Pole Position: Polestar Offers Software Upgrade With 68 Horsepower


We’ve all seen the jokes about stickers or go-faster stripes adding 5 horsepower to your car. Hey, it looks faster, right? These days, it’s possible to make some cars much speedier than when you brought it home – without ever cracking the hood release. Software upgrades, it seems, are the new underdrive pulleys and shorter gears of this new era of electric vehicles.

Polestar, in case you’ve forgotten, is the Swedish performance EV brand with don’t-say-it ties to Volvo. Today, it announced a newly-available software upgrade for its Long-Range Dual-Motor Polestar 2, one which boosts the vehicle’s power output to 476 all-electric ponies and 502 lb-ft of torque. Those are improvements of 68 and 15, respectively, over a stock vehicle. Acceleration from 0-60 mph should drop to a hair over 4 seconds, says Polestar, with the additional thrust primarily felt at speeds between 45 and 80 mph. 

In other words, hauling out to pass that slow coach on the interstate will be noticeably more rapid. Apart from increasing the car’s power and torque, the performance software upgrade also changes the pedal mapping. Left unsaid is the effect frequent sampling of these new ponies will have on range, if at all. In fact, Polestar asserts the newfound power does not affect Polestar 2’s energy consumption, suggesting the total driving range on a full battery will not change after the download. Also part of the software upgrade is a launch control feature which should slingshot your Polestar 2 towards the horizon controllably but dramatically.

This upgrade is the first time Polestar has leveraged software tuning to an electric car. Since the upgrade is purely based in lines of software code via an over-the-air (OTA) download, this boost in performance can be downloaded directly to the vehicle without a trip to a Polestar service center – which, it must be said, Polestar refers to as ‘service points’. The upgrade is permanent and comes with a one-time price tag of $1,195. This is light years better than a subscription service in which one needs to re-up every year to keep their Super Cruise or heated seats or any of the increasing number of features that are being turned into monthly recurring revenue streams for OEMs.

On the surface, this seems like a good deal. Your author has, in the past, spent far more than twelve hundred bucks chasing a few measly horsepower. A guarantee of 68 fresh horses, without the need to get yer hands dirty, at a reasonable price and including launch control? Sounds like a win to us – and beats a 5+hp sticker hands down.

[Image: Polestar]

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