I was given the opportunity to attend the Polestar 2 pre-launch, Polestar is the latest spin off from Volvo, specialising in EV cars, and this Polestar 2 packs a punch, with impressive acceleration and looks, and a battery with ranges almost reaching 300 miles on real world tests.
The event kicked off, with a walk around 2 cars, inside a discreet hanger, with a line up of 10, Polestar 2's which to me looked ready for a good and proper electric drag race !
Alas, this was not to be, and we started with an overview of the car's infotainment station. Apparently, its the first infotainment station built on the google android application, and already there are budding app builders designing clever apps to help you manage the car.
The system was clear and simple, as you'd expect on a modern EV, I do often question how safe all this technology is packed into a display in the drivers view, ready to distract them at any point in time whilst on the road. Turning the air up or down, could be done with 'touch' in a conventional car, with a knob or similar, but this now requires you to take your eyes off the road, before you can make any such changes.
Next, we were given the keys, and got ourselves comfortable with our new Polestar 2 ready for our road test.
Our charge system was set to charge up to 80%, as the battery will accept a lower current from 80-100%, to protect its longevity. Our charge speed seemed to be configured to 12amps on the demo, which would take a very long time to charge off a conventional 13amp plug, but we were re-assured it could charge up to 150amps at the right charging station. Impressive, with a 80% charge in under 45 minutes.
The car design is noticeably clean and simple, yet butch with a proud front grille, and triangular fog light housing. No sign of a Volvo badge yet ! however we couldn't quite help but notice the front's remarkable similarities to the S60, or which there were a few parked out front, from attending Volvo enthusiasts !
A few details to note, we were in the basic model, which the standard breaks and callipers, however there were a few Polestar 2's with the performance packs included, and coloured brake callipers and drilled discs certainly looked the part. The wheels on this standard Polestar 2 were still very special. No changes to the aero kits or other noticeable features on the performance pack.
One of my favourite parts of the whole car was the wing mirror detail, with its frameless glass mirror, and very minimalist surround. I'm sure the starting point here was to reduce drag, and improve visibility, that it certainly does, but it also looks the part. I think this is a much better result, than what Audi have tried to do with the E-tron, with the virtual wing mirrors which I really dislike, coupled with the claims that they really do distract you and force your eyes off the road every time you glance at them.
Out on the road, the Polestar is powerful and smooth, the acceleration is impressive, and enough to outperform any ICE car within its price range of sub £50,000. The cabin is well put together, the ride is comfortable, and the controls aside from the overly detailed infotainment system are easy to use and navigate.
A quick pitstop, we'd barely used a single percent of the batteries range to get us 10 miles down the road. We'd had a chance to test out the Harmon Kardon sound system which was truly excellent. The panoramic solid glass roof is a real feature, I think a great addition for kids sitting in the back, who get to watch the world unfold as you hurtle down country lanes in your new EV. A sunroof option isn't available, but I think the glass roof is enough of a win, to not notice being able to open the roof. We were not able to test this in warmer conditions, am sure its been polarised sufficiently to ensure you don't get a tan every time you take it out for a spin.
Our test drive was over, thumbs up from us at Next Day Solar, if you are looking for a greener alternative to your family saloon, so BMW 5 series or equivalent, this is certainly worth a consideration. Great build quality, as its made in the Volvo Factory, along with a smart new image and brand, make this car really stand out. It may be a little boxy, and does take some getting used to, but once behind that wheel, you'll forget anything of the Volvo name, and enjoy that unrivalled EV experience.
I'll head back to my 1950's for V8 pilot for now !, its got a much simpler infotainment system, on or off, with a dial to fine tune the radio !