Cars

First drive: 2020 Polestar 2 prototype

All of which should be music to our ears because, as always, it comes down to priorities. Polestar will not operate dealerships but chic ‘spaces’; the cars can be ordered online only; it will make a splash among the general public, with cutting-edge looks and zero-emission powertrains; and it is a subsidiary of a marque that recently announced an intention to limit its cars to 112mph and, bluntly, has never given us a world-class driver’s car. It would have been so very easy for driver appeal to descend so far down the 2 to-do list as to become irrelevant, but that has not at all been the case.

No point beating around the bush: the Polestar 2 is good to drive. It may never set your synapses on fire but the natural steering response is well matched to what the suspension is doing, and on Hällered’s quick, flowing handling course, the Ohlins dampers – hydraulically textured in their movements – only ever need one bite of the cherry to get the body under control.

Given the powertrain layout, it is no surprise that the car’s balance is good and one can’t fail to notice how high the limits of grip are compared with, say, an XC40. It can be teased into neatly rotating on the brakes, but snow and ice are required to get the car expressing itself under power.

On the more challenging rough-road tracks (there are surfaces resembling LA freeways and Perthshire B-roads), the ride is on the firm side but remains genuinely compliant. Gut feel says this car ought to cope well with UK surfaces, although the softer setup of non-Performance Pack versions might be best for daily driving.

, First drive: 2020 Polestar 2 prototype

We know the 2 sits on the same CMA platform as the XC40, but it also features a unique front subframe for crash protection (combustion engines being more absorbent than electric motors), has modifications at the rear and supports a battery whose shape leaves good rear footwell space, which is rare in an electric car.

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