As I recall Toyota started it all off by creating a luxury brand separate from Toyota. Then Honda, Nissan, Hyundai followed suit, but we don’t get them here in Ireland. You may have seen Infiniti and Genesis cars on Irish roads, but they are few and far between. Ford has the Vignale range in Ireland and the DS brand has its roots firmly planted in corresponding Citroen models.
Now Volvo has completely hived off the Polestar name, it dates from 1996, and created an all-electric brand back in 2017. Now, it’s here in Ireland with the first offering the Polestar 2 a compact executive car for the discerning and environmentally aware executives.
It has 5 doors with the rear door being a liftback and to my eye has appeal for crossover buyers and executive car buyers in that from some angles it looks like both. It has a meaty, metal look about it and has a presence about it that to me has BMW X4/X6 tendencies.
Polestar can’t escape its Scandinavian design lineage and there are very tasteful, subtle creases on the bodywork that oozes undestatedness - like a true Scandinavian. The rear lights instantly mark it out as a Polestar being quite distinctive with an equally identifiable front. From the side you’d struggle to separate it out from a lot of other cars.
Inside though you’d have no problem identifying it as a Polestar. Why? Because it is exquisite.
Everywhere you interact with the car is gorgeous. It feels beautiful and luxurious, and Polestar have some big claims about the sustainability of the materials used.
It is quite a potent environmental offering and ticks a lot of boxes. There are some lovely design touches like frameless door mirrors and a panoramic roof. It also has the nicest drive selector handle I’ve felt in a long time.
The infotainment system is the first in the world to be powered by Google’s Android Automotive for a seamless Google experience. It also controls the functions of the car. It’s good and the way things will go so that there will be a common interface across multiple car brands – that’s my prediction anyway.
I took the car to Waterford and back with two passengers. Starting off fully charged, I had no range worries to get there and back and that proved to be the case.
We’d plenty of time to get there so keeping the speed under 110kmh got us there with 62% of the battery remaining. We had to stop midway to swap the passengers because my 6ft 2inch rear passenger was not happy with the headroom in the back. I left it late to return so drove at 120kms and arrived home with 22% battery.
Moral is don’t be too heavy with the right foot to conserve battery charge. The bulk of my time was on the motorway, and it was quiet enough with probably a bit more than I expected noise from the tyres.
When we went onto the R roads you get more of a sense of the car’s ability, and it is very good. The combination of excellent sporty road manners and instant power from the electric motor made cornering and overtaking a joy. Its sporty DNA shone through and it’s one of the best handling electric cars out there.
The figures for the car are 0-100km/h in 7.4 seconds from the single motor that produces 231hp with the dual motor pumping out an impressive 408hp and can do 4.7 seconds 0-100kmh.
Being an all-electric car the question used to be range but now it’s charging time. The range is a claimed 469kms with a recharge time of 32 mins from 10% to 80% for the 69kWh battery. The boot is a quite useable 405litres.
It is a very attractive proposition with quite an amount of configurability and prices start at €51,135 for the single motor version. The car comes with 3-year warranty that includes 3 years servicing, roadside assistance and a subscription to the connected services from Polestar to make purchasing the newest car brand to Ireland care and headache free as possible.
I really loved the Polestar and judging by the attention it got from friends and colleagues it’s a winner with them as well.
Polestar may be new to Ireland, but we will be seeing a lot more of them on our roads for sure.
See how I got on with the Mercedes C Class estate next week.
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