For centuries people have navigated across the ocean and deserts using the Pole Star to guide them across unknown seas and treacherous terrains. What is AMG to Mercedes and M to BMW was Polestar to Volvo. However, the new Chinese owners of Volvo have decided to use the Polestar name for a new brand of high technology, powerful electric vehicles.
Geely has announced the commencement of manufacture of the Polestar 2 at Luqiao in China. This is one bright spot among the deluge of news about plant shut downs across the world due to the Carona virus pandemic. Delivery of these cars will commence in Europe, followed by China and finally North America.
The Polestar 2 is a five door speedback which is offered by Geely in six colours, Snow (white), Magnesium, Thunder, Moon (various shades of grey), Midnight (deep shade of blue) and Void (black). The Polestar 2 looks as if it has been chiseled out of a block of solid metal. The design theme is a distinct angular theme harking back to the seventies and a welcome departure from the overdose of curves so ubiquitous across the automotive arena. It has all the elements of a Volvo including the Hammer of Thor daylight running lights and the inverted C theme of the tail lamps which runs across the width of the rear.
The car rides on either 19 or 20″ tastefully designed laser cut alloys. It is loaded to the gills with rain sensing wipers, pixel LED headlamps, fog lamps with cornering function for added safety, automatically dimming rear view mirrors, and panoramic glass roof.
The interior of the vehicle is typical Volvo again with the various components having been sourced from the Volvo parts bin. The center of the dashboard is dominated by a huge 11.5 inch floating touch screen which controls nearly everything and the infotainment system. Physical switches are conspicuous by their absence. Behind the steering wheel, again sourced from Volvo, is the second 12.3 inch screen which doubles as the instrument cluster with a fully digital interface. When the car is unlocked, the display shows battery charging status, time for completed charging and range highly visible from outside. While driving, the display shows two big round instruments and an information display in between. The display is responsive, enlarging some elements while shrinking others, such as when in navigation mode. There are three different display views: Calm, Car centric and Navigation. Interiors can be ordered in either slate or charcoal weave or in beige nappa leather. The seats as well as the steering wheel are heated. There is a music system from Harman Kardon to keep you entertained during long drives.
In addition, the car comes with four USB ports, two each in front and rear. The Polestar 2 is yet another connected car and comes with the Polestar Connect service which allows the owner to stay connected with the car at all times. This service can be used to start the air conditioning remotely, a boon for owners in the tropical regions. The service also makes emergency calls automatically in case of an accident. Its the first car to come with an infotainment system powered by Android. It offers the Google Assistant, which has been perfected to understand user commands in various languages; Google Maps, which offer real-time and up-to-date information; and Google Play Store, which offers a full suite of apps which have been optimised for the in-car experience. Cordless mobile phone charging is another option available to the driver.
On the safety front, the car comes with adaptive cruise control which follows the car ahead in heavy traffic also. In fact the Polestar 2 even comes to a stop if the car ahead comes to stop. Further, if the car ahead starts again within 3 seconds, the Polestar 2 with faithfully restart and follow the car. The car reads the road signs and displays them on the driver information screen. Also, with the cruise control engaged, the Pilot Assist keeps the car in the middle of the lane while providing minor steering inputs on its own. The car is also installed with blind spot information which warns for vehicles about to overtake with a flashing yellow light in the left or right door mirror. It has a 360 Degree surround view to assist in parking, front and rear parking assist and hill start assist.
In addition to the 405 litre rear trunk, the Polestar comes with a 35 litre front storage space also. The Polestar 2 comes with a McPherson type front suspension and a multi-link suspension, with vital parts made of light-weight aluminium at the rear. The suspension has been tuned to offer a responsive drive and a comfortable ride.
The Polestar 2 is powered by two electric motors powering the front and rear axles. The combined output of both these motors is 408 BHP. They also generate 660 N-m of torque for all the heavy work. The energy to drive the motors of the this five seater car, which is 4.6 m long, 1.95 m wide and 1.48 m tall comes from a 78 KW-h battery pack comprising 27 modules. This pack allows the car a range of 467 Km on one charge. When you push the pedal down in anger, the two motors accelerate the car from 0 to 100 Km/h in 4.7 seconds.
If you are not satisfied with this performance, you can order the performance pack with brakes by Brembo. These brakes have mono-block aluminium callipers finished in Swedish gold. The performance package also features Dual Flow Valve (DFV) dampers Öhlins. Another component of the performance pack is 20″ forged alloy wheels, and gold coloured seat belts to differentiate from the mundane car.