THE arrival of a new brand is always a moment of intrigue, however, there’s something else beyond Polestar’s freshness to the market that sparks curiosity.
An all-EV offspring of Volvo and Geely, Polestar fuses familiar Swedish virtues with clean-slate thinking about what cars should be, how they should be built and how much they should pollute.
Indeed, the company aims to build a truly carbon-neutral car by the end of this decade, a vehicle whose total production-related CO2 output is zero – or even negative – and Polestar’s holistic approach to achieving that encompasses everything from how its factories are powered and where its raw materials come from, to how much recycled material it can make use of in each car it builds.
But does pursuing the ultimate eco-car lead to compromises? Polestar’s corporate ethos is noble, but its longevity in the market won’t be determined by how green it is but how good its products are. We Australians missed out on Polestar’s first effort, the very exclusive Polestar 1 sportscar, but its more relevant stablemate, the Polestar 2, is finally with us and on sale. It’s time to find out whether the Polestar hype is justified.
The pricing is certainly sharp, aimed squarely at Tesla’s Model 3 with a starting price of $59,900 before on-road costs, but our first taste of the Polestar 2 is in the $69,900 flagship.
However, even at the top end the Polestar 2 feels very much like a finely-honed product that not only poses an enticing – and more mature – alternative to the Tesla Model 3, but should also make everyone who drives it question whether there really is a need to burn hydrocarbons any more.