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[Behind the Wheel] Polestar 2, simple but powerful

Polestar Korea launches its performance and design driven electric car Polestar 2. (Polestar Korea)
Polestar Korea launches its performance and design driven electric car Polestar 2. (Polestar Korea)
The Polestar 2, the first Polestar car to hit the Korean roads, is a performance-driven car, living up to the reputation of the Swedish carmaker that was once Volvo’s racing skunkworks.

With the new model, Polestar aims to compete head-on with the Tesla Model 3, the world’s most popular plug-in EV in 2020.

At first sight, one can easily grasp that Polestar 2 displays Scandinavian aesthetics: clean and simple lines and functionality without sacrificing beauty.

It has a clean-cut fastback body with a panoramic roof that makes the car look even more spacious.

During a test drive of Polestar 2’s Long Range Dual Motor version, on a 48-kilometer route from Seocho in Seoul to Hanam, Gyeonggi Province, one could easily notice that Polestar tried to make driving an EV easier for first timers.

For instance, the carmaker applied frameless side mirrors instead of digital side mirrors like those in most newly launched electric cars which could take time to get used to.

Unlike Tesla’s electric cars, with which regenerative braking cannot be adjusted to driver’s taste, someone who is used to driving combustion engine cars could adjust Polestar 2's level of regenerative braking down to one from three different levels.

The Polestar 2’s creep driving function could also be turned off and on by the driver.

It definitely offered a quieter driving experience than Tesla Model 3, but road noise did seep into the car a bit more than the Tesla models.

Polestar 2 is the first EV in S. Korea to be equipped with Tmap infotainment system. (Polestar Korea)
Polestar 2 is the first EV in S. Korea to be equipped with Tmap infotainment system. (Polestar Korea)
When the battery of the car was below 50 percent, the TMAP infotainment system notified both verbally and visually about the car’s battery charging levels and several locations of charging stations nearby.

The Polestar 2 features Level 2 autonomous driving. But compared to Tesla’s autopilot function, the Polestar system felt less effective in detecting lanes when curbing.

When it came to the interior, Polestar went fully vegan with WeaveTech, a water-based, dirt and moisture resistant, modern PVC material.

The 4.605-meters-long car did not feel so spacious, especially the backseats as the headspace was quite short compared to other EVs.

Yet, the best part about Polestar 2 is its price.

Its price begins from 54.9 million won ($46,000) for the Long Range Single Motor version, and 57.9 million won for the Long Range Dual Motor version.

Those buying the Long Range Single Motor version will fully receive the government’s EV subsidy of 7 million won, and the Long Range Dual Motor version can get up to 3.5 million won of government subsidy.

The Long Range Single Motor version with 231 horsepower has a 78 kilowatt-hour battery, which means it can drive 417 kilometers on a single charge, while the dual motor version can drive 334 kilometers on a single charge with the same capacity battery but it boasts 408 horsepower.

The vehicle will be offered in six different paint options exclusively for Korean drivers without extra charges.

By Hong Yoo (yoohong@heraldcorp.com)
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