I rather liked the Polestar 2, though many of the obstacles of electric motoring remain including a decent and affordable network of fast chargers.
“I’m impatient and annoyed that we are still struggling with basics like this,” said Ingenlath at the launch, “access to electricity should be open to all, there needs to be a universal system.”
Mission impossible? Perhaps, but maybe this mercurial boss could call on the services of his alter ego…
TESTED five-door executive car, with twin 150kW AC synchronous permanent-magnet electric motors with 400-volt, 78kWh gross (75kWh net) lithium-ion LG Chem battery comprising 324 pouch cells in 27 modules mounted under the floor and in transmission tunnel. Four-wheel drive.
PRICE/ON SALE £49,900 (before PiCG), £54,900 as tested with £5,000 Performance Pack/now. Lease deals from £564 a month for 3 years and 10,000 miles a year with a £3,384 deposit
POWER/TORQUE 408hp (2 x 150kW) @ 4,350rpm and 487lb ft (2 x 330Nm) from 0-4350rpm
TOP SPEED 127mph
ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 4.7sec
RANGE 292 miles WLTP (high)
EFFICIENCY 3.89 miles per kWh
CO2 EMISSIONS zero at tailpipe, well-to-wheels 37.2g/km
VERDICT When the history of the battery-electric performance car is written, Polestar will be seen as coming in second place to Tesla – but that’s often a good place to be in automotive terms. The market is small but growing fast and this likeable car could catch the wave thanks to a more familiar layout for those who have struggled with Tesla’s unashamed disruptive design (and so-so reliability). Roadside charging, however, is still an issue in a disorderly market and there are few signs that will be changing soon.
TELEGRAPH RATING Four stars out of five
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, £46,990
The dual-motor, all-wheel-drive version of the Model 3 has a quoted WLTP range of 348 miles, a top speed of 145mph with 0-60mph in 4.4sec. Excuse the pun but Tesla polarises opinion like no other. The design is either clean or featureless depending on your standpoint. We have found test models to have ill-fitting panels, although the high-current Supercharger network (you have to pay per use with a Model 3) is a pretty big bonus given the state of roadside charging in the UK.
Audi eTron Sportback, about £79,900
Based on Audi’s curiously bloodless eTron and built in Belgium, the Sportback was intended to introduce a bit of vim to the eTron range as well as reducing the SUV bulk, at least to the eye. The technology is faultless including the virtual door mirrors and the performance from its 402bhp/490lb ft, 95kWh battery, two-motor drivetrain is terrific on paper. Unfortunately, however, Audi, while keeping its German press garage open all lockdown, has not sought to bring any examples to the UK. So you’ll have to wait for our impressions.
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