Lower sticker price, but still packed with features.

The Polestar 2 first entered our radar back in 2019, and the Launch Edition of the Tesla competitor is on sale now. Compared to the exclusive Polestar 1, this high-riding EV seeks to be something of a volume seller for Volvo's electric spinoff brand. To help make that happen, Polestar is injecting two new versions of the 2 that could be more appealing to price-conscious buyers.

The biggest news comes in the form of a single-motor Polestar 2 that turns just the front wheels. Dropping the rear motor means losing half the 408 combined horsepower (304 combined kilowatts) from the dual-motor Launch Edition, but output of the single motor is increased to 231 hp (172 kW). Perhaps more importantly, the single-motor Polestar 2 retains the same 78 kWh battery, delivering an EPA range of roughly 260 miles.

Gallery: 2021 Polestar 2

As for the second choice, those wanting dual-motor power without all the bells and whistles of the Launch Edition can now spec their own Polestar 2. Power holds steady at the aforementioned 408 hp, but buyers can choose from a range of option packages. Among them are the Pilot Pack that features a plethora of driver-assist and safety systems, the Performance Pack which tweaks the suspension and brakes, and the Plus Pack which adds various premium features like a panoramic roof, heated seats, and the WeaveTech vegan interior materials, among other things.

Of these packages, the Plus Pack is notable because it includes a mechanical heat pump which Polestar says can increase vehicle range by up to 10 percent in some situations, notably during colder weather. In short, it uses both ambient temperatures and residual heat from the powertrain to lessen the power draw on the battery pack for climate control. Furthermore, the tech is still undergoing development, which means future over-the-air updates could make the system more effective. Through it all, features like 19-inch wheels, large touchscreens, and tech such as Google Assistant remain standard.

"2021 is the year in which Polestar 2 will really gain momentum," said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO. "We launched with a strong offer which has set a great tone for the car. Now, we expand that offering with additional versions –each one maintaining its unique design, premium quality, and fun driving experience. What we have successfully managed with the new versions of the Polestar 2 is to avoid stripping the lower-priced models of their character and premium feeling. Even the most affordable Polestar2, with no option packs, has great visual consistency and high level of standard equipment."

Polestar isn't ready to share pricing for the new single-motor or base-model dual-motor versions, but both will slot beneath the $59,900 Polestar 2 Launch Edition. The single-motor edition should be the point-of-entry, and it will go on sale at the end of the year.

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