First Impressions Count

We’ve finally met the Polestar 2 in the metal. Ahead of a deeper dive with the full range of electric performance fastbacks early in 2022, how did the $78,900 Long Range Single Motor example we drove stack up?

Well, if you’re seriously interested, you should be seriously excited.

Our main takeaways after a brief introductory drive of the new Polestar 2 electric performance fastback around Auckland? One, this is an impressive, wholly complete electric vehicle solution. And two, the competition better be ready.

There is of course a lot of hyperbole attached to the arrival of any new brand, concept, or product. It’s natural that philosophies and ambitions are thrust to the front of the stage; the drop curtain of disruptor urgency backgrounding any new launch, almost to the point the product itself gets lost in the mix.

So, aside from all that: as a car, as a form of transport you might drive every day, how does the Polestar 2 stack up?

It’s looks modern and sleek from the outside, features a calming, spacious cabin inside and, when you want it to be, is exceptionally quick. In short, it’s going to be an exciting addition to the vehicular landscape – a landscape which is evolving before our eyes.

Whether you know the backstory or not, the Volvo DNA remains strongly on show in the Polestar 2. The limited edition and soon-to-be-worth-squillions Polestar 1 coupe was an undeniable future echo of Volvo’s iconic P1800. The Polestar 2, with its four-door coupe-style silhouette manages to look unlike anything in Volvo’s playbook, but at the same time is still intrinsically… well, Volvo-ish. Though this, it should be underlined, is no bad thing.

But because the Swedish Chinese joint venture carmaker has truly ambitious plans for its near future (including an aggressive strategy to increase global sales from around 10,000 cars per year at present, to 290,000 per year by 2025), it isn’t standing still on the design or technology offering of imminent models.

With the combined goal of becoming a climate neutral manufacturer before the end of the 2020s while also producing a larger portfolio of vehicles for more customers, Polestar is keen to stress it is no ‘one trick pony’. Following two SUV-proportioned models (see sidebar), the Polestar 5 will eventually debut an entirely different look for the brand, departing completely from any remaining Volvo design language in its sheet metal or sustainably recycled interior detailing. Polestar has no intention of standing still.

In the meantime, we have the impressive Polestar 2 available in three formats for New Zealand: a Standard Range Single Motor option for $69,990, a Long Range Single Motor model for $78,900 and the headliner Long Range Dual Motor for $93,900. All base pricing includes On-Road Costs & GST, while the two Single Motor Polestar 2s are also eligible for a Clean Car Program rebate.

Built at a production facility in Taizhou, China alongside the Volvo XC40, the Polestar 2 features AC synchronous, permanent magnet electric motors. In the Long Range Dual Motor (which features one motor per axle), each produces 150kW and 330Nm, for a total of 300KW and 660Nm. In the Long Range Single Motor and Standard Range Single Motor versions, the front-mounted motor produces 170kW and 330Nm.

Battery range varies between 470km up to 540km (WLTP), while the car’s 400V lithium-ion batteries can be charged to 80% in around 35 minutes (or to full in approximately seven to eight hours off a 3-phase 16amp socket at home).

Polestar importer, Giltrap Group, is currently in the final stages of constructing a boutique Polestar Space retail customer centre in Newmarket. In the short term, Polestar’s Auckland brand headquarters will also be complimented by regional test drive facilities through the SIXT rental network’s Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown branches, meaning the opportunity to sample this brand-new EV is close at hand for many Kiwis.

And our first impressions suggest grabbing such an opportunity soon. With Scandinavian technical precision, Chinese manufacturing scale, and a brand founded on the distillation of razor-sharp performance, Polestar is the real deal.

We’re looking forward to a more comprehensive exploration of the New Zealand Polestar line-up in 66 Magazine’s autumn 2022 edition. Stay tuned for more.

Visit the Polestar Space at 58 Great South Road, Newmarket, Auckland

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