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Polestar mixes business with pleasure in experimental model. Image by Polestar.

Polestar mixes business with pleasure in experimental model
Polestar has created an experimental version of its Polestar 2 that shows what can be done when you let the engineers get their own way
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What's all this about?

It's a Polestar 2 but not as you know it. It's what happens when the company's CEO, Thomas Ingenlath tells the design and engineering team that he wants a car that will create a stir at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Always happy to oblige the boss, they got to work and the result is the Polestar 2 Experimental and its chief chassis engineer, Joakim Rydholm took us for a run around the Goodwood Circuit to see what they'd achieved.

What have they done?

On the face of it, it looks like they've colour-coded the grille, added a racing stripe and fitted bigger wheels, which they have at 21-inch, but it's underneath the skin that things get really interesting. Firstly, those wheels sit at each end of a 10mm wider track front and rear. Secondly, power is hiked from 406hp to 476hp, mainly through a software change. It has six-piston brake callipers from the Polestar 1 GT car and there are carbon fibre braces front and back.

It has three way adjustable damping but again that's only part of the story. The Polestar 2 already has 22 positions that can be manual changed by an owner by climbing under the car and tweaking the dampers. Out of the factory, the settings are 8:8 front and back, but for the UK market those are changed to be slightly more comfortable at 11:11. For the Experimental car, the damper cylinders look the same, but inside the components have been changed to provide 40 per cent more compression. In addition the suspension is 80 per cent stiffer up front and 40 per cent firmer at the rear. In case you're wondering Rydholm is a national class rally champion in Sweden and when someone says make changes to the set-up, he's like a kid in a candy store.

What did all this mean on track?

Not surprisingly, Rydholm kept control of driving when it came to being on the track. The last thing anyone needs with a one-off is some journo getting things wrong. Granted, he had never driven on the famous Goodwood Circuit before, but he knows his car and he knows what it and for that matter he, can do. By the time we turned into Madgwick, turn one, it was already clear that it was a case of man and machine in harmony. That 70hp makes a massive difference and we had to scrub off much more speed than in the regular model as those six-pistons all clamped down in the braking zone. The only real body roll was the lateral g-forces moving me sideways in the seat as he pushed through the corner, settling quickly into a rhythm. Rydholm is very proud of just how playful the car is, something he insists is present in the standard model too. It responded confidently to steering inputs even mid-corner which we think he was doing just for fun, in fact we're sure he was. We couldn't see the grin on his face as he said "feel how well it goes through the chicane" because he was wearing a face mask, but we know it was definitely there. That about sums up the Polestar 2 Experimental - it's an internal project car that everyone had fun creating so they could have fun on track. It also shows just what they can do.

What's next for Polestar?

There is a rumour that the company might be looking at a performance line-up, similar to Audi RS, BMW M, Mercedes-AMG and the Polestar Engineering enhancements for Volvo models. That doesn't mean the experimental Polestar 2 will become reality of course, but maybe it's a toe in the water thing. What we do know though is that the Polestar 3 SUV is coming along and the Precept which we had a good look at at Goodwood gives more clues to future models than many originally thought. It's also going to form the basis for a model on its own and shows some clever new technology especially when it comes to materials. Things are getting very interesting at Polestar.

Mark Smyth - 8 Jul 2021

2021 Polestar 2 Experimental. Image by Polestar.2021 Polestar 2 Experimental. Image by Polestar.2021 Polestar 2 Experimental. Image by Polestar.2021 Polestar 2 Experimental. Image by Polestar.2021 Polestar 2 Experimental. Image by Polestar.

2021 Polestar 2 Experimental. Image by Polestar.2021 Polestar 2 Experimental. Image by Polestar.2021 Polestar 2 Experimental. Image by Polestar.2021 Polestar 2 Experimental. Image by Polestar.2021 Polestar 2 Experimental. Image by Polestar.

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