Since its debut a few years back, Polestar has been an interesting electric alternative to brands like Tesla. While not nearly as popular, the Swedish EV brand is gaining some traction, especially here in the U.S., and it’s about to get even more popular, with its new entry-level model. Polestar’s main issue with gaining customers was its cost. Being a new brand with high-performance EVs, Polestar’s vehicles were typically too expensive for the average customer. However, the new Polestar 2 Long Range is an entry-level model with an attractive price and impressive range.
Rather than the standard dual-motor car, the Polestar two uses a single electric motor that’s oddly placed at the front axle. Typically, electric cars power their rear axles first and only power the front axle for all-wheel drive applications. The only reasons to opt for front-wheel drive instead of rear-wheel drive on an internal combustion car are cost and packaging. Electric cars have neither issue and can power either axle without compromising cost or packaging. So it’s peculiar to see the single-motor Polestar 2 with front-wheel drive. That said, the rest of the car seems very promising.
The Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor starts at $45,900 and comes with 265 miles of range, thanks to its 78 kWh battery pack. The long electric motor at the front axle makes 288 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to get the Swedish EV from 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds flat. Its range and cost put it in line with the Tesla Model 3, while making it competitive with the BMW i4 40.
Its price gets better, though. Being a very new car, the Polestar 2 is eligible for a $7,500 tax credit, bringing the cost down to $38,400. In some states, an additional $2,500 tax credit is available, dropping the price further, to $35,900. Considering that makes the Polestar 2 cheaper than a BMW 330i, while packing similar power and an all-electric powertrain, it becomes a very attractive package.
Admittedly, for that base price, you don’t get some of the cool options, like the Performance Pack, which provides awesome Öhlins dampers, but it is pretty well equipped as-standard. LED headlights, parking assist cameras, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and heated seats are all as-standard kit. It also gets over-the-air updates, a la Tesla.
The Polestar 2 is an interesting car that provides potential BMW i4 and Tesla Model 3 customers with a new, outside-the-box choice. Not only is it better looking — by a long way — than both the i4 and Model 3, it provides a unique interior, a Swedish reputation for safety, and the ability to stand out from the crowd. If it were my money and I were looking for an EV in the $40,000-$50,000 price range, with the choices being the Model 3, i4, or this Polestar, I think I’d go for the Swede.