Experimental Polestar 2 Prototype Revealed With 476 hp

This performance Polestar prototype makes its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. 

While many may not typically associate Polestar with being a particularly sporty brand, the Scandinavian EV manufacturer does actually have some deceptively fast cars in its lineup. Its dual-motor Polestar 2 for instance packs a 408 hp punch, and can rocket to 100 km/h from a stand still in 4.7 seconds. 

To add to that too, the automaker has also actually been quietly offering a few tasty sporty upgrades for its cars for quite a while now. Such is evidenced by the optional Performance Pack that can be specced with the aforementioned Polestar 2, that brings with it some impressive performance bits like adjustable Öhlins dampers and Brembo brakes. 


Now however, Polestar has turned the wick up even further with the recent unveiling of an even sportier experimental version of its 2 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Internally nicknamed as the ‘Beast’, this prototype adds a healthy dose of extra power and various other go-fast items to showcase what a proper performance version of this all-electric fastback could really look like.

Kicking off with the power bump first, Polestar has managed to extract an additional 68 hp from the stock Long Range Dual Motor variant of the 2 on which this performance prototype is based. This therefore equates to a maximum combined power output of 476 hp (or 350 kW in EV speak) being sent to all four of its newly enlarged 21-inch forged alloy wheels, which are incidentally wrapped in sticky Pirelli P-Zero Rosso performance rubber carried over from the Polestar 1. 

Speaking further about the Polestar 1 too, this performance 2 prototype also borrows the 6-piston Akebono front brakes from its hybrid grand touring sibling. Its carbon fibre front suspension strut bar however was borrowed instead from the Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered, with the rear strut bar meanwhile being a custom fabricated unit. 

While on the topic of the suspension setup of this experimental Polestar 2, the Swedish EV manufacturer looks to really have gone to town on this front. That is because not only does this prototype gain stiffer springs (by some 80% up front and 40% round the rear) than the ones on the car on which it is based, an even-fancier set of stiffer Öhlins three-way performance dampers also has been swapped in to replace the already pretty decent adjustable units from the same brand that were there before. 

This new experimental 2 has been lowered by 30 mm too, in addition to gaining a wider track (+10 mm on each side) for a stronger and squatter stance. Those who are attentive would probably have spotted the ever-so-slightly flared wheel arches which allude to the fact, though even the most eagle-eyed would probably not have noticed the middle revised front and rear bumpers that have also been fitted to this prototype. 

If Polestar were to be taken at their word, this Snow Matte experimental 2 will only be a one-off that was created specially for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. That said however, there really is nothing on this performance prototype that can’t easily be transferred to its production counterparts. 

So there could well be hope yet for a proper performance production Polestar 2 to possibly arrive sometime in the near future, which would be fitting considering that the name of this EV sub-brand was originally used to denote Volvo’s performance lineup. 

PRESS RELEASE: Polestar has revealed an experimental Polestar 2 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The EV has been given a makeover that was inspired by CEO Thomas Ingenlath’s desire to push the boundaries of the electric performance fastback’s design and performance potential.

“I challenged the design and engineering teams to play with Polestar 2 and come up with something that makes a strong statement for Goodwood,” comments Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. “For a few months I have enjoyed driving another experimental Polestar 2, nicknamed ‘Beast’, around our Gothenburg campus, which inspired the team to come up with this version for Goodwood. We want to flex our muscles and explore opportunities.”

The Long range Dual motor Polestar 2 now produces a combined output of 350 kW (476 hp) from its twin electric motors. The car has been given a stronger stance, with a wider track (+10 mm on each side) and lower ride height (-30 mm). Widened wheel arches have been fitted, required to house the 9×21-inch wheels and 6-piston Akebono front brakes from Polestar 1. The 275/30R21 Pirelli PZero Rosso performance tyres are also carried over from Polestar 1.

The springs have been stiffened by 80% at the front and 40% at the rear compared to the original performance units, and the adjustable Öhlins DFV dampers have been upgraded to Öhlins three-way performance dampers which are approximately 30% stiffer than the road and track originals. To further increase rigidity, the carbon fibre front suspension strut bar from a Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered has been fitted, complemented by a custom-fabricated rear strut bar.

“This car is what happens when we are given freedom to go beyond our limits,” says Joakim Rydholm, Polestar’s chief chassis engineer. “We already have such great handling and performance characteristics in Polestar 2, but when Thomas asked me to make something special for Goodwood, I was really excited to up the stakes.”

In addition to the mechanical upgrades, the car features updated front and rear bumpers. The car is finished in Snow Matte with a Magnesium Matte racing stripe, colour-coded front grid and glossy black mirrors. Bumpers and side skirts feature an additional colour-coded design accent. The wheels feature dual tonality of glossy and matte black surfaces.

Maximilian Missoni, Head of Design at Polestar, comments: “It’s always exciting to push a little bit further. This is one of the benefits of being a start-up like Polestar – we don’t have a mould to fit into so we can experiment with fun projects like this.”

Hillclimb runs will be completed during the event and the experimental Polestar 2 can be found in the First Glance Paddock, adjacent to the Polestar stand. The car will be piloted by Polestar’s lead chassis engineer, Joakim Rydholm, who made his first appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018 with the debut of the first driving prototype of Polestar 1.

Joakim Rydholm concludes: “Polestar 2 is already a wonderfully dynamic car and we have spent thousands of hours fine-tuning its driving characteristics. The new chassis set-up for Goodwood has really taken it to the next level. I can’t wait to go up the hill!”

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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