There was a time, not long ago, when driving an electric car was seen as being an admirable, but not aspirational, choice. However, due to remarkable technological development and innovation in the electric vehicle sector, some of the most impressive and desirable cars on the market today are electric. This is thanks to brands such as Polestar, producing electric performance cars, which not only look sleek and refined, but also offer a thrilling and nimble driving experience, too.
Headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, Polestar is no stranger to pioneering design and engineering. Originally founded in 1996, it started as a manufacturer of Volvo’s race cars for the Swedish Touring Car Championship, under the name of Flash Engineering. It was then fully acquired by Volvo in 2015, following a stint of notable technological and environmentally friendly advancements, such as formulating an eco-minded bio-ethanol race engine for the STCC programme, a first among race teams, in 2007.
Since 2019, Polestar has produced two electric performance cars – Polestar 1, built between 2019 and 2021 as a low-volume electric performance hybrid GT, and Polestar 2, the company’s first fully electric, high volume performance fastback. Polestar 3 debuted in October 2022 as its first electric performance SUV, and the latest reveal announced earlier this year for 2023, is Polestar 4, a smaller electric performance SUV coupe and Polestar’s fastest production car to date, achieving 0–62mph in just 3.8 seconds, with a maximum power output of 400 kW (544 hp).
As the second SUV in the brand’s line-up, Polestar 4 combines the aerodynamics of a coupé and the space of an SUV, positioned between Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 in terms of size and price.
“With Polestar 4 we have taken a fundamental new approach to SUV coupé design. Rather than simply modifying an existing SUV, giving it a faster roofline and as a result, compromising elements like rear headroom and comfort, we have designed Polestar 4 from the ground up as a new breed of SUV coupé that celebrates rear occupant comfort and experience,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO.
Indeed, the generous interior proportions are especially evident in the back of the car, where passengers are comfortably cocooned, with spacious reclining seats and a secondary media and climate control screen mounted between the front seats. The elimination of the rear window means the glass roof stretches beyond the rear passengers’ heads, and the standard full-length glass roof is available with optional electrochromic functionality, allowing opaque or transparent execution depending on the mood you wish to create.
What sets Polestar apart from other manufacturers is its unwavering commitment to sustainability. This includes measures for greater supply chain transparency, such as blockchain traceability for risk materials in the batteries. A full lifecycle assessment (LCA), showing the true carbon footprint of the car, will be published alongside the Polestar 4 Product Sustainability Declaration in 2024.
A mono-material approach is applied to interior materials, where all layers of certain components are produced from the same base material. This allows them to be recycled more effectively and efficiently by eliminating the need for incompatible materials to be separated before recycling.
For the trim, circular and low-carbon materials replace traditional solutions, with new interior fabrics including a tailored knit textile – a new technique for the automotive industry – which consists of 100% recycled PET (Polyethylene terephthalate), along with bio-attributed MicroTech vinyl and animal welfare-secured Nappa leather upholsteries.
The tailored knit has been created by Polestar designers with the Swedish School of Textiles (Borås Textilhögskolan) and further developed with suppliers. It is made precisely to fit, producing no offcuts and reducing overall waste. Inlay carpets in the interior are made using recycled PET and floor carpets are made using ECONYL, which includes reclaimed fishing nets.
Specific door trim panels are made from NFPP (natural fibre polypropylene), which results in up to 50% less virgin plastic and a weight saving of up to 40%. MicroTech, first introduced in Polestar 3, is a bio-attributed vinyl replacing crude oil with pine oil, and features a recycled textile backing.
Polestar 4 continues to offer a leading connected experience, with Polestar’s close collaboration with Google pushing the boundaries of the media system with Google built-in, including Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play. A Harman Kardon audio system is also available as an option with 12 speakers and 1,400-Watt channel-hybrid amplifier for exceptional sound quality.
Both dual and single motor versions of Polestar 4 will be available, with single-motor versions featuring rear-wheel drive. Despite the high output and performance, Polestar 4’s agile steering and excellent handling responses instil control and confidence in the driver to ensure a responsible, everyday-enjoyable EV experience.
Because of its strong connection to Volvo Cars, safety is part of Polestar’s DNA, with the Polestar 4 featuring leading safety technology inside and out, including up to nine airbags and a total of twelve cameras – one radar and twelve ultrasonic sensors, which are fitted as standard.
However, for those who really want to put the car through its paces, a new drive optimisation function allows the driver to select between range or performance driving modes in the Long Range Dual motor version of the car. Performance mode sharpens up responsiveness from the powertrain and engages both motors at all times for full power delivery and maximum performance; whereas range mode prioritises efficiency, adapting the powertrain to a calmer style and forces use of only the rear motor.
What’s more, the optional Performance Pack increases the performance look and driving experience of the Long range Dual motor version, with the addition of 22-inch wheels, 4-piston Brembo brakes, Polestar Engineered performance chassis tuning and Swedish gold details on the brakes, seat belts and valve caps.
Other optional extras include the Plus Pack, comprising comfort and technology upgrades; Plus Pro Pack, adding a colour-coded body execution, an electrochromic glass roof and additional interior illumination; the Nappa Pack, which can be specified in addition to the Plus Pack, and includes animal welfare-secured Nappa leather upholstery with ventilation, massage and additional headrest speakers for the front seats; and the Pilot Pack, including Pilot Assist and its extended features.
While we will soon be spotting Polestar 4 on our roads, looking ahead even further, Polestar has ambitious plans to launch one new electric vehicle per year, with Polestar 5, an electric performance 4-door GT, expected in 2024, and the company aims to produce a truly climate-neutral car by 2030.
Watch this space!
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