The current EV renaissance has been underway for a number of years, and we’ve reached the point where the first of these EVs are now getting a mid-life refresh. Later this year, the facelifted Polestar 2 will go into production, with more standard equipment, a new nose and all-new electric motors.
“Typically in the auto industry, a facelift results in superficial visual changes that often destroy the original intent of the car’s design theme. With the new model year Polestar 2, we’ve gone more beneath the surface and upgraded key technical and mechanical components of the electric vehicle’s powertrain,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.
The biggest changes are reserved for the single-engine Polestar 2. This will now feature an 82kWh battery pack, compared to the 78kWh packs in the twin-engine cars, and is said to last for up to 300 miles (483km) on a single charge, although Polestar is still on its official EPA range estimate pending.
There’s a new permanent magnet motor and a silicon carbide inverter, and now the motor drives the rear wheels, not the front wheels. Power and torque have also increased significantly, from 231 hp (172 kW) to 295 hp (220 kW) and from 243 lb-ft (330 Nm) to 361 lb-ft (490 Nm), a drop of more than a second in the 0-60mph time. The larger battery pack can also be quickly charged at up to 205 kW.
The twin engine Polestar 2 has had its power balance shifted so it is now rear biased as opposed to front and rear engines of equal power. Power also increases slightly from 402 hp (300 kW) to 416 hp (310 kW) and torque slightly more from 486 lb-ft (660 Nm) to 546 lb-ft (740 Nm). Traction has been improved, bringing the 0-60 mph time down to 4.3 seconds, and the front motor can now disengage while riding for better range efficiency. Polestar says it expects up to 270 miles (435 km) for this version.
The optional Performance Pack boosts this to 449 hp (335 kW), along with Öhlins dual-flow valve dampers, Brembo brakes, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, some software changes and Polestar’s unmistakable gold seat belts. But if you just want the performance boost and not the other quick goodies, it’s possible via an over-the-air software unlock.
“Switching from front to rear wheel drive on the single engine variants and recalibrating the torque ratio on the dual engine variant for an improved rear wheel drive feel takes the Polestar 2 driving experience to a whole new level,” said Polestar 2 Joakim Rydholm, Head of Chassis Development at Polestar. “The updated Polestar 2 is an even more playful and agile car that retains its compactness and complete sense of control while becoming more mature with added comfort.”
Polestar says the new battery chemistry means carbon emissions for building the long-haul single-engine version have fallen by 1.1 tonnes to 5.9 tonnes per car. It also increases equipment levels on some cars, adding the Pilot Pack (which includes driver assistance systems like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts) as standard on the twin-engine Polestar 2 for North America.
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