What do you get if you take the best bits of a Volvo and then make them all a bit better? Well, the answer is the new Polestar 2.
It’s the first mainstream production car with an all-electric powertrain to arrive in the UK from the Geely-owned brand.
The underpinnings are shared with the soon-to-be-launched Volvo XC40 Recharge, but that’s about where the similarities end.
Polestar took inspiration from a Volvo concept car and made it a reality. It’s lower than an XC40 and has a bespoke interior, with an all-new Android-based infotainment system.
The twin electric motor set-up puts out 408PS to all four wheels, giving a 0-62mph time of just 4.7 seconds. Acceleration is instant and relentless, with the 50-70 mid-range punch especially aggressive.
A 78kWh battery provides a WLTP range of 292 miles (250 miles should be easily achievable) and a rapid charge time of 0-80% in 40 minutes.
What’s most impressive about the Polestar 2, when considering its platform, is how it drives. We like Volvos at Fleet News, but dynamic they are not.
The £49,900 Polestar, however, lives up to the brand’s performance promise. The battery weight helps keep the car planted, while its specially-tuned suspension takes corners with ease. The electric motors divide power between the axles to maximise grip. After a few laps of Millbrook’s Alpine course, we were impressed with the 2’s abilities.
Driving the car on normal roads, the capabilities are well hidden. On a motorway jaunt, Polestar 2 exhibits the same levels of comfort and refinement as a luxury saloon.
There are no sport or eco modes, just a nicely tuned accelerator pedal that allows for effortless (and efficient) cruising or breakneck acceleration.
For an extra £5,000, an optional Performance Pack adds manually adjustable suspension and Brembo brakes for the full track-spec experience. The ride is less forgiving, it must be said.
While we are dishing out complements, the Polestar 2’s infotainment system also deserves praise. Apps like Google maps and Spotify are smartly integrated into the central touchscreen, enabling a smartphone experience.
Operation is simplistic, as are all the car’s features. You don’t even need to switch it on or off, just jump in and select ‘drive’.
The interior is beautifully finished with a variety of materials, including real wood and vegan fabrics. There’s plenty of space for passengers too, with similar cabin space to a large saloon.
The boot is about the same size as you’ll get in a VW Golf, plus there’s an extra storage space under the bonnet, ideal to store the charging cables.
Cheaper models, including a single motor version, will be launched. But for now the fully-loaded launch edition is the only model offered.
There aren’t many negatives. Polestar 2 is reason-ably priced, great to drive and highly desirable (rivals the Audi e-tron is priced from £59,900 and the Mercedes-Benz EQC from £65,665).
Like all electric cars, however, supply is limited to a few thousand units per year, so user-choosers need to get their orders in sharpish.