Next-generation electric motors and battery packs are not only coming to give the Polestar 2 more range and power, but they're seeing it switch from front- to rear-wheel drive.

While vehicle facelifts are often as minor as a tweaked grille design and a new set of wheels, the 2024 Polestar 2 goes to the opposite extreme with a complete overhaul of the electric liftback’s innards to make it even more powerful and better to drive, as well as gaining even more range.

Due to arrive in Australia in Q3 2023, with order books opening in Q2, Single Motor variants are eschewing front-wheel drive in favour of rear-wheel drive – arguably, just the way it always should have been.

The change comes courtesy of next-generation permanent magnet electric motors and silicon carbide inverters which offer as much as 220kW and 490Nm – a big increase from the 170kW/330Nm outputs of the sole front-mounted motor in the pre-facelift model, and enough to slash its 0-100km/h time by up to 1.2 seconds.

This new rear motor benefits Dual Motor variants as well, with it now having a rear-biased power delivery to make it feel even more sporty to drive. Combined with a new asynchronous motor on the front axle, it offers even more power as well – as much as 350kW and 740Nm in Performance Pack models, up 50kW and 80Nm, and slashing its 0-100km/h performance to just 4.2 seconds.

“Changing from front- to rear-wheel drive in the single-motor variants, and re-calibrating the torque ratio in the dual-motor variant for an increased rear-wheel drive feel, elevates the Polestar 2 driving experience to a whole new level,” says Joakim Rydholm, Head of Chassis Development at Polestar.

“The updated Polestar 2 is an even more playful and agile car, retaining its compactness and complete sense of control, while at the same time becoming more mature with added comfort.”

Added performance is far from the only update the 2024 Polestar 2 receives, however, as increasing range has been just as high on the priority list. That’s why two new lithium-ion battery packs with improved chemistry complement the new electric motors.

The lone Standard Range model now sports a 69kWh 24-module battery pack from LG Chem with a maximum charging rate of 135kW to deliver a 40km range increase. As for Long Range models, an 82kWh 27-module battery from CATL which can charge at 205kW and increases range by 84km in the Single Motor variant and a whopping 105km in Dual Motor variants.

In the case of the latter, the front-mounted motor can now disconnect in low-load situations, further increasing range. The improved cell chemistry also reduces carbon emissions by 1.1 tonnes (down to 5.9 tonnes), with a full Life Cycle Assessment planned for later in 2023.

READ MORE: The 2023 Polestar 2 Performance Pack is the closest thing you’ll find to an electric sports car

Rounding out the 2024 updates, a new blanked-out grille design takes centre stage up front – which is dubbed the ‘SmartZone’ as it contains the car’s front-facing camera and radar – while the 20-inch forged alloy wheels on Performance Pack models have been tweaked to look more like those of the upcoming Polestar 3 SUV.

Standard equipment in Polestar 2 has also been increased to improve value, with the Driver Awareness package features now made standard, with this including Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with steering support, Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, Rear Collision Warning and Mitigation, a 360-degree surround view camera, and auto-dimming exterior mirrors. A wireless phone charger is also now standard across the entire range.

The 2024 Polestar 2 will be available to order from the Polestar website in Q2 2023 with Australian deliveries commencing in Q3. Pricing is yet to be confirmed ahead of the order books opening.

2024 Polestar 2 specifications

VariantDrivetrainBattery CapacityMax Charging Speed (DC)Predicted Range (WLTP)PowerTorque0-100km/h
Standard Range Single MotorRWD69kWh135kWUp to 518km200kW490Nm6.4 seconds
Long Range Single MotorRWD82kWh205kWUp to 635km220kW490Nm6.2 seconds
Long Range Dual MotorAWD82kWh205kWUp to 592km310kW740Nm4.5 seconds
Long Range Dual Motor Performance PackAWD82kWh205kWUp to 592km350kW740Nm4.2 seconds
Patrick Jackson
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