What is it?
The Polestar 2 is an electric car that, rather oddly, brings to mind the end of the career of former England football boss Sven-Göran Eriksson. He's probably not the Swedish institution you were expecting this review to open in reference to. But, like he used to, I've started so, in a slightly rambling and roundabout way, I'll finish.
In between stints as the coach of Mexico and the Ivory Coast, Sven had a short, ill-fated stint on the management team at one of England’s oldest clubs: Notts County. Remember that? Don't worry, Wikipedia does. And the funny thing is, during that tenure, among many other inexplicable decisions made by the board, it actually retained the services of the incumbent first team manager, having appointed the Scandinavian to rule the roost. Why? Well, they were awash with money – or so they said. More to the point, Sven had been appointed to the dreaded 'director of football' position.
Now, Polestar isn't a company suddenly awash with spare cash or being operated by feckless opportunists, as Notts County reportedly was at the time. But if we liken CEO Thomas Ingenlath (an Autocar Award winner as a designer, risen to rare executive-level heights) to Sven, that would make Polestar’s head of design our useful equivalent of overshadowed Notts County manager of 2007-2009, Mr Ian McParland (you’re welcome, pub quizzers). And Polestar’s chief designer’s name (less likely to come up in The Dog & Duck’s Sunday night brain-teaser, I’m afraid) is Maximilian Missoni.
Funnily enough, though, Missoni is clearly no stooge. He defines the significance of his employer’s new Tesla Model 3 rival in a really insightful way. “This car was originally designed as a Volvo concept car,” he said, referring to the 2’s relationship with the 2016 Concept 40.2, which was intended to test the water for a Volvo compact saloon. “But when Thomas and I saw it on the stand, there was this moment. We realised that the car was different from the rest of the Volvo family.”
Missoni went on to explain that his team hadn’t designed a Volvo at all but, quite inadvertently, a Polestar instead.