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In-depth reviews

Polestar 2 review – engine, gearbox and technical highlights

Updated electric powertrains bring a stronger blend of performance and range than before

Evo rating
  • Excellent range; progressive rear-drive balance; calm motorway manners
  • Unyielding ride; lacks dynamic edge

The Polestar 2 is offered in two motor configurations, each of which feature new drive units for 2023. The base car features a single rear motor with 268bhp and 361lb ft, powered by a 69kWh battery pack for 339 miles of range. The Long Range variant brings a more powerful 295bhp motor and a larger 82kWh battery to boost range to 406 miles – the highest of all Polestar 2s.

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Stepping up to the dual-motor raises peak power to 416bhp and 546lb ft, with 368 miles of range offered from the 82kWh battery. In tandem with the chassis upgrades, the Performance Pack brings an extra 53bhp (torque is rated the same as the standard dual-motor setup), with range taking a slight drop to 352 miles. 

By comparison, the facelifted Tesla Model 3 uses a slipperier body design than the original to achieve a quoted range of 344 miles in rear-wheel drive form, with the Long Range version providing 421 miles from a full charge. 

Under the Polestar’s skin is a modified version of Volvo’s CMP platform with a battery pack running through the floor. The Polestar 2 is proportioned differently to the XC40 SUV to which its related, at 4.6m long and 1.85m wide. For reference, a Tesla Model 3 is around 100mm shorter and 100mm wider.

Although Polestar prides itself on being a performance brand, the Polestar 2’s overall technical make-up is pretty standard, with MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link rear. As mentioned earlier, specify the Performance Pack and the mechanical specification is boosted by adjustable Öhlins dampers and a chunkier brake package, but the 2 isn't an especially sporty machine at its core.

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