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Road tests

New Polestar 2 Dual Motor Performance Pack 2024 review: flagship model packs a punch

Updates have failed to cure the Polestar 2 of its firm ride, but the Long Range Dual Motor Performance Pack model is quick and great to drive

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

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Verdict

Unfortunately, the standard Polestar 2’s biggest issue still remains on this otherwise impressive Performance Pack flagship model. The handling gains aren’t sufficient to outweigh the notable trade-off in every day comfort; the car’s ride is just too firm for the majority of UK roads. There are few faults elsewhere, however – those cross-shopping from premium German makers will find plenty to really like about Polestar’s updated EV. 

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Electric cars, by their nature, tend to pack quite a punch. The instant power and torque mean even every day models feel fast, while those with sporting pretensions can surprise six-figure supercars in a traffic-light drag race.

The Polestar 2, even in its most basic form, is an electric car aimed at the driver. Indeed, our first test of the facelifted car deemed it “great to drive” and “a good set of dampers and a slightly softer chassis setup away from being a truly fabulous electric car”.

So here we are, just a few months later, driving the revised, range-topping Polestar 2 Dual Motor Performance Pack. This setup isn’t completely new, however, having been offered on the pre-facelift car as part of a pricey optional upgrade.

It remains just that. The Performance Pack add-ons cost an extra £5,000 and bring with them a slightly lower ride height, trick Ohlins dampers, 20-inch wheels and Brembo brakes, plus gold details for things like the valve caps and seat belts. You also get an extra 60bhp, courtesy of a ‘Performance’ software upgrade. All in, the uplift doesn’t seem bad value, but is it the pick of the range?

In short, no. Those dampers are adjustable, but you’ll need a special set of tools to tweak them – not to mention somewhere safe to take the back wheels off while you do so. With the set-up the car was delivered in, we noticed no tangible difference to ride quality; this is still a car that treads a line just the wrong side of what we’d consider acceptable for UK roads.

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And that’s a shame, because otherwise, the Polestar 2 remains a solid all-round package. Exquisitely crafted inside and out, with a pared-back but intuitive, crisp and responsive Google-based infotainment system, it punches well above its weight when it comes to kit and quality.

Space inside is on par with rivals like the BMW i4 M50 and (now discontinued) Tesla Model 3 Performance, and the hatchback boot opens to reveal a decent boot. That practicality is further aided by a solid 367-mile range which, although largely moot in real-world terms, should allow for relatively long stints at the wheel without worry. Super-fast 205kW charging offers up a 10-80 per cent charge in 28 minutes.

Back to those Performance Pack upgrades, where the software upgrade ensures this Polestar 2 is no slouch. The throttle calibration is bang on; easy to modulate, yet pin sharp when you want it to be. Floor the right pedal and the car will rocket towards the horizon; 0-62mph takes 4.2 seconds, but we’d not argue if someone said it was even faster than that.

We found the forceful regenerative braking system (which can be turned off, admittedly) worked really well, too, shaving speed sufficiently to allow for true one-pedal driving. We even rather liked it during faster A and B-road driving, it slows the car for corners without the driver needing to touch the conventional friction brakes.

Of course, the minor visual changes applied to the more affordable Single and Dual Motor models also apply here. Hardly extensive, they include a new blanked-off ‘SmartZone’ grille and, well, that’s pretty much it. 

The new wheel designs found on lesser versions don’t feature; the Performance Pack gets its own unique 20-inch design, unchanged from the pre-facelift car. While admittedly difficult to photograph in bright sunshine, our car looked magnificent in ‘Space’ black with the contrasting ‘Zinc’ interior.

Polestar’s sustainability message is a strong one and goes much further than a smattering of recycled materials or some vegan leather alternative. Indeed, the company confirmed earlier this year that its CO2 emissions per car are eight per cent lower now than they were in 2021. If this sort of thing matters to you, there are few automotive businesses working as hard to lessen their environmental impact.

Model:Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor Performance Pack
Price:£57,950 (Polestar 2 from £44,950 / £68,850 as tested)
Powertrain:82kWh battery, 2x e-motors
Power/torque469bhp/740Nm
Transmission:Single-speed auto, four-wheel drive
0-62mph:4.2 seconds
Top speed:127mph
Range/charging:367 miles/205kW, 10-80% in 28 mins
Length/width/height:4,606/1,859/1,473mm
On sale:Now
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Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

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