Polestar 2 update: More range, more power for Tesla Model 3 EV challenger

The Polestar 2 will be updated in Australia this year , with the Swedish-Chinese brand’s original EV to deliver more range, more power, more safety tech and, less happily, a predicted higher price tag, in its fight with the Tesla Model 3.

While Polestar in Australia has yet to confirm prices for the updated model, with orders unlikely to open before April, European pricing does suggest the new model will carry a cost increase in the region of $2k to $5k, depending on the model.

Critically, Polestar has made important changes to the battery chemistry and furniture, so while it’s bigger (on the higher-spec models), and it delivers a better driving range across the board, it’s also lighter and more efficient.

The new Polestar 2 improves the formula across the board
The new Polestar 2 improves the formula across the board

Another key change is the shift in driving wheels from front to back for 2WD models, with the Standard Range Single Motor now a rear-wheel-drive EV. It sticks with a 69kWh battery, but the changes described above help it to deliver an extra 40km in WLTP driving range, now 518km.

There’s also a newly developed permanent magnet motor and silicon carbide inverter, which boosts power and performance. The Standard Range Single Motor now delivers 200kW and 490Nm, and will clip 100km/h in a far more sprightly 6.4 seconds.

The Long Range Single Motor Polestar 2 now uses a bigger 82kWh battery pack, while the power from the rear motor increases to 220kW and 490Nm. That means a sprint to 100km/h of 6.2 seconds, and a significant 635km driving range – up more than 80km on the model it replaces.

The shift from front- to rear-wheel drive drive is designed to make the Polestar 2 more”playful and agile”, without, the brand promises, compromising on comfort.

“Changing from front- to rear-wheel drive in the single-motor variants, and re-calibrating the torque ratio in the dual-motor variant for an increased rear-wheel drive feel, elevates the Polestar 2 driving experience to a whole new level,” says Polestar’s head of chassis development, Joakim Rydholm.

“The updated Polestar 2 is an even more playful and agile car, retaining its compactness and complete sense of control, while at the same time becoming more mature with added comfort.”

Finally, the Long Range Dual Motor also features the bigger battery pack, but its twin-motor set-up delivers a potent 310kW and 740Nm, dropping the sprint to 100km/h to just 4.5 seconds, while delivering a driving range of 592km.

Those are important real-world changes for the Polestar 2, which remains — for now — the only model in the brand’s stable.

“Typically in the car industry, a facelift introduces superficial visual changes that often destroy the original intention of the car’s design theme. With the new-model-year Polestar 2, we went below the surface and upgraded substantial tech and mechanical components of the electric drivetrain. This is the best Polestar 2 yet,” says Polestar’s global chief, Thomas Ingenlath.

Safety has also come under the microscope, with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert now standard across the Polestar 2 family, rather than available as part of a cost option pack.

The new Polestar 2 will arrive in Australia in Q3 this year, with orders expected to open from April.