More power, performance and range for 2024 Polestar

Much more than a cosmetic facelift, the first major update for Polestar’s popular Polestar 2 will add significant technical and innovation enhancements.

Jan 25, 2023

New motors, refined ride and rear-wheel drive for single-motor versions are key highlights, but the MY24 Polestar 2 will also charge faster add significant range and the brand’s innovative SmartZone camera and mid-range radar technology.

Blending Scandinavian design, excellent usability with fun driving characteristics and a dedication to sustainability. The Polestar 2 quickly established itself as a hit in New Zealand’s burgeoning EV sector. Now the Swedish premium electric vehicle maker is rolling out the first major update for the model year 2024 (MY’24) Polestar 2.

And rather than predominately superficial aesthetic changes, Polestar are bucking industry practice and instead delivering substantial technical upgrades typically not seen with a midlife “facelift”.

Testament to both the versatility of the Polestar 2 and Polestar’s innovative thinking, key highlights are more power, rear wheel drive for single motor variants, better performance, and range as well as latest generation safety tech.

“Typically in the car industry, a facelift introduces superficial visual changes that often destroy the original intention of the car’s design theme. With the new model year Polestar 2, we went below the surface and upgraded substantial-tech and mechanical components of the electric drivetrain. This is the best Polestar 2 yet, and with the updated front design with the new SmartZone, the best looking one, too,” said Polestar CEO, Thomas Ingenlath of the evolution.

Equipment Upgrades

The next generation model will also utilise features designed alongside the Polestar 3 premium SUV. This includes SmartZone which makes its debut on Polestar 2. Like on Polestar 3, the SmartZone hosts some of the vehicle’s most important active safety features, including the front-facing camera and mid-range radar.

The SmartZone addition brings a very minor visual tweak, with a smoother frontal treatment, the car retains its contemporary presence and is further enhanced with new 20-inch forged alloy wheels in the Performance Pack aligning Polestar 2 in its sportiest expression with that of larger Polestar 3.

Standard equipment in Polestar 2 has been revised to increase overall value as well as convenience. Driver Awareness features are now standard, including Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with steering support, Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, and Rear Collision Warning and Mitigation, along with the 360-degree surround view camera and automatic dimming exterior mirrors. The wireless phone charger is now also standard on all versions.

Performance and Handling

Underneath the skin is where the core changes take place. Next-generation electric motors and inverters are fitted to all Polestar 2 variants, offering substantial increases in both efficiency and performance. An interesting change to single-motor variants is the shift from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive, which should provide a radically different driving experience with more of a sporting characteristic.

Powered by a newly developed permanent magnet motor and silicon carbide inverter. The new motor has a power output of up to 220 kW (increased from 170 kW) and is optimised for maximum efficiency and high torque (490 Nm, up from 330 Nm) to further increase the dynamic performance of the car. Remarkably the 0-100 km/h sprint time has been reduced by as much as 1.2 seconds, down to 6.2 seconds. These are more often the types of enhancements all-new models receive, it’s very rare to see this level of technical development in a lifecycle update.

The dual-motor version now also has more of a rear-drive bias that increases driving pleasure and performance thanks to a completely re-balanced drivetrain setup and torque-ratio. The new rear motor is the primary drive source, supported on the front axle by a new asynchronous motor. This enables higher total system output of 310 kW and 740 Nm (increased from the original 300 kW and 660 Nm), vastly improved traction, greater overall efficiency and higher performance – 0-100 km/h is achieved in 4.5 seconds. Supporting efficiency gains, the front motor can now be disengaged completely when not needed. When the driver wants more power, the front motor re-engages instantly and seamlessly.

Up to 350 kW are available with the optional Performance Pack, and a 0-100 km/h sprint time as low as just 4.2 seconds. The increase in power, performance and driving enjoyment is also available to purchase as a downloadable over-the-air performance software upgrade for any eligible Long range Dual motor cars.

Joakim Rydholm, Head of Chassis Development at Polestar, oversaw the significant technical and performance changes to the MY’24 Polestar 2 and driver engagement was at the core of his process.

“Changing from front- to rear-wheel drive in the single-motor variants and re-calibrating the torque ratio in the dual-motor variant for an increased rear-wheel drive feel, elevates the Polestar 2 driving experience to a whole new level. The updated Polestar 2 is an even more playful and agile car, retaining its compactness and complete sense of control, while at the same time becoming more mature with added comfort.”


Range and Charging

For electric vehicles especially, increasing performance must go hand-in-hand with optimised charging and battery efficiency to ensure any added performance isn’t at the detriment of the user experience. All MY’24 Polestar 2 feature upgraded lithium-ion batteries, with a positive impact on efficiency and capacity as well as charging times.

Long-range versions now feature 82 kWh batteries while the battery for standard-range versions retains a capacity of 69 kWh with 24 modules, now supplied by LG Chem.

The updated batteries also enable faster-charging rates of up to 205 kW DC for long-range batteries and 135 kW for the standard-range battery.

Further improving range on the dual motor variants is a front motor disconnect function which is particularly effective and adds 105km to the WLTP range, now up to 592 km, a massive 21% improvement.

The Standard range Single motor version is now capable of up to 518 km WLTP, an increase of 40 km, and the Long range Single motor variant can now achieve up to 635 km WLTP, an increase of 84 km.

Lower Environmental Impact

Polestar is unrelenting in its pursuit climate neutrality and is arguably the most ambitious carmaker in its targets around this, even setting themselves a moon-shot goal: to create a truly climate-neutral car by 2030. In keeping with this commitment, the MY’24 Polestar 2 has reduced its net carbon footprint despite the larger batteries, more powerful motors, longer range and more exciting performance. Carbon emissions for versions with the new 82 kWh battery have come down by 1.1 tonnes to 5.9 tonnes per car (previously 7 tonnes per car), thanks to improved cell chemistry. A full life cycle assessment (LCA) is planned later in 2023.

New Zealand has proven one of Polestar’s most successful markets and the Polestar 2 has been a runaway success with both private and corporate buyers. Starting in the second quarter of 2023 Kiwi buyers will be able to order the MY’24 Polestar 2 via with the first deliveries expected in the third quarter of 2023.