AXIALLY ALIGNED BRIGHT STAR : Scandinavians might catch their warmer vibes by facing south towards the strongest equatorial ray of the Sun. Yet the hearty Nordics can still find luminous energy from those lights in the Northern Sky. Traditionally, meandering past the F[j]ords into the Tundra, implied carriage by internal combustion Volvo or Saab or Laplander reindeer. To take a closer gander at the Aurora Borrealis, one may celestially navigate by the polar axially aligned Polaris bright star in a new fully battery electric performance sportback 2023 Polestar 2 Dual Motor EV .
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WHAT: 2023 Polestar 2 Dual Motor EV is an all-battery electric compact sportback follow-up to the spun off Volvo tuner’s first PHEV effort, the sleek & pricey, rare Polestar One coupe. Its foundation is the Swedish automaker’s Compact Modular Architecture co-developed with parent Geely Motors, adapted from the Volvo Scalable Product Architecture. The CMA platform is also shared with the Volvo C40 / XC40 Recharge and Lynk & Co 01 small crossover SUVs.
ELECTRIC MOTORS: 360V synchronous AC traction & reverse polarity regenerative charging motor(s)
Recharge E-Motor x 1, Front (Net): 243 hp (150 kW) @ 4919 – 11,100 rpm / 243 lb-ft @ 0-4350 rpm
Recharge Twin AWD (Net): 402 hp (300 kW) @4350- 13,900 rpm / 487 lb-ft @ 0-4350 rpm
- E-Motor 1, Rear: 201 hp (150 kW) @ 4350 – 13,900 rpm / 243 lb-ft @ 0-4350 rpm
- E-Motor 2, Rear: 201 hp (150 kW) @ 4350 – 13,900 rpm / 243 lb-ft @ 0-4350 rpm
DRIVE UNIT: 1 x Motor Gear Drive Unit single (1) speed gear reduction drive x 2 E-Motors
+1 Vehicle Updates = lifetime at dealers or 3 years Over the Air (OTA)
- battery – standard range: 78 kWh nominal, 400V, 180 amp hr, Volvo in-house manufactured
- battery composition: 324 Lithium Ion Polymer cells*, 27 modules x 12 cells, 3 parallel stacks x 108 serial cells @ 3.7V per cell
* First manufacturer to blockchain trace ethical cobalt mining for batteries
ONBOARD CHARGING PORT(S):
- 10.9 kW SAE J17772 (AC, Levels 1, 2)
- 155 kW CCS Combo 2 (DC, Level 3)
Heat pump (for enhanced cold climate battery conditioning): AVAILABLE (included on test vehicle)
CHARGING DURATION (rated):
- Level 1 110V AC 6 ampere charge = 68 hours 95% charge (from 80% discharge)
- Level 2 240V AC 48 ampere charge = 8.25 hours 95% charge
- Level 3 480V 125A DC charge
- 50 kW = 1.6 hours to 80% charge
- 100 kW = 45 minutes to 80% charge
- 150 kW = 31 minutes to 80% charge
(A) STYLING (DIFFERENCE): The Polestar Two sportback departs from the related urban sport activity Volvo C40 Recharge with a slimmer upper front fascia and a raked fastback mold rear liftgate, boasting an overall wider stance and two-inch lower sedan stance.
√ Low slung hood pours over into fender, w/ wider split twin side valleys; √ Defined muscle = pronounced mid fascia and fully scooped coke bottle door cheatline; √ Body color matched wide hexagonal mid grille solid panel matching contrasting dark roof, pillars, full lower body cladding; √ Inboard arrow shaped slim wrap-around LED headlamps; √ “Thor’s Hammer” outboard lateral T-shape alternating white DRLs/ amber flashers;
√ Dark contrast roof spills partly into C-pillar, delineated by exaggerated Hoffmeister kink; Wide flare fenders and rear quarter panels.
√ Fastback long sloped liftgate; √ Full width tandem lateral raceway LED tail-lamps, with striated illumination upon vehicle lock / unlock follow from the roof spoiler down to the mid tailgate cheatline, wrapping into the rear quarters; √ Slightly beveled part dark clad svelte bumper cover carries license plate in octagonal bezel; √ Lateral hockey stick lower corner reflectors;
WHY: All EV offshoot of understated Scandinavian, filled with Polar emotion.
WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since winter 2021-2022
WHERE: Volvo new vehicle dealers
WHERE MADE: Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China
WHERE TO: available (in U.S.) dual electric motor drive unit constant 50/50% front / rear torque; Selectable “Crawl” Off-Road mode aided by ABS descent control; 8″ clearance = Inclement weather beater & light off-roader
HOW ROADWORTHY: Wrapped in a lighter and lither package than the Volvo C40 Recharge, the more than 400 horsepower dispatched by the two AC synchronous magnet motors, whipping into the seat back is no less pronounced than in a resembling S60 T6 Recharge PHEV. The accelerator pedal is sprung with nearly burdensome resistance, as if asking whether the driver is that intent on being engaged to the point of less efficient driving, even if only environmental pal electrons are being consumed.
In a case where two is better than one, single pedal regenerative slowing can be enhanced by a factor of two. However whereas, it’s a simple intuitive backward tug of the shift lever in the C40 Recharge, it requires swiping right on the center stack Android Automotive R display, to a drive setting page. For the courageous that’s also where “Sport” mode stability control can be deactivated.
For the true Type A’s or bored, a Performance App on the application page, shows off a full screen G force graph. A street acceleration timer, however, goes full nanny role, requiring the “Google User” to disclose their location prior to initializing.
Burying variable drive settings in a media display sub page functions seem another case of the minds at Göthenburg deciding that everything should be set up and left alone. NOTE: Polestar overrides Volvo’s self-imposed top speed limiter of 112 mles per hour.
+1 The center console toggle action hollow handle shift lever has been re-oriented 90° from the Volvo C40 Recharge, (Driver seat weight, depressed brake pedal and shift lever engaged start.)
-1 No variable synthesized cabin EV sounds, except for “sonar” beep crawl & backing sound
Spotting cousin Volvo C40 Recharge nearly a couple hundred pounds and two inch lower stance, but grown an inch between the wheels, the 2022 Polestar 2 Dual Motor sports a chassis tune exhibiting less lean and dive yet with quicker damping greater bump forgiveness. Further departing from the C40 Recharge relation Polestar driver can vary the steering resistance to meatier weight via the center stack touch infotainment display. Owing to the emphatic regenerative motor slowing, dipping into the brakes is likely to be infrequent, but when called upon the short pedal travel exhibits consistent firmness. Continuing with the enthusiast’s treats beyond Volvo, the included Performance application will display G forces and acceleration times (the latter only if vehicle location is Android Automotive user activated). Moreover, the build continues Volvo’s SPA granite solidity, though some cabin bezels appeared distorted.
HOW FAR: 82 mpg-E combined miles per gallon; 2.8 miles / kWh; 214 nominal / 221 miles range, w/ cabin climate on / off @ 94% charge.
- Charging, included promotion(s): NONE – previous 2 years complimentary, up to 150 kW per 30 minute session, (60 minutes between sessions) with Electrify America ended with 2022 MY.
- Charge Event(s)
- EVGo 50 kW DC public charger, 15 kWh drawn to 75% charge status, 19 minutes session duration @ $0.60 per minute charging cost, $9.24 charge session cost*, 78° F ambient temperature
- VOLTA 50 kW DC public charger, 21 kWh drawn, 30 minutes session duration, Complimentary charging fee (for 30 minutes), 65° F ambient temperature
* Charge session fully credited by EVGo due to charging fault
HOW BIG/ LITTLE: √ 5 Occupant 2+3 seating; -1 tight 2nd Row legroom trails competition; Rakish roof slope clips Row 2 entering heads
– For Comparison’s Sake:
- 107.7″-inch Wheelbase: 1.7″ < Audi Q4 E-Tron, 1.3″ > Volvo C40 Recharge Twin
- Nominal cargo capacity: 42% < Audi Q4 E-Tron, 15% < Volvo C40 Recharge Twin
- 2nd Row legroom: 4.6″ < Audi Q4 E-Tron, 2.2″ < Volvo C40 Recharge Twin
HOW USEFUL: √ Variable height power lifgate; √ cockpit power released 2nd Row 60/40% split folding seat backs; √ 2nd Row 60/40% split reclining seat backs; √ 2nd Row center pass through;
√ FRUNK = split partitioned, carpet lined Front Trunk; √ Cargo bay stabilizing partition; √ “Lid in Lid” sub-cargo floor storage; +1 Ample bottom center stack wireless device bin; √ Sub-front seat storage; √ Deep, carpet-lined front + rear door pockets; √ 2nd Row saddle pockets; +1 Sunglasses shelf between overhead console and panoramic roof; √ Cup holders x 4, Bottle holders x 4; -1 Low end of class cargo capacity; -1 Thick rear pillars and small backlight make optional surround view cameras nearly imperative; +1 Tow Rating: 2000 lbs. (1 ton > Ford Mustang Mach E AWD)
HOW SAFE: √ 7 airbags; √ Pixel LED auto headlamps + DRLs; √ HD rear camera; √ sonar front & rear Park Distance Control, √ Blind spot, rear cross traffic & lane departure warning & avoidance braking, √ Auto parking brake hold; √ City Safety traffic pedestrian & cyclist avoidance; √ Auto high beam headlamps; √ Run off road protection & mitigation, √ Power 2nd Row door child locks
Available (included on tested vehicle): ♦ High pressure spray headlamp washers; ♦ 360° Surround view cameras
Partial Autonomous Driving: √ Pilot Assist 2 Level 2.5 autonomy ; √ Full-adaptive cruise control; √ Lane Keep Assist, √ Forward Collision avoidance braking; Road sign display; +1 Permits 23 seconds of hands/ foot free driving, and centers within marked lane without straying.
HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY: The art of contemporary Scandinavian business style, witnessed in related Volvo BEVs , is livened-up for Polestar 2 duty. The mid dash and doors are spanned by a recycled woolen nap fabric (think Ford Mustang Mach-E) and the standard vegan WeaveTech seating can be supplanted by leather seating and center console & dash shelf genuine wood veneer. While dashtop, upper door and aft center console grey matter casts a vote for non-descript sustainable the texture is pleasingly matte grip pliable and panel seams are minimized. While the instrument binnacle and steering wheel (with soft haptic touch spoke controls) are pulled from the Volvo bin, as are column stalks, climate vent registers, door hardware and switches all best described as Nordic executive class in feel. The jeweled hammered aluminum audio knob & rear defogger switch & hazard lamp panel look Göthenburg familar as well. However, a 2.0″ diagonally larger portrait tablet media display has relocated the latter just forward of the drive position shift lever.
√ Supportive, 8-way power driver/ 4-way power front passenger seats, manual knee extenders, 2-setting driver’s memory; √ Power windows w/ full express x 4, variable speed front; √ Power folding heated wing mirrors; √ 2-Zone auto climate control & remote pre-conditioning w/ auto front seat + steering wheel heating; √ 2nd Row privacy glass; √ Heated 2nd Row seats; √ Power retracting rear headrests; √ Door puddle lamps x 4; √ Panoramic tinted glass roof;
Cool Gizmo(s): √ 12.3″-inch “Progressive Digital Driver Display” TFT twin dial gauges, MFD, w/ Calm or Navi (map) modes; √ Etched Polestar Star emblem in panoramic roof illuminates at night. +1 Wing mirror housings full move per view angle adjustment!
Details Done Right: √ (Optional) Bridge of Weir Nappa leather seating with suede accents; √ Blonde open pore reconstructed genuine ash center console & mid dash shelving inlays; √ Aluminum steering wheel, vent, door handle, display bezel trim & rotary knobs; √ Aluminum snap buttons dot fabric upholstered panels.
Nearly Non-Descript: -1 Gloss piano black center console control and climate vent bezels; Un-lined center armrest storage bin & glovebox; Flimsy glovebox door & uneven gap; No panorama roof sunshade; No Swedish flags at all.
HOW “APP” -LICABLE: √ 11.2″ portrait tablet, pane-swipe, touch LCD infotainment screen (+2.0″ vs. Volvo C40 Recharge); √ Android Automotive R media interface; √ Rotary audio volume dial, selection, defroster & Home screen switches ; √ Voice recognition command hands-free communications w/ SMS, MMS, Email; √ 3-D HDD Google Maps navigation; √ Subscription based Sirius XM radio; √ Apple CarPlay; √ Google Automotive Apps via PlayStore; √ Qi Inductive wireless charging tray; √ USB-C x 4, 12V x 2 (1 x cargo bay); -1 No Android Auto projection compels Android users to eventually pay for Google Automotive subscription.
Audibly: √ 13 speaker, 600 W Harman Kardon Q-Logic = boomy bass notes bias; √ streaming audio, DAB+ HD radio
By Subscription: Polestar Connect, Digital Key, Digital Services Pkg. = Google Automotive Services: Maps, Assistant + Play Store, Remote Services: Climate pre-conditioning, vehicle lock + unlock, Wi-Fi (3 years trial e-SIM); √ SiriusXM satellite radio ( 90 days incl.)
HOW MUCH: $67,450 = as tested 2023 Polestar 2 Dual Motor AWD; 250 kW complimentary Electrify America DC public charging; 8 years, 100,000 miles electric propulsion warranty (to 70% state of health) including maintenance. (No longer qualifies for Clean Vehicle U.S. tax credit, but may be eligible for state tax rebate.)
WHAT’S MISSING: Variable regenerative slowing, V2L charging, Cargo bay power port, Android Auto projection, Google Automotive Android Apps < Android Auto Apps; Panoramic glass roof shade; still $5000 away from the Performance Pack w/ Öhlins™ adjustable dampers and front big brake kit; Some complimentary DC public charging.
ANY COMPETITION: Audi Q4 E-Tron: +1 Ride comfort, cabin + cargo space; Ford Mach-E AWD: cabin + cargo space; heritage name & look; Genesis GV60 Performance: +1 Quicker, enhanced cabin detail; Volvo C40 Recharge Twin: +1 Swedish Easter Eggs, nominally more cargo capacity, -1 lower top speed, heavier, 2.0″ smaller media display, no Performance monitors.
FINAL WORD: All Amped Sweet Swede performance offshoot delivers new licorice spiced GT sportback BEV.