The 2023 Polestar 2 Presents a Big Problem for the Tesla Model 3

The heavily updated EV sedan scores more power, a RWD version and up to 300 miles of range.

polestar 2 in front of a white wall
Stefan Isaksson

Back in 2018, Volvo spun off its performance brand Polestar into a standalone electric car brand. The brand hasn't sat still since then. It just unveiled the Polestar 3 crossover for 2024, a vehicle which is expected to be its high-volume seller. And the brand just announced its first true electric car, the Polestar 2 fastback sedan, is getting a host of new technology upgrades for the 2024 model year — upgrades that should make it a far more compelling alternative to the Tesla Model 3.

The most decisive changes come for the single-motor Polestar 2. It's now rear-wheel-drive, instead of front-wheel-drive. It's far more potent than the 2023 model year version, with a bump up to 299 hp (from 231) and 361 lb-ft of torque (from 243). The power upgrade reportedly improves the 0-60 mph acceleration time by 1.1 sec, bringing it down to 5.9 seconds.

Mediocre range was the major downside of the original Polestar 2. But the upgrade addresses that as well. The RWD version receives a larger 82-kWh battery pack that should deliver up to 300 miles of range (240 miles of effective road trip range, when you factor in charging to just 80 percent). It will also charge faster — up to 205 kW versus 155 kW for the outgoing model.

The range and power increase will likely make the base model the version to buy for many, unless you absolutely need AWD grip for winter weather. Not mentioned yet is the pricing, which could also receive a bump past the current $49,800. (In Great Britain, the price has risen around $3,500, according to Autocar, so we'd expect the American model to follow a similar hike.)

Polestar also gave the AWD Polestar 2 a boost. It receives a bump to 421 hp (from 408) and 546 lb-ft of torque (from 467). Plus, you can level up to 455 hp with the Performance Pack for a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds. The AWD version will be limited to 270 miles of range, however — about 216 miles on road trips, when you factor in 80 percent charging.

Polestar says the 2024 Polestar 2 is available to order now online (though the 2023 configurator was still live when we checked). Deliveries will begin sometime later in 2023.


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