Polestar recently announced that it would sell smartphones in China, home of its parent company, Geely. Though odd, the move wasn’t a total surprise, given the automaker’s move to electrification and the often tight integration between owners’ phones and their vehicles. We poked fun at the announcement, but Polestar forum users took things a step further with a survey on whether owners would buy the phone should it be offered here.
What if I told you there exists a small luxury sedan with Swedish roots and an uncanny ability to go about its business with unfussy silence?
Well, there’s at least one of those on the market – the 2023 Polestar 2 Dual Motor. If your idea of luxury is no fuss, no muss, no noise, you’ve found your huckleberry.
China is the world’s largest auto market, with nearly 30 million cars sold there last year, and automakers of all stripes are eager to grab a piece of the action, especially with electric vehicles. Tesla, Ford, General Motors, and most luxury brands offer broad product lines in the country, and that includes Volvo and Polestar, both owned by Chinese auto giant Geely. That relationship with China gives the automakers the ability to offer unique products there, and Polestar’s latest innovation is a great example. It has developed a new smartphone that it plans to sell with its debut SUV in the country, the Polestar 4.
Volvo is dropping front-wheel drive for the XC40 and XC60 crossovers for 2024. However, this also means the XC40 will lose the 2.0-liter B4 turbo (194 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque) and now have the B5 variant (247 hp and 258 pound-feet) as its singular powertrain. Since the XC60 comes exclusively with the B5 already, the only change is that front-wheel drive will be removed from the menu.
Over-the-air updates are a significant benefit to today’s big-screen connected vehicles. Though the “screen for everything” trend can lead to extra driver distraction in some cases, the constant connectivity lets automakers add new features and refine existing functionality without requiring a trip to the dealer. Polestar recently announced such an update for the Polestar 2, which brings YouTube and improvements to the Apple CarPlay function.
The Polestar 4 is coming soon, bringing a striking design and no rear window. Though it will eventually become available in several countries, including the U.S., Polestar’s launching the oddball EV in China to start. The $60,000-ish Polestar 4 is now available for preorder only in China, using the company’s QR code and app.
Though it’s a bit more adventurous and sporty than its parent company, Polestar’s designs haven’t drastically strayed from Volvo’s calming look. That’s changing – albeit slightly – for 2024, with the introduction of the Polestar 4. The coupe-SUV features a concept car look, including a large solid panel where the back window should be.
In service of promoting its own sustainability goals, Polestar has opted to offer seating with small print that details the carbon footprint of your chosen upholstery. Though it doesn’t actually matter whether you’ve selected wool, Nappa leather, or faux-leather vinyl (which Polestar calls MicoTech) because the company appears to have labels ready for every option. It’s commercialized virtue signaling at its finest and will become commonplace on every model it sells, starting with the 2024 Polestar 3 SUV.
We’ve all seen the jokes about stickers or go-faster stripes adding 5 horsepower to your car. Hey, it looks faster, right? These days, it’s possible to make some cars much speedier than when you brought it home – without ever cracking the hood release. Software upgrades, it seems, are the new underdrive pulleys and shorter gears of this new era of electric vehicles.
You won’t read about it on any automaker’s website or sales materials, but nearly every major car company buys and studies its competitors’ products. Spy photographers sometimes catch companies like Ford benchmarking a Chevy Camaro or new Silverado pickup truck to gain insights into how they compare to a Mustang or F-150. Electric vehicles have democratized performance and speed, making them more accessible across a broader range of cars, so it’s not surprising to see Polestar testing a Porsche 911 to prepare for its own sports car launch in 2026.
There’s a meme floating around, as memes do, with little localized variants. The one I see here in my little slice of Ohio reads something like: “Treat yourself like Interstate 70. Never stop working on yourself, no matter how much it inconveniences others.” Like most humor, there’s a bit of truth there – it always seems as of I-70 west of Columbus stretching at least to Indianapolis is in a constant state of either construction or in need of construction.
It was here on the pockmarked slab west of town I found myself driving on a brisk Sunday morn in the 2021 Volvo XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered, hoping to experience the floaty-but-controlled ride I knew from my old 740 wagon and other spawn of Gothenburg. Not here. That Polestar Engineered badge adds a serious dash of sporting intent to the midsized crossover – a car already quick from three, count ‘em three, power adders to the ubiquitous two-liter four.
Really, this crossover has the feel of a buttoned-down hot hatch. How does it work, as the Brits like to say, on the school run?
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- ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
- ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
- Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
- Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
- Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.