Polestar's Sleek New Electric SUV
The global shift from gasoline to electric cars is bringing us many interesting new shapes and vehicle formats as carmakers chase the perfect combination of space, performance, efficiency, and range. While the gasoline market increasingly tends towards aggressive, upright SUVs, sleeker shapes are more prevalent with EVs – they deliver better range, which many buyers are still focused on. Polestar, the all-electric brand spun off from Volvo, has brought some of the most interesting shapes to market so far, and its new Polestar 4 is no exception: it’s a new breed of SUV coupe, but it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Sitting between the sedan-shaped Polestar 2 and the sleek, low-roofed Polestar 3 SUV, the Polestar 4 is said to combine the aerodynamics of a coupe with the space of an SUV. But rather than simply modifying an existing SUV, like most SUV coupes, the Polestar 4 is a completely new design. It has a much sleeker roofline, and as a result, should deliver impressive efficiency and range along with high levels of rear occupant comfort and experience. Most interestingly, the rear window has been completely eliminated, which Polestar says creates a new kind of immersive rear-seat experience.
Luxurious, Spacious Back Seat
Built on the premium Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), the Polestar 4 a large vehicle, with spacious body and a long wheelbase. This results in generous interior proportions, especially in the rear. Thanks to the unique glass treatment, the environment is quite intimate and private, and features reclining seats. There’s also adjustable ambient lighting to add an extra dimension to the environment. Up top, a standard full-length glass roof has available electrochromic functionality, allowing the driver or passengers to vary its opacity based on mood. The glass roof stretches beyond the rear-seat riders’ heads, while a secondary media and climate control screen allows rear passengers ultimate control.
The driver and front passenger are also well taken care of. The rear-view mirror is replaced by a high-definition screen that shows a real-time feed from a roof-mounted rear camera – enabling a far wider field of view than what can be experienced in most modern cars. The feed can also be switched to allow drivers to see the rear occupants if needed. The interior materials draw inspiration from the fashion and sportswear industries. and A mono-material approach features for certain internal components: all layers of parts are produced from the same base material, which allows them to be recycled more efficiently.
Sustainable, High-Tech Design
New interior materials also include a tailored knit textile which consists of 100% recycled polyester, along with bio-attributed MicroTech vinyl. The materials and design were created by Polestar designers together with the Swedish School of Textiles are made to fit, producing no offcuts and reduced waste. Even the carpets are made using recycled polyester and econyl, which uses reclaimed fishing nets as its basis. Door trim panels are made from natural polypropylene fiber which results in weight savings and the use of less plastic.
The Polestar 4’s infotainment system is powered by Android Automotive OS and uses a large 15.4-inch landscape screen. Many automated features are built in, including Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play. A Harman/Kardon audio system with 12 speakers and up to 1,400 watts of power is available as an option, and headrest speakers are also available, raising the total to 16. Apple CarPlay is included, and as with all Polestar cars, regular over-the-air (OTA) updates allow for new features and improvements to be sent remotely to vehicles, without having to visit a dealership.
Thanks to Polestar’s connection to Volvo, safety technology is cutting-edge in the Polestar 4. In addition to nine standard airbags, new tech partnerships bring intelligent active safety technology to the table – including the SuperVision Advanced Driver Assistance System from Mobileye. SuperVision uses a total of 12 cameras, one radar sensor, and 12 ultrasonic sensors are fitted as standard to create a safety “cell” around the car. The system even monitors the driver’s eyes and head movements to avoid incidents related to fatigue or incapacitation; it helps keep the driver actively engaged in driving.
A 10.2-inch driver display is mounted ahead of the steering column and includes speed, battery and range information. When engaged by the Polestar 4’s numerous driver assistance systems, a virtual environment on the display can show other road users, current driving assistance functions and navigation information. To reduce distraction, there is also a heads-up display to relay key vehicle, information on the windshield. A “snow mode” switches the text from white to yellow, improving visibility in snowy environments.
High Performance, Long Range, Fast Charging
In addition to being safe, the Polestar 4 is also the fastest production car the brand has ever made. It can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.8 seconds, thanks to a maximum output of 544 hp on the top model. Single and dual-motor versions will be available, with rear- and all-wheel drive; the motors are of a permanent-magnet, synchronous design. Polestar promises sharp steering and handling responses thanks to a semi-active suspension and wheels that range from 20 to 22 inches in size.
Long-range versions of the Polestar 4 will feature a huge 102-kWh battery, and the company says it is targeting a range on the European WLTP cycle of up to 372 miles for single-motor rear-wheel drive versions and 347 miles for dual-motor all-wheel drive versions. On all-wheel drive models, a clutch allows the car to disengage the front electric motor when not needed to maximize efficiency. Charging capability is excellent, with up to 200 kW DC and up to 22kW AC charging capability built into all versions. Vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability also allows external devices to draw power from the Polestar 4. A standard heat pump allows the car to capitalize on ambient heat when preconditioning the cabin and battery, and helps increase range.
The Polestar 4 will go on sale in China later this year, with production planned to begin in November 2023. It is planned to hit North American shores in early 2024, with sales and production ramping up through the year. Expect pricing to start at around $60,000 for a single-motor model.