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Polestar 2
Illustration Mikey Womack

This is the car of the future

We speak with Polestar head of design Maximilian Missoni on the launch of the brand’s first all-electric car, Polestar 2

Right now, two million Londoners are living in areas which exceed legal limits for air pollution, while noise pollution is at an all-time high. With new studies revealing links between polluted areas and increased cases of psychiatric disorders, and the World Health Organisation warning us as to the serious physical and mental health implications that come with areas of high sound levels, it’s no surprise that car manufacturers are rethinking their approach to transport.

Among them is Polestar 2, Swedish electric vehicle brand Polestar’s first entirely electric model. With a sleek, panoramic glass roof, a bold vegan interior and panels crafted from repurposed wood, it’s the sort of socially-conscious car you’d imagine to be driven to the backdrop of “It’s time to rebel” by The 1975 and Greta Thunberg, or coordinated with a Marine Serre pollution mask. You get the jist.

“Polestar 2 is our first fully electric car and first volume model. Everything about it has been designed and engineered with passion and dedication. As an electric performance brand, and through the forthcoming launch of a portfolio of fully electric cars, Polestar is determined to address the world’s air quality challenges. Polestar delivers electric performance cars that are great to own and drive,” says Thomas Ingenlath, chief executive officer of Polestar.

The car comes in three suggested colourways, each informed by a different city: Shanghai, Berlin, and London. A white exterior and dark ash interiors feature in the Shanghai model; a grey inside and outside make up the Berlin model; and London is a sleek black with barley interiors. Further colour combinations are also available.

Below, we speak to vice president and head of design Maximilian Missoni on what makes the Polestar 2 a futuristic design.

IT’S FULLY ELECTRIC

Considering 45 per cent of young Britons aged between 18 and 24 say the environment is the second most pressing issue facing the country at the moment, behind Brexit at 57 per cent, electric cars emit zero exhaust emissions, which means that no added pollution goes into the atmosphere. “I truly believe that electric vehicles are the first important step to truly sustainable mobility. The reduction of local emissions isn’t the full solution of course, but by democratising this technology, we will help shift both customers and the industry itself,” Missoni tells us.

Instead of fossil fuels, the Polestar 2 is powered by a 27-module battery pack that also reduces the car’s noise by 3.7 dB less than a traditional vehicle. Given the serious health risks posed by noise pollution, ranging from depression to heart attacks, consider this a good thing.

IT HAS A VEGAN INTERIOR

With veganism as the trend du jour, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing an increased demand for cruelty-free design. According to Missoni, the Polestar 2’s interior is completely vegan, which he describes as a boundary-pushing move: “The vegan interior was again a statement of intent, to think differently about what choices should be expected in a vehicle. We wanted to push boundaries and see what was possible, as much for us as the customer. The material is a low phalate PVC, and you will see us pushing interior materials significantly in future vehicles as we learn from this experience.”

IT CONNECTS TO YOUR PHONE

Yes, really. The Polestar 2’s ‘phone-as-key’ technology means that it senses the driver approaching, unlocking upon arrival. Connecting to Android and Apple devices, the car also connects to Google Assistant, Google Maps, and the Google Play Store 5 – all displayed on its 11-inch touch screen, naturally.

YOU ORDER IT ONLINE

No more hours-long trips to the car salesman, as Polestar 2 is exclusively available to buy online, and goes into production in early 2020. “The rules of car design have changed with electrification, and may change further as vehicles become even more connected and more autonomous,” says Missoni.

IT ACTUALLY WELCOMES YOU

The Polestar 2 is kitted out with Pixel LED headlights and proximity lighting that paired with its frameless side mirrors, and an illuminated Polestar logo, light up in a unique welcome sequence whenever you approach the vehicle. Missoni explains: “As you approach Polestar 2 the rear LED bar “explodes” into life, illuminating from the central “Polestar” (badge). The inspiration for this was an astronomical event, the birth of a star, with light breaking out across space.”