Last month, Polestar unveiled the Polestar 2 Arctic Circle one-off creation, a vehicle built for maximum driving pleasure and agility on snow and ice.
Based on the Polestar 2 Long range Dual motor with Performance Package, the unique EV takes inspiration from winter rally cars and features many modifications.
Chief among those are the 1.18-inch (30-mm) higher ground clearance, three-way performance dampers specially designed and tuned for this car together with Öhlins, custom-made 19-inch studded winter tires, front and rear strut braces, and a power and torque increase to 350 kW (469 hp) and 502 lb-ft (680 Nm).
This sounds like a fun-to-drive EV, and Fully Charged's Jack Scarlett was lucky enough to find out if that's the case. He traveled to Swedish Lapland inside the Arctic Circle to drive the Polestar 2 Arctic Circle and learn more about it from the man behind this project, Polestar chief chassis engineer and trophy winning rally driver Joakim Rydholm.
Driving such a powerful AWD car on a big track carved into ice is a really fun experience because the slippery surface allows the vehicle to go sideways at much lower speeds than on dry asphalt. But the purpose of this car is not just to have fun; as Joakim explains, driving on ice gives test drivers and engineers more time to analyze the vehicle's dynamic behavior as everything happens at lower speeds and can be easily repeated.
After showing Jack how to drive the Polestar 2 Arctic Circle on snow and ice, Joakim let him have a go. The reviewer lost control at one point and went off-track, but fortunately he didn't damage the one-off car while plowing into a snowbank.
Why do extreme cold testing when most Polestar 2 customers will never encounter such conditions, though? The answer is simple: if the car works well in -40 degrees Fahrenheit, it will also work well in 0 degrees and 70 degrees, Joakim explains.
Additionally, if test drivers find that the suspension produces an annoying noise in extreme cold, they can work together with engineers to eliminate that noise on production vehicles.
The video provides more interesting insight into vehicle testing in extreme winter conditions and the great lengths Polestar test drivers and engineers go through to optimize the vehicles they're working on.