The Volvo Polestar 2 is a pretty nifty electric sedan. In its original configuration, it features a pair of 204 horsepower motors, a 78 kWh battery, an EPA range of 233 miles, and a starting price of just under $60,000. Reviewers have given the car high marks for refinement. Business Insider was so impressed with the car that it awarded it “Car Of The Year” status. (Although, one suspects “anything but a Tesla” was an unstated part of the award criteria.)
The Polestar 2 has all of the understated elegance people expect in a Volvo. The only complaint so far has been that it seems a little pricey for its specs. 233 miles really is nothing to get excited about in the world of electric cars today. Volvo is addressing that issue with two new models, one of which takes a “less is more” approach by substituting one 231 horsepower motor for the dual motors of the Launch Edition. With the same 78 kWh battery, range increases to a more respectable 260 miles according to the EPA. The best part is the new model may cost less than the Launch Edition that preceded it. In Europe, it will sell for about €2,000 less. More range; less money. Sweet!
In Europe, buyers will have the option of a less expensive Standard Range model equipped with a 64 kWh battery and a range of about 440 km (273 miles), according to the WLTP system. That version will cost about €3,000 less, but it is unlikely to be available in the US, where final prices for the new models are expected to be announced in a few weeks. At the present time, Polestar is offering a $2,000 discount to American buyers when they trade in a conventional car with an infernal combustion engine.
Polestar is also introducing two option packages, but only one of them is available for the single-motor car. It is called the Plus Pack and adds premium features such as a panoramic glass roof, WeaveTech vegan upholstery, a Harman Kardon audio system, and a mechanical heat pump. According to Polestar, the heat pump reduces the need to use battery power to heat the car, meaning you can get as much as 10 percent more range in colder climates.
Mashable says the other option package is the Pilot Pack, which focuses on safety and driver assistance. It offers Pixel LED headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Pilot Assist level 2 driving assistance, and a 360 degree camera. It’s rather a shame that the single-motor version doesn’t get the benefit of the ACC and driver assist technology. For the price of a Volvo, those items should be standard equipment on every car the company builds, especially since every Tesla that comes off the assembly line has such features. Deliveries in the US are expected to begin toward the end of this year. No prices for the Plus Pack and Pilot Pack have been announced.
The Polestar 2 is a viable alternative to the Tesla Model 3, especially in the US, where most buyers will be able to take advantage of the $7500 federal tax credit for zero-emissions vehicles. In the marketplace, choices are good. The more there are, the faster the EV revolution will move forward.
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