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Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Polestar 2 Goes From Front- To Rear-Wheel Drive During Its Midcycle Refresh


Typically, when it comes to a car’s midcycle refresh, carmakers give it a spiffy new grille and wheels. At the most, they’ll probably offer an upgraded interior and powertrain as well. Well, the folks over at Polestar—the premium EV brand co-owned by Volvo Cars and Geely managed to do something different. They switched from a front-wheel drive layout to a rear-wheel drive one for their Polestar 2.

Entering the premium EV market in 2019, the Polestar 2 is the Scandinavian answer to the likes of the Tesla Model 3. Currently available in 27 markets globally, it has sold over 100,000 units.

But given the pace at which other premium brands are coming out with their EVs, Polestar knew they needed a leg up. So, they decided to go underneath the surface, and in a flash of brilliance, showed the flexibility of their EV architecture by swapping the driven wheels from front to rear.

As the first rear-wheel drive Polestar, it’s meant to be more playful and agile.

Furthermore, new electric motors and inverters have upped its performance and range. The single-motor variants now have an output of 300 horsepower from 231 horsepower, while torque is up to 490 Nm from 330 Nm. This effectively drops its century sprint to 6.2 seconds or 1.2 seconds faster than the front-wheel drive Polestar 2.

Going for the dual-motor version, its re-balanced drivetrain setup and torque ratio gives it a rear-drive bias. Total power is up to 421 horsepower (from 408 horsepower), while torque is now at a supercar-like 740 Nm (from 660 Nm). 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in just 4.5 seconds. An available Performance Pack ups the power to 476 horsepower, dropping the 100 km/h sprint to just 4.2 seconds. Best of all, this is downloadable as a software upgrade for eligible variants.

Advancement in battery technology has also improved its overall range. The 82-kWh Long-range Polestar 2 can travel up to 592 kilometers between charges—an increase of 105 kilometers. Meanwhile, the standard-range version and its 69-kWh battery can go up to 518 kilometers—an increase of 40 kilometers.

Despite all its under the skin changes, Polestar designers also did give the Polestar 2 a grille job. From its traditional “breathing grille,” they come up with the SmartZone face. Signifying its new design direction, it hosts the hatchback’s active safety features such as the front-facing camera and mid-range radar.

Sadly, there’s still no Polestar distributor here in the Philippines. However, the brand does have an increasing presence in Asia in the form of Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and Mainland China.

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