We’ve been fans of Polestar since before it was a thing, and not because the young car company is all-electric, or because of its sustainable bend, but because the Swedish company makes cars that buck all trends.
Both the Polestar 2 fastback sedan and the Polestar 1 coupe look like what would happen if the Swedish fashion label Acne Studios decided to make cars: modern and minimal with cool silhouettes, the finest materials, and a colour palette that’s always on-trend. (The company’s CEO is German car designer Thomas Ingenlath — known for always sporting excellent suits and for reinventing Volvo—which goes some way in explaining why these cars look the way they do.)
If all this sounds like something you’d be into, you’re in luck, because the 2022 all-electric Polestar 2 offers more driving range for less money. The new entry point into Polestar’s particular brand of Swedish style is called — deep breath — the 2022 Polestar Long Range Single Motor Front Wheel Drive (FWD). In layman’s terms, what Polestar did here (more or less) is knock $7,000 off the price of the car by removing one of the two electric motors. The remaining motor is at the front axle and powers only the front wheels.
Whipping around an on-ramp, you do feel the front tires working hard to contain 243 lb-ft of instant electric torque. The steering wheel kicks back gently, but resists torque-steer; it’s simply a reminder that you’re piloting a quick EV. It never feels lacking for power during daily driving, because 228 hp feels like a lot more when it’s coming from an electric motor. Throw on a set of good winter tires and we’d wager most people in Toronto or Vancouver would never miss having all-wheel drive.
Inside the car, Android Automotive OS powers the big touchscreen. It feels, perhaps unsurprisingly, more like using a smartphone than your typical in-car infotainment system. It takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it’s incredibly simple — and having Google Maps built-in scores it major brownie points.
Also new for 2022 is an optional heat pump, which is a feature that some EV drivers get revved up about. In the depths of winter, Polestar says the heat pump can extend the car’s range by up to 10 per cent. It’s a nice peace-of-mind feature — especially when you’re driving in Canadian winters.
Performance-minded drivers will still want the all-wheel drive Polestar 2, despite the fact it gives up a little bit of range, because it’s significantly quicker. While the new FWD model takes just over seven seconds to get from 0-100 km/h, the all-wheel drive takes just 4.5 seconds to do the same sprint. The AWD model is good for 400 km and starts at $56,900. (Yes, the Polestar 2 is eligible for provincial rebates, but, no, these cars aren’t eligible for the federal incentive.)
The FWD model is rated for an EPA-estimated 427 km of range at a price of $49,900. If you live in Quebec or B.C., rebates drop the price to $41,900 or $46,900 respectively, which makes this a veritable EV bargain.
If you’re budget can stretch a little (okay, a lot) higher, Rolls-Royce recently announced its swearing off gasoline for good and going all-in on EVs, but you’re going to have to wait a while before those roll into production.