The 2024 Polestar 2 gets more power and rear-wheel-drive smarts | Top Gear
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The 2024 Polestar 2 gets more power and rear-wheel-drive smarts

Raft of mid-cycle changes means more speed, better batteries and greater range

Published: 24 Jan 2023

Polestar has released details of a major European update to Polestar 2. Featuring more power, better batteries and in-cabin tweaks, the 2024 Polestar 2 will debut a rear-wheel-drive single-motor variant. This comes off the back of the news that Volvo is making rear-wheel-drive cars again, too. 

Featuring a newly developed permanent magnet motor and silicon carbide inverter, Polestar has increased the power output significantly for both the single- and dual-motor setups. The single-motor version, with rear-wheel-drive - a first for the brand - sports an output of up to 220kW (up from 170), where the dual-motor improvements feature rear-wheel bias and 546lb ft of torque, up from the 2019 model’s 486lb ft. 

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Long-range versions of the new Polestar 2 get 6kWh extra juice in the battery, but moreover, a redesigned battery disconnect unit, improved cell chemistry and upgraded busbars mean the batteries are not only more powerful but also lighter. The long-range dual-motor variant can eke out up to 368 miles, according to WLTP - that’s a 65-mile jump. On the standard variant, the range is up, by an equally impressive 52 miles, to 322 miles (WLTP).

The changes - not yet available in every market - have enabled engineers to slim the all-electric chariot’s 0-62mph time down by a second or two and improved traction. They’ve also configured the dual-motor so the front motor can be completely disengaged when not in use for more battery efficiency. 

“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,” said Joakim Rydholm, head of chassis development at Polestar. “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.”

Polestar has been keen to emphasis a focus on tech upgrades. Polestar’s big boss, Thomas Ingenlath, said: “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, and with the updated front design with the new SmartZone, the best looking one, too.”

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First launched in 2019, the new version of the all-electric Polestar 2 was the first vehicle in the world to feature an entirely Android-based operating system. The five-door performance fastback now sports features first seen in the Polestar 3 SUV, meaning it gets a swathe of active safety features as standard. A front-facing camera, mid-range radar and 30-degree surround view camera enable Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), Rear Collision Warning (RCW) and Rear Collision Assist (RCA).

Polestar’s also chucked a wireless phone charger in as standard on all versions, too. Available to pre-order in Europe, first deliveries are expected in Autumn this year and pricing starts from £44,950

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