from Volvo. A five-door fastback, its shape and design features, such as front and rear light clusters, bear more than a passing resemblance to the Volvo S90. This is no bad thing, as the S90 is undoubtedly a good looking car.
Frameless door mirrors, honed aerodynamics and a panoramic laminated glass roof give the car a certain sleekness. Adaptive LED brake lights shine more brightly the harder the brakes are applied. The reversing signals are also adaptive and, like cornering front beams, help drivers to see better when turning in reverse.
Inside, the Polestar 2 is highly customisable with the option of vegan leather for those so inclined. Materials are also chosen for their sustainability, as well as their look and feel. There's 404 litres of luggage space in the boot with the seats up as well as a supplementary 34 litres in the front storage area.
Connectivity and top-of-the-range in-car media integration is the dish of the day with the launch car. It has a Tesla-rivalling 11.5 inch frameless touchscreen interface which sits neatly with the rest of the minimalist, Volvo-esq cabin. Supplementary to the 11.5 inch centre console interface is a 12.3 inch digital driver display.
The infotainment system that this interface controls runs on an Android Automotive operating system – a world first – and utilises the tried and tested Google Maps and Google Assistant. Google Play access enables owners to add apps, stream music and other media. Adding to the premium feel is a Harmon Kardon sound system.
Polestar has sought to make the 2 adjust to the owner, with connectivity to a smartphone via an app preparing the car as they walk up to it and open the door. This includes moving the seats, mirrors and setting the infotainment to that individual's preferences. As soon as that person sits down, the car is on – meaning there is no need for a set starting procedure. Thankfully, there's in-built wireless phone charging!
Buying a Polestar 2 can be done via Polestar's website – there won't be a dealership network, albeit there will be 'Polestar Places' where buyers can look at and test drive cars in time. Expect these to be Tesla-esq and located in retail spaces. An initial £1000 fully refundable deposit will secure a car, but on top of a pretty comprehensive specification for the launch edition, buyers can also opt for a Pilot Package and/or a Plus Package, the former adding various semi-autonomous driving functions and the latter additional design and comfort features.
Overall, the 2 is stacking up very nicely against its rivals, and that sub-£50k price tag does make it a true competitor for the money. It'll be interesting to see how Polestar moves forward with the 2 in terms of offering slightly 'lesser' versions at a lower price. More to the point, we look forward to bringing you driving impressions next year!