It may not be the best in any single category, but the Polestar 2 fastback is still one of our favorite electric vehicles. A well-rounded offering, this five-door is suave, sophisticated and engaging to drive. Improving the breed, the Polestar 2 is getting a substantial update for the 2024 model year, one that improves the car’s dynamics and, more importantly, range.
Starting at the bottom and working up, the base Single Motor model is now rear-wheel drive instead of front-drive, something that should enhance the car’s steering feel and other dynamics. A new permanent-magnet electric motor design complete with a silicon carbide inverter delivers a respectable 299 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque, increases from 231 and 243, respectively compared the outgoing version. These pumped-up numbers shave 1.1 seconds off the Polestar 2’s 0-to-60 time, dropping it to a lickety-split 5.9 seconds.
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Similarly, Dual Motor models now feature a rear-drive bias for a more engaging feel. Additionally, the front motor can now fully disengage to improve the vehicle’s efficiency. As for output, this variant is graced with 421 hp and 546 lb-ft of twist, increases of 13 and 79, respectively. Naturally, this bolsters the car’s acceleration, allowing you to hit 60 mph from a standstill in a mere 4.3 seconds, but that’s not all.
Polestar will once again offer an optional Performance Pack that increases the Dual Motor model’s output even further, giving you 455 ponies to play with (torque remains the same). That corral’s worth of equines slashes the 0-to-60 time to just 4.1 seconds, a damn-quick time to be certain. Interestingly, if you’re not sold on the Performance Pack at the time you purchase your vehicle you can buy this upgrade as an over-the-air software update. How cool is that?
Driving range is another aspect of the Polestar 2 that engineers sought to improve… and did. Single Motor variants gain an 82-kilowatt-hour battery pack and are expected to offer an EPA-estimated range of 300 miles, an excellent number. Charging speed is also superb, as this battery, which features an improved chemistry for 2024, can absorb energy at a maximum rate 205 kilowatts. Those revised cells also help reduce the Polestar 2’s overall carbon emissions. A full lifecycle analysis will be released sometime this year.
Curiously, Dual Motor models are fitted with a smaller 78-kWh battery that limits how far they can go between charges, though the reduction is only 30 miles. Both Dual Motor versions of the Polestar 2 (with and without the Performance Pack) should be rated at 270 miles. As for DC fast charging performance, these examples top out at just 155 kW, which puts them behind many rivals going into the 2024 model year.
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Performance and range increases are huge news for the updated Polestar 2, but this car’s options groups have also been adjusted. Driver Awareness features now come standard and in North America the Pilot Pack is included at no extra charge in Dual Motor models. This gets you must-have goodies like blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera system and much more. Drivers that opt for the Performance Pack will now get the Plus Pack as well, which includes 20-inch forged wheels, Öhlins dampers, upgraded software and gold-colored seatbelts.
Less important than the technical changes outlined above, the Polestar 2 gains minor visual enhancements for 2024. Up front, the car will sport a front end that mimics the looks of the recently unveiled Polestar 3 SUV. Instead of a traditional grill, this vehicle’s prow is now filled in for a sleeker, more modern look. This so-called “SmartZone” front end is where various cameras and sensors are housed, the equipment that enables many of this car’s advanced driver-assistance features.