Polestar 2 RWD due in Australia later this year

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Single-motor variant of Polestar 2 sedan now sends power to rear wheels for improved efficiency.

Increased power, performance and range, as well as a move to a rear-wheel-drive layout, are key changes to the updated Polestar 2, which will arrive in Australia around Q3 this year.

Australia pricing has not been confirmed but overseas the model has had circa five per cent increase. However, the 2’s update is more than just cosmetic. Single-motor versions of the electric sedan are now rear-driven, having previously been front-driven, in a move to increase efficiency and improve range.

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Parent company Volvo has recently undertaken the same move with its XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge EVs.

This move to a rear-drive set-up has been something that Polestar has been looking at “for some years”, said chassis-development head Joakim Rydholm.

The change has also helped with other aspects of the car, giving it “slightly improved comfort and handling” while “keeping the same DNA”, he said.

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“We start from a very good platform; we were very happy. But now when we change the rear wheel, we have lifted comfort [and] improved the agility, the steering position and the speed of response at the front axle.

“The whole car feels a little bit more agile and even a little bit lighter.”

This is similar to the dual-motor version of the 2, which is now tuned with a rear-biased torque split that “increases driving pleasure and performance”.

The all-wheel-drive 2 is also able to decouple its front motor for efficiency, thus creating a similar set-up to the single-motor 2. The front motor then re-engages when the driver wants more power.

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The refreshed dual-motor 2 is now boosted by 10kW to 310kW, while torque has been increased by 80Nm to 740Nm, thanks to a new rear motor – now the primary drive source – supported on the front axle by a new asynchronous motor.

This gives a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.5sec, 0.2sec swifter than previously.

A new permanent-magnet motor is fitted to the single-motor 2, which provides a significant increase in power and torque over the previous model, up by 50kW (to 220kW) and 160Nm ft (to 490Nm).

This means the single-motor 2 can now dispatch the 0-100km/h sprint in a claimed 6.2sec, 1.2sec quicker than before.

New batteries also arrive with the refresh, with a 82kWh pack for long-range models providing a considerable increase in the 2’s WLTP range. It’s up by 105km for the dual-motor variant (to 592km) and 84km for the single-motor (to 636km).

Long-range cars can now charge at rates up to 205kW, a 55kW improvement.

The standard-range model retains its 69kWh battery capacity, but efficiency improvements provide a 40km uplift (to 518km). Charging speed has been boosted by 20kW to 150kW.

On the outside, the 2 gets a refreshed, more solid-looking front end, bringing it in line with the upcoming Polestar 3 SUV. This is due to the addition of Polestar’s Smartzone, which hosts active-safety features including the front-facing camera and mid-range radar.

“Typically in the car industry, a facelift introduces superficial visual changes that often destroy the original intention of the car’s design theme,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.

“With the new-model-year Polestar 2, we rather went below the surface and upgraded substantial tech and mechanical components of the electric drivetrain.”

The updated 2 will be available to order from around April, with first deliveries expected in the third quarter of 2023.

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