Business Insider magazine is best known for financial and business news, but the outlet picks more than stocks now and then. And last month, for the first time ever, BI couldn’t really decide on what the best new car for 2020 was — they were deadlocked in a tie between two cutting-edge, electrified vehicles. Namely, the Polestar 1 and the Polestar 2. As such, the magazine named them both “car of the year.”
“It’s unconventional for us to name two cars as winners,” wrote Business Insider’s Kristen Lee and Matthew DeBord, “but as a grand-touring hybrid and a volume-seller electric vehicle, the Polestar 1 and 2 knock it out of the park.”
With sustainability in general — and battery-electric vehicles, in particular — coming into their own in 2020, it was probably expected that an electric car (or two!) would win car of the year honors. Even so, the two offerings from the Volvo-owned Polestar brand seem much less like trend-followers, especially in light of the company’s efforts to use animal-free and vegan interiors and reduce the use of single use plastics not just throughout their cars, but throughout their company. These are genuine EVs, in other words, from a company that is looking forward to an electric future, rather than being dragged into it kicking and screaming. Business Insider seems to agree, writing that, “we need more electric cars that people actually want to buy. Right now, Polestar makes one.”
“To have not one but both Polestar models share the Insider Car of the Year award is a real achievement,” offers Gregor Hembrough, Head of Polestar North America. “The award is another nod of confidence to our young brand from the highest level, and testament to the hard work of the entire team in bringing these cars to market.”
For the uninitiated, I’ve put together a quick summary of both the Polestar 1 PHEV coupe and Polestar 2 BEV sedan, below. Just a 10,000 ft. view, though, so I encourage you to check out a few of the CleanTechnica articles that go into more detail by clicking here and here, then let us know what you think of these two award-winning all-stars in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Polestar 1 | 600 HP Hybrid Supercoupe
Putting cars like the Tesla Model S, BMW’s 6 series, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class squarely in its crosshairs is a bold move for a company like Volvo. Its new, Polestar-badged grand-tourer seems to have the goods, though, packing 600 electrified horsepower and nearly 740 lb-ft of torque into a lightweight carbon body shell and putting that power to the ground via all four wheels.
Inside, a light and airy interior with bold, yellow accents is a clear departure from the “Top Gun” style black-on-black-on-black interiors typical of more Teutonic offerings. These things are pricey, though … but undoubtedly worth it.
Polestar 2 | The First Tesla Rival
As soon as the first Polestar 2 sedans started to reach journalists, the accolades started pouring in. This was a car that was quick, capable, composed, and engineered to the nth degree. What’s more, it was a car aimed squarely at the heart of the Tesla Model 3. The Polestar 2 isn’t a “Tesla Killer,” though — far from it. What it is, though, is validation of Tesla’s all-electric, all-the-time ethos that seemed so totally bonkers just a decade ago. Tesla was ultimately right, and the future is electric … but the Polestar 2 might be just as forward-thinking (depending on who you ask), and is proof positive that Tesla won’t have that electric future all to itself.