In 2020, we got our first drive in the then-new Polestar 2, an electric fastback sedan from a startup automaker owned by Volvo and Geely. The car had a great interior and some nifty infotainment features courtesy of Google’s Android Automotive OS.
At launch, there was just one powertrain option: a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive setup with a combined 408 hp (300 kW) and 486 lb-ft (660 Nm), powered by a 78 kWh (75 kWh net) lithium-ion battery. But the company has now added a second, cheaper Polestar 2 to its US lineup. The new option makes do with just a single electric motor that powers the front wheels.
Polestar has turned up the power on this motor compared to the otherwise-identical units you’d find if you dissected an AWD Polestar 2; it now generates 231 hp (170 kW), although it still makes an identical 243 lb-ft (330 Nm). Battery capacity remains unchanged at 75 kWh net, and that’s sufficient for an EPA range of 270 miles (434 km).
It might have a bit less than half the power on tap, but the single-motor Polestar 2 is not (quite) twice as slow—0–60 mph still takes just seven seconds, which was considered quite fast not that long ago.
As you might expect, skipping on a second motor saves some money. At $45,900 before tax incentives (or the $1,300 destination charge) the single-motor Polestar 2 is $4,000 cheaper than the AWD version. Beyond that, it offers all the same options. You can get the $3,200 Pilot pack (which adds some advanced driver-assistance systems), the $4,000 Plus pack (which includes a heat pump, that cool WeaveTech fabric on the seats, and power adjustment for those seats), and the $5,000 Performance pack (which includes summer tires, some extremely fancy Öhlins dampers, and larger wheels).