Experimental Polestar 2 brings 350kW to Goodwood

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Suspension drop, stiffer springs and power hike to 350kW explore possibility of a dedicated sporting model.

A more powerful, experimental Polestar 2 has been unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, designed to showcase what a sportier version of the electric saloon could look like.

Borrowing engineering cues from the Polestar 1, the upgraded 2 brings an additional 50kW, taking power to 350kW but still running the twin-motor, four-wheel drive set-up. Official performance figures haven’t been supplied, but it’s clear the car will dip under the 4.7 seconds the standard car claims for the 0-100kph sprint.

Further hardware changes have also been made to the chassis. As well as stiffer front and rear springs (80% and 40% respectively), there are new Öhlins dampers, this time mounted under the ‘frunk’ and easier to access than on a standard 2, that are 30% stiffer than the normal car’s dual-flow valve units.

The uprated dampers have an extra setting and are three-way adjustable, offering a way to alter for high-speed compression, as well as the regular compression and rebound control. Like the regular 2, there are 22 ‘clicks’ on each damper, front and rear.

A front strut brace also features, made of four-layer carbon fibre. Joakim Rydholm, Polestar’s chief test engineer, explained that the company could have used a five-layer rod but opted for four so as not to over-stiffen the nose.

The 2 has been fitted with wider rear tyres, running 275/30 R21 Pirelli P-Zero Rosso rubber, an increase of one inch over the standard 2. The bigger wheels have allowed larger brakes to be fitted, featuring a six-piston Akebono set-up, the same that the Polestar 1 runs.

There are also some design changes to set the car apart. New front and rear bumpers create a more aggressive stance, although still within the bounds of Polestar’s famously minimalist design, while the wheel arches are 10mm wider.

The car is also 30mm lower. Rydholm told us that “the spec was for 25mm lower”, but because the CEO of Polestar, Thomas Ingenlath, is a car designer by trade, the firm opted for the additional 5mm to give an even more purposeful stance.

“This is the spirit of Polestar,” Rydholm told us. “It’s a fun car but you feel in control. To me, a Polestar should be a car to enjoy as well as an EV. We are building cars for people who want something more than transportation and for people who care what they drive.”

The project has been created specifically for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, like a skunkworks development to see how far the 2 could be pushed, as Thomas Ingenlath explained: “I challenged the design and engineering teams to play with Polestar 2 and come up with something that makes a strong statement for Goodwood. For a few months I have enjoyed driving another experimental Polestar 2, nicknamed ‘Beast’, around our Gothenburg campus, which inspired the team to come up with this version for Goodwood. We want to flex our muscles and explore opportunities.”

Polestar remains tight-lipped on whether it plans to take the hardcore 2 into production; the 2 line-up has recently been expanded with the addition of new front-wheel-drive entry variants, potentially leaving room at the top for an uprated, performance-focused car.

Piers Ward

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