A Polestar in Winter
Like other car companies, Polestar tests its vehicles in extreme weather and temperature conditions — in both oppressive heat and intense cold. However, being part of the Swedish-based Volvo Cars Group, it’s no surprise that Polestar conducts cold-weather testing in the bitter wilds of Northern Sweden; more specifically within the Arctic Circle. Inspired by these environs, Polestar engineers created the Polestar 2 Arctic Circle edition — the brand’s performance-oriented electric sport sedan concept.
Development On Ice
Polestar has many reasons to perform vehicle testing and development in a frozen location such as Northern Sweden. “Tuning a chassis on snow and ice allows us to develop our cars in what feels like slow motion and with better accuracy,” said Joakim Rydholm, Polestar chief chassis engineer and trophy-winning rally driver. “With such low levels of grip, we can feel and analyze the dynamics at a much slower pace than on tarmac, which means we can really fine-tune the way our cars behave, down to the smallest details. These are my absolute favorite conditions to develop cars in,” noted Rydholm.
Rydholm and his team based the Arctic Circle concept on a Polestar 2 Long Range Dual Motor with an optional Performance Pack. Engineers altered this stock vehicle in several key ways: the ride height rose by 1.18 inches; power and torque were increased to 469 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque; and traction optimized via custom studded winter tires with 4 mm studs fitted to 19-inch OZ racing wheels.
Improved Winter Response
As part of the Performance Pack, the Polestar 2 is fitted with adjustable performance Ohlins dampers. The Polestar team worked directly with Ohlins to design and tune dampers specifically for the Arctic Circle, with a setup slightly softer than the standard Polestar 2. Engineers added front and rear strut braces to increase torsional rigidity as well as improve steering response. The high-performance 4-piston Brembo brakes that the Polestar 2 Performance Pack uses remain unchanged for the Arctic Circle edition.
For additional performance, the Polestar 2 Arctic Circle concept gets a prototype launch control system integrated with the vehicle and activated via paddle shifters.
Subtle Exterior Changes
Perhaps because the Arctic Circle is more of an engineering exercise rather than designer dream work, the looks of this Polestar 2 concept do not deviate much from the original model. The Arctic Circle edition stands out with four Stedi Quad Pro LED lights up front, a unique matte gray and white exterior paint treatment, and a carbon fiber skidplate under the front bumper for better undercarriage protection.
Bolted within the Polestar Arctic Circle concept’s interior are custom Recaro front bucket seats in charcoal with gold trim.
And in a nod to its Nordic origins and as a nice finishing touch to the Arctic Circle concept, a carbon-fiber shovel and tow strap are mounted in the Polestar 2’s cargo area.
“I wanted to have more fun than usual with this car — really being able to push it in terms of performance and handling in a winter environment like a frozen lake,” said Rydholm. “The balance and predictability we have achieved with the raised ride height and specialized tires are particularly noticeable when you enter a bend completely sideways, with a bigger-than-usual smile on your face, and in total control,” Polestar’s chief chassis engineer enthused.