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The Polestar 2 gets new electric motors in mid-life refresh

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biased? only toward the rear —

Cosmetic changes include a new front, and the single-motor car is now rear-driven.

Jonathan M. Gitlin - Jan 24, 2023 12:00 pm UTC

Enlarge / Polestar has given the Polestar 2 a new nose treatment for model-year 2024.

Polestar

The current electric vehicle renaissance has been properly underway for a few years now, and we've reached the point where the first of those EVs are now undergoing a mid-life refresh. Later this year, the revised Polestar 2 will go into production, featuring more standard equipment, a new nose, and all-new electric motors.

"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 rather went below the surface and upgraded substantial tech and mechanical components of the electric drivetrain," said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.

The biggest changes are reserved for the single-motor Polestar 2. This will now come with an 82 kWh battery pack, compared to the 78 kWh packs in the dual motor cars, and should be sufficient for up to 300 miles (483 km) on a single charge, although Polestar is still waiting on its official EPA range estimate.

There's a new permanent magnet motor and a silicon-carbide inverter, and now the motor drives the rear wheels, not the fronts. Power and torque have increased quite significantly, too, from 231 hp (172 kW) to 295 hp (220 kW) and from 243 lb-ft (330 Nm) to 361 lb-ft (490 Nm), dropping more than a second from the 0-60 mph time. The larger battery pack can also fast-charge at up to 205 kW.

The dual-motor Polestar 2 had its power balance shifted, so that's now rear-biased as opposed to both front and rear motors having the same output. Power is increased marginally, as well, from 402 hp (300 kW) to 416 hp (310 kW), and torque a little more substantially from 486 lb-ft (660 Nm) to 546 lb-ft (740 Nm). Traction is improved, which drops the 0-60 mph time to 4.3 seconds, and the front motor can now disengage when cruising for better range efficiency. Polestar says it expects up to 270 miles (435 km) for this version.

Enlarge / If you see a Polestar 2 with gold brake calipers, that means it has the Performance Pack.

The optional Performance Pack boosts this to 449 hp (335 kW), together with the addition of Öhlins dual-flow valve dampers, Brembo brakes, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, some software changes, and Polestar's distinctive gold seatbelts. But if you just want the power boost and not the other go-fast goodies, that's possible via an over-the-air software unlock.

"Changing from front- to rear-wheel drive in the single-motor variants and recalibrating 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 says the new battery chemistry means that carbon emissions to build the long-range single-motor version have dropped by 1.1 metric tons to 5.9 metric tons per car. It's also bumping the equipment levels of some cars, adding the Pilot Pack (which includes driver assists like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts) as standard on the dual-motor Polestar 2 for North America.

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