But there's a new mid-level model that increases range to a claimed 335 miles.
Swedish eco-car company and Volvo sister brand Polestar has expanded its electric car range with new, less powerful versions of the Model 3-rivalling ‘2’. There’s a ‘single-motor’ variant that offers less potency in exchange for less money, and a shorter-range version that brings the price below £40,000.
Until now, the sole Polestar 2 variant has been the £45,900 78 kWh version with two electric motors that provide 402 bhp and four-wheel drive. Now, though, the range kicks off with a 64 kWh, 221 bhp Standard Range Single Motor version. As the name suggests, that car loses the second electric motor and a little battery capacity, although it will still manage a claimed 261-273 miles on a single charge.
The loss of that second motor not only means a drop in power, but it also causes a reduction in performance. Where the twin-motor, 78 kWh car can get from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds, the 64 kWh car extends that to 7.4 seconds. On the plus side, though, the new model has seen the starting price fall to £39,900.
Sitting between the new base model and the existing range-topper is another new model – the 78 kWh Long Range Single Motor variant. Again, the name is quite self-explanatory, but this is basically a single-motor version of the high-end £45,900 car. Yes, it goes without four-wheel drive and it ‘only’ produces 228 bhp, but that means it has an even longer range than the more powerful car.
According to Polestar, the car will do up to 335 miles on a single charge, which eclipses the 273 claimed by the car that’s already on sale. That said, the car doesn’t perform anything like as rapidly as the Dual Motor model, with a 0-62 mph time of 7.4 seconds, but it is slightly cheaper, with prices starting at £42,900.
Those savings are pretty much exclusively made up by changes to the powertrains, because Polestar has promised more or less identical levels of standard equipment across the models. All cars come with 19-inch alloy wheels, an Android-powered 11-inch centre display and a 12.3-inch digital driver display. Parking sensors are also included in both the front and rear bumpers, and there’s a standard-fit reversing camera.
However, none of the models will meet the government’s new threshold for the Plug-In Car Grant, which effectively provides money off the price of a new electric car. Last month, the government changed the scheme so only cars costing less than £35,000 would be eligible, and it reduced the grant from £3,000 to £2,500 per vehicle.
“2021 is the year in which Polestar 2 will really gain momentum,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s CEO. “We launched with a strong offer which has set a great tone for the car. Now, we expand the offering with additional versions – each maintaining its unique design, premium quality and fun driving experience.
“What we have successfully managed with the new versions is to avoid stripping the lower-priced models of their character and premium feeling. Even the most affordable Polestar 2, with no optional equipment, has great visual consistency and high level of standard equipment.”