New Polestar 4 is lowest-carbon Polestar yet

Published: 02 November 2023

► Polestar 4 is the quickest – and lowest-carbon – yet
► Up to 372 miles of range suggested
► Priced from around £60,000

Polestar has revealed the first Life Cycle Assessment for its new Polestar 4 electric car. The brand’s own testing found that the new 4 will reveal 19.4 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, including production, making it the cleanest Polestar model yet.

Entering the market as a fully-electric competitor for premium SUVs such as the Porsche Macan, the 4 is produced in Geely’s SEA factory in Hangzhou Bay which is powered by both solar and hydroelectric electricity. It uses a higher amount of low-carbon aluminium than previous Polestars, as well as a share of recycled aluminium.

Fredrika Klarén, Head of Sustainability at Polestar, says: “To support our net zero goal, we set carbon budgets for all our cars. Throughout the product development of Polestar 4, its carbon budget has influenced everything from material choices to factory energy sources. Sharing the LCA enables us to show that we can strive for net zero – one tonne of CO2 at a time.”

The 19.4 tonne figure relates to the entry-level car. The Long Range model will produce 19.9 tonnes, while the Dual Motor ups that to 21.4 tonnes. By contrast, the Volvo C40 EV claimed 42 tonnes of CO2 based on an EU energy mix.

What exactly is the Polestar 4?

Rather than just start with an SUV then replace the sensible square roofline with something more rakish, the Polestar 4 is a purpose-built Coupé that just so happens to sit a bit taller. And a bit taller is the right choice of words; the 4 sits a full 5cm lower than the Porsche Macan that it has firmly in its sights.

This clean sheet approach has led to some interesting decisions being made, the most notable of which is the removal of the rear screen.

Wait, what?

That’s right, the tailgate has no window on it at all with the view taken care of by a wide-angle camera rear-view mirror (the door mirrors remain conventional). Parents with hyperactive children need not worry, a press of a button turns it into a regular mirror should you need to investigate any suspicious silences.

Any concerns that the interior now resembles a coal scuttle with the reduced window count evaporate as soon as you step inside. All Polestar 4s get a massive panoramic roof that floods the cabin with light, with electrochromic elements optional should you want to block things out.

Rear occupants get their own touchscreen to adjust the climate control and other functions, whilst the back seats recline electrically using buttons cunningly hidden on the side of the arm rest. Space is sufficient for a couple of 6’ 2” adults to be comfortable behind similarly tall drivers.

So, it’s practical then?

Yes, although you’ll still need a conventional SUV or estate for maximum load lugging ability. Boot space below the parcel shelf is a decent 500 litres, but that roofline limits seats down space to 1536 litres, good but not exceptional.

Move forward and you’ll find plenty of oddment storage on the two-level centre console but no glovebox or frunk for that matter.

What about the business end?

Unlike other Polestars, the 4 has its Android Automotive-based 15.4-inch infotainment system in a landscape orientation. That’s not an admission that other models are wrong, but merely to give the 4’s cockpit a wider, sportier feel.

There’s also a 10.2-inch digital driver’s display and a 14.7-inch head up display to help relay information as clearly as possible. A sign of the car’s Swedish roots is a snow mode for the HUD that switches white text to yellow. Clever.

We’re big fans of the Polestar 4’s interior ambiance, and that’s without seeing the new colour changing ambient lighting that’s inspired by the solar system. We’re told that the different modes even come with some educational stuff for your kids, so they can learn about Mars, for instance.

While we can’t speak about build quality until we’ve seen a finished production car, early signs are very promising. There are plenty of sustainable materials, but you’re not necessarily aware they’re there. Instead, the materials used feel at least as plush as a Porsche Macan or BMW iX3 to give the Polestar 4 a very inviting interior.

Tell me about the mechanicals, then

The 4’s SEA platform is provided by parent company Geely but will be thoroughly reworked by Polestar including some fettling in the UK. A chunky 102kWh battery pack is standard, giving a potential maximum range for the rear-wheel drive model of 372 miles. Impressively, the dual motor model with twice as much power should be good for 350 miles.

Entry-level single motor cars get 268bhp and 253Ib ft of torque, enough for 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds and a 112mph top speed. The dual motor does a far better job of motivating this 2.3 tonne SUV. With power up to 537bhp and torque to 506Ib ft, 0-62mph is dispatched in a mere 3.8 seconds, or faster even than the more powerful Polestar 1.

Single motor models get passive dampers, with the dual motor gaining ‘semi-active dampers’ for a sharper handling. Like the Polestar 2, a Performance Pack is available for the dual motor which adds four-piston Brembo brakes, bespoke chassis tuning, forged 22-inch wheels and Swedish gold detailing on the brakes, seatbelts and tyre’s valve caps.

And charging?

All versions get up to 200kW DC and 22kW AC charging capability accessed via a fancy motorised charging door. It takes just 32 minutes to get from 5-80% charged using a 200kW DC charger, while 0-100% takes five and a half hours on a three-phase 22kW wallbox. A typical 7.4kW wallbox will take over twice as long to top up.

By Alan Taylor-Jones

New cars editor, seasoned road tester and automotive encyclopaedia.