2024 Polestar 2 EV switches to rear-drive, seeks 300-mile range

Polestar has announced a comprehensive drive-system refresh for its Polestar 2 hatchback that boosts range and efficiency. It includes new motors, a slightly larger battery pack for some versions and, probably to put it best, a change in priorities. 

Amid a comprehensive refresh for its drive system, Polestar is switching its single-motor models from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive. The change closely parallels what Volvo announced last week for upcoming single-motor versions of the related XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge, which share Volvo’s CMA platform with the Polestar 2.

Battery capacity in rear-wheel-drive models also bumps up 4 kwh—to 82 kwh—versus all-wheel-drive versions—enabling what Polestar hopes to be a 300-mile EPA range, up 35 miles from the outgoing single-motor version. Yet despite that, Polestar claims that the carbon emissions associated with the battery pack’s manufacture is down due to an improved cell chemistry. 

The new rear-wheel-drive version now permits charging at a peak 205 kw, rather than 155 kw for those other models. 

2024 Polestar 2

2024 Polestar 2

That said, the driving range of all-wheel-drive versions has improved as well, now at up to 270 miles. The company says that the front motor can now be disengaged completely when it’s not needed; it’s used for additional power and/or traction.

Further, Polestar says that dual-motor all-wheel-drive versions of the Polestar 2 now have “a rear-drive bias that increases driving pleasure and performance.” Both motors are new, and by subbing an induction motor at the front wheels and prioritizing the rear permanent magnet motor, output of dual motor all-wheel-drive versions of the Polestar 2 has improved significantly—to 421 hp and 546 lb-ft of torque, or 455 hp and 546 lb-ft with the available Performance Pack. That boosts the 0-60 mph time to 4.3 and 4.1 seconds, respectively, from the previous 4.45 and 4.2 seconds. 

2024 Polestar 2

2024 Polestar 2

The Performance Pack now includes what used to be part of a Plus Pack, with Brembo brakes, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, dual-flow Öhlins dampers, and the Polestar Engineered software upgrade that remains downloadable to any U.S. dual-motor cars. 

That’s not as much power as Polestar has been offering with the $1,195 over-the-air software-based performance boost available for 2021 through 2023 dual-motor models, but it’s significantly more torque. 

Polestar hasn’t yet clarified to Green Car Reports whether these motors are the company’s own motors. The company is developing its own motors and battery packs, and plans to have a unique electrical architecture in future vehicles. 

While the Polestar 2 looks mostly the same, the noteworthy difference is the different front-end look, with the inclusion of a so-called SmartZone, rather than a grille, that more cleanly packages active-safety hardware including the front camera and mid-range radar. 

2024 Polestar 2

2024 Polestar 2

The Polestar 2 also gets broadened tech and active-safety features for some of the lineup. All versions of the Polestar 2 add wireless phone charging. Dual-motor models now also include blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alerts, and rear collision warnings, as well as adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera system, and LED front fog lights with cornering assist. 

The 2023 Polestar 2 currently starts at $49,800 in single-motor form, including the $1,400 destination fee. While a price hike is likely, prices haven’t yet been confirmed. Polestar says that the 2024 models are available to order now, although the brand suggests it’s still taking orders for 2023 front-drive single-motor cars. First deliveries of the revamped 2024 versions will start later this year. 

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