Polestar 4 NZ preview: a window into the way this EV maker is doing things

David Linklater
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So now there are four; Polestar models, that is. Polestar New Zealand is previewing its new 4 this month in its Space (it would never be anything so dull as a "dealership") at 58 Great South Road, Newmarket, Auckland.

Polestar 4.
New 4 is bigger than a 2 but smaller than 3. Yes, that is confusing.

The 4 (which simply indicates this is the 4th Polestar launched, nothing more) is part-sedan, part-coupe and part-SUV. It's larger and more upmarket than the now-familiar 2, and fits in below the 3 luxury-SUV - although it's hardly any shorter and boasts a longer wheelbase.

Unlike any Polestar before it, the 4 is based on a bespoke platform; even the forthcoming 3 is based on Volvo underpinnings (EX90) and built by Volvo.

Polestar NZ rolled out the entire family for its 4 media preview, including the very rare 1 hybrid coupe: a limited-edition machine, with only 1500 made and production now finished. It was never made in right-hand drive.

It's the fastest and most powerful Polestar, it has the lowest carbon footprint of any Polestar... and it has no back window.

The new 4 has a number of claims to fame. It's the fastest and most powerful Polestar, it has the lowest carbon footprint of any Polestar... and it has no back window.

Let's count some Polestars together: 1, 2, 3...

Stats first: there are two versions, a $119,900 single-motor (RWD) and the $129,900 dual-motor (AWD). Both have a massive 100kW battery, giving preliminary range figures of 610km and 580km respectively.

The single-motor is 200kW/383Nm, the dual-motor 400kW/686Nm (exactly double, funnily enough): with 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds, the latter the fastest Polestar you can buy.

Pilot and Plus safety/equipment packs are standard in NZ (they are optional in most countries), meaning the main extras are the $4k Pro Pack (21in wheels, design details) and $10k Performance Pack (for the dual-motor only), which brings 22in wheels, Brembo brakes, chassis tuning and gold detailing.

There's a fancy new interior design and ambient lighting inspired by the solar system, which means you can be surrounded by Uranus.

How eco can a cabin go?

New interior materials include a tailored knit textile which consists of 100 per cent recycled PET, along with bio­attributed MicroTech vinyl MicroTech (which replaces crude oil with pine oil in its construction) and traced leather from Bridge of Weir – where the raw hides are by­products of the food industry and come from Scottish farms that are independently rated by the Animal Protection Index.

Polestar 4.
Yes, you can have a picture of Uranus on the screen if you want.

The tailored knit upholstery textile is made from 100 per cent recycled polyester. The material and the design have been created by Polestar designers together with the Swedish School of Textiles (Borås Textilhögskolan) and further developed with suppliers. It is made to fit, with the idea of reducing overall waste.

Polestar claims rearward visibility is enhanced, not diminished, with the new no-window arrangement.

Inlay carpets in the interior are made using recycled PET and floor carpets are made using ECONYL, which includes reclaimed fishing nets. Specific door trim panels are made from NFPP (natural fibre polypropylene) which results in up to 50 per cent less virgin plastic and a weight saving of up to 40 per cent.

But what about that (not) rear window?

The Polestar 4's big party piece is deletion of the rear window, which looks very striking (which must be at least part of the rationale) but also brings construction and packaging benefits, says Polestar.

Polestar 4.
No rear window means big improvement in aero and rear-seat space, says Polestar.

By extending the roofline further, rear-seat headroom is improved and with no rear window that space can be utilised to strengthen the structure of the car and enhance aerodynamics.

The rear seat does still have plenty of light, because the panoramic glass roof extends back over occupants' heads; both rear seatbacks recline individually and there's a separate climate/media control panel back there, too.

Polestar 4.
Panoramic roof stretches far back over occupants' heads for better light.

Polestar also claims rearward visibility is enhanced, not diminished, with the new arrangement.

There's a a small rear-facing camera unit mounted on the roof that feeds a high-res picture back to the digital rearvision mirror, which has a wider field of view than would be possible through one of those old-fashioned glass windows. The camera also stays clean and dry in winter thanks to its position and housing.

When will the Polestar 4 get to NZ?

Production of the 4 starts in China mid-year (3 production has also just started). Kiwi customers can order cars now (see the configurator here), with expected deliveries in September.


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