2024 Polestar 2 Is Quicker, Goes Farther, And Drives The Rear Wheels

Kevin Williams
by Kevin Williams

The 2024 Polestar 2 has some pretty big under-the-skin changes.

The Polestar 2 has been holding it down as Polestar’s lone full EV offering since its introduction as a 2021 model. Now, for 2023, the brand has updated its EV sedan, or rather, liftback, with some pretty significant changes.

For starters, the Polestar 2 shifts to RWD in single motor form, just like its Volvo C40 and XC40 recharge cousins. The Polestar 2 has an all-new “next generation” motor setup, with the single motor variant now featuring a 299 horsepower motor on the rear axle. This is a sizable boost from the 231 horsepower, front-mounted, FWD design of last year’s car. Polestar says the new motor shaves off more than a second from the car’s 0-60 time, allowing the single-motor variant to scoot to 60 MPH as little as 5.9 seconds.

Similar upgrades are applied to the dual-motor, AWD cars. The new AWD system is now rear-biased, with the primary motivation coming from the rear motor. In order to save power, the front motor can be completely disengaged, and then re-engaged when necessary. The whole system gets a modest power bump to 421 horsepower (up from 408 horsepower), but the real story is a sizable jump in torque from 467 ft/lbs to a staggering 546 ft/lbs. Now, the Polestar 2 can sprint to 60 in as little as 4.3 seconds. Step up to the Performance Pack via an over-the-air update, and the Polestar 2 jumps to 455 horsepower, and 0-60 drops to 4.1 seconds.

These upgrades are more than just for performance, Polestar says the new motors and revised battery technology, (and larger battery option) have allowed for a car that has more range, and charges faster. The long range single-motor Polestar 2 now has an 82 kWh battery, and should be able to crest 300 miles, up from the 270 miles of last year. It can also now DC fast charge at a max speed of 205 kW.

Exterior wise, the Polestar 2 remains somewhat the same, barring the new color-matched front grille insert, that Polestar calls the “SmartZone.” Seen on the Polestar 3, and Polestar Precept concept, the smoothed-out front fascia rejects the idea of “breathing,” associated with a traditional grille on a normal car. Instead, Polestar is migrating to “seeing”, filling the space normally occupied by a grille with sensors and cameras meant to aide Polestar’s vision of an autonomous driving future. Also, the design for the 20-inch wheels on the Performance Pack equipped cars have been tweaked to align closer with the forthcoming Polestar 3.

It will be interesting to see how the shift to a RWD-biased design will change the Polestar 2’s dynamics, and if those upgrades translate to real-world range increases. Polestar says the 2024 Polestar 2 is available for order right now, with deliveries coming later this year.

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Kevin Williams
Kevin Williams

Kevin has been obsessed with cars ever since he could talk. He even learned to read partially by learning and reading the makes and models on the back of cars, only fueling his obsession. Today, he is an automotive journalist and member of the Automotive Press Association. He is well-versed in electrification, hybrid cars, and vehicle maintenance.

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