The Polestar 2, an EV crossover hatchback tested here in Long Range Single Motor guise and updated for the 2024 model year, is something of a symbol of the electric car’s remarkable potential for rapid development.
Most combustion-engined don’t change and improve as widely and rapidly in several generations as this one just has - and simply as part of a mid-life update at that. If you want an indicator of how quickly this Chinese-owned Swedish car brand, still considerably less than a decade old in its current form, is intent on closing in on the heart of the premium EV market, you need look no further.
The Polestar 2 was the company’s second production model, appearing on UK roads in 2020. Introduced in dual-motor, long-range, upper-level derivative form, it was then fleshed out with a shorter-range version, and then a single-motor version and finally as the range-topping, limited-edition, performance-tuned Polestar 2 BST Edition 270.
And now, as part of a mid-life model update, some pretty bold technical changes have been made to the car. Some are predictable enough: a new nickel manganese cobalt battery pack adds usable battery capacity and electric range, and new motor technology improves both performance and efficiency.
But how many cars can you think of that switched from front- to rear-wheel drive midway though the course of their life? That’s precisely what our test car, the Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor, has done, changing from a front- to a rear-mounted motor configuration - and, as we’ll detail shortly, gaining a great deal of claimed range and running efficiency as a result.