It's what's on the inside that counts most, but a makeover never hurts. The Polestar 2 has been updated for 2024 with fresh styling and significantly updated powertrain technology.
The compact sedan has traded its faux, black grille for a new body-color SmartZone that houses the camera and radar for its electronic driver aids, including adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.
The car also gets more powerful motors and the entry-level model has switched from front-wheel-drive to rear-wheel-drive.
Power is up from 231 hp to 299 hp for the two-wheel-drive car and the all-wheel-drive version jumps from 408 hp to 421 hp.
The latter can accelerate to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, but an optional performance package is available that increases the power to 455 hp and drops that time to 4.1 seconds.
"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," Polestar's head of chassis development, Joakim Rydholm, said.
Both models have also had their driving ranges extended thanks to more efficient motors and an increase in battery capacity from 78 kilowatt-hours to 82 kilowatt-hours. The two-wheel-drive version can now go 300 miles between charges, up from 270 miles, which is the all-wheel-drive model's new rating, an increase of 10 miles over the current car.
"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 rather 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," Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said.
Pricing hasn't been announced, but the 2023 cars start at $49,800. Since the Volvo-owned brand imports the vehicles from China they don't qualify for the latest federal electric car purchase incentives, but the $7,500 credit will be rolled into leasing prices.
That will change for the brand next year, however, when it begins production of the Polestar 3 SUV at Volvo's factory in Ridgeville, South Carolina.