Polestar 2 moves to RWD, in Australia from Q3

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Single-engine variants of the Polestar 2 electric liftback will switch from front-wheel drive (FWD) to rear-wheel drive (RWD) as part of a recently announced update.

Polestar today detailed a number of changes for its Tesla Model 3 rival, including new electric motor arrangements and batteries for increased power and range, updated exterior styling and additional standard features. While not confirmed, we also expect some price increases.

Australian customers will be able to order a 2024 Polestar 2 via the Polestar Australia website in Q2 2023. The first deliveries are expected in the third quarter of this year.

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Delivered Credit: AutoExpert

This model year 2024 update to the Polestar 2 follows very similar changes to the Volvo XC40 and C40 Recharge electric crossovers based on the same CMA architecture and made in the same Chinese factory.

Two new single-engine RWD powertrains will be offered in the Polestar 2, replacing the existing single-engine FWD powertrains.

The Standard Range Single Motor is now powered by a single rear-mounted electric motor producing 200 kW of power and 490 Nm of torque (up to 30 kW and 160 Nm).

The battery in this vehicle retains its capacity of 69 kWh, but is a new package sourced from LG Chem. It has a claimed range of 518 km on WLTP testing (up to 40 km) and can be DC fast charged at a maximum rate of 135 kW (up to 130 kW).

Delivered Credit: AutoExpert

Meanwhile, the Long Range Single Motor is also powered by a single rear-mounted motor, but power has been boosted to 220kW.

The new Long Range uses a CATL-sourced 82kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It has a claimed range of 635 km WLTP (up to 84 km) and can be charged DC at a maximum rate of 205 kW (from 155 kW).

Polestar claims the single-engine RWD models can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.4 seconds and 6.2 seconds respectively – about a second faster than the previous FWD models.

Delivered Credit: AutoExpert

The latest model to receive some powertrain updates is the Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor.

It is now powered by a rear-facing dual electric motor AWD powertrain producing a total system power of 310kW and 740Nm (up to 10kW and 80Nm). Polestar claims that this model can sprint from 0-100 km/h in 4.5 seconds.

The power of the Long Range Dual Motor can be increased to 350 kW with the Performance Pack available as an over-the-air performance software download. Adding the Performance Pack to the Long Range Dual Motor reduces the 0-100 km/h time to 4.2 seconds.

Model year 2023 shown Credit: AutoExpert

The front electric motor in the Long Range Dual Motor can now be disconnected to maximize range. It also comes with the new CATL-sourced 82kWh lithium-ion battery with a claimed range of 592km on WLTP testing, a significant increase from 105km.

“Switching from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive in the single engine variants and recalibrating the torque ratio in the dual engine variant for a better rear-wheel drive feel takes the Polestar 2 driving experience to a whole new level,” says Joakim Rydholm, head of chassis development at Polestar.

“The updated Polestar 2 is an even more playful and agile car, retaining its compactness and complete sense of control, while becoming more mature with added comfort.”

Delivered Credit: AutoExpert

In addition to the changes to the electric powertrain and battery, the 2024 Polestar 2 will get a new blind grille inspired by the Polestar 3 SUV. Dubbed the SmartZone, this grille houses the vehicle’s forward-facing camera and mid-range radar.

The 20-inch forged alloy wheels in the Performance Pack for the Long Range Dual Motor have also been updated to resemble those of the Polestar 3.

Finally, all Polestar 2 variants now come with a wireless phone charger and auto-dimming door mirrors.

Safety features are now all standard, too, including blind-spot monitoring with steering assistance, cross-traffic alert with braking assistance, autonomous rear emergency braking (AEB) and an ambient camera. Some of these features were previously behind option packs.

Delivered Credit: AutoExpert

Australian pricing for the 2024 Polestar 2 has not yet been detailed. This is expected to be announced closer to the opening of orders.

The range currently starts from $63,900 excluding on-road costs for the front-wheel drive Standard Range Single Motor, and extends to $73,400 excluding on-road for the All-wheel drive Long Range Dual Motor.

Given the extra equipment and added power, it would be reasonable to speculate on a price increase, although it’s important to note that arch-rival Tesla has just lowered its prices.

The Polestar 2 was the fourth best-selling electric car (EV) in Australia last year with 1,524 units sold. It was outsold by the Tesla Model 3 (10,877 sales), Tesla Model Y (8,717 sales), and BYD Atto 3 (2,113 sales).

Model year 2023 shown Credit: AutoExpert

The newly launched Polestar as a company estimates it sold 51,500 vehicles last year, up 80 percent year-on-year and supported by a significant fourth-quarter shipment of 21,000 vehicles. It expects to increase sales to 80,000 units by 2023.

  • Polestar 2 Standard Range single engine
  • Polestar 2 long range single engine
  • Polestar 2 long range twin engine
  • Polestar 2 long range twin engine

MORE: Everything Polestar 2MORE: Can the Polestar 2 EV get rear-wheel drive?

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