Currently reading: New Polestar 4 goes on sale priced from £59,990
Electric SUV-coupé gets up to 536bhp and autonomous tech; deliveries planned for August

Polestar has announced pricing and specification details of the Polestar 4, which it has billed the "reinvention of the SUV-coupé”.

Revealed last year at the Shanghai motor show, the electric car is due to go into production "towards the middle of 2024", with the first customer deliveries planned for August.

The Swedish firm's fourth model will enter the premium electric SUV segment as rival to the new Porsche Macan EV.

The single-motor, standard-range 4 starts at £59,660, with the dual-motor model commands a £7000 premium.

An optional Performance Pack costs £4000 and adds 22in alloy wheels, bespoke Pirelli tyres and a Polestar Engineered tuned chassis.

In single-motor form, it uses a 102kWh battery pack (94kWh of usable capacity) and produces 268bhp and 253lb ft, for a 0-62mph time of 7.1sec.

Dual-motor cars use the same battery but produce 536bhp and 506lb ft to hit 62mph in 3.8sec. 

Both models come with the ability to charge at 200kW, meaning they can top up from 10-80% in half an hour.

Said to have the smallest carbon footprint of any Polestar model to date, the 4 was tested during Polestar's life cycle assessment (LCA) earlier this month and found to produce 19.4 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, including production.

The firm has been publishing LCAs for each of its cars since 2020.

The 4 will be offered with "eyes-off" autonomous driving technology touted to deliver "centimetre-level" precision and eventually allow for "eyes-off, point-to-point autonomous driving on highways, as well as eyes-on automated driving for other environments".

The more sophisticated advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) in development uses the new Chauffeur system from leading ADAS-supplier Mobileye (which builds on the Supervision system that will be available in the 4 from launch) and lidar from autonomous vehicle technology company Luminar as part of a set-up that mixes various sensors, radars and cameras to allow the car to see up to 600m away and provide "centimetre-level" precision so that it can map the environment around it.

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That distance translates to a view 7.5sec ahead of the car at highway speeds to allow it to bring itself to a safe stop if necessary. 

In China, the 4 has been developed with its own operating system specifically for Chinese buyers, who will also be able to purchase a Polestar phone that runs the same system for seamless integration of the car into the rest of the owner's digital life.

Production will take place at Polestar parent firm Geely's SEA factory in Hangzhou Bay, China, which uses both solar and hydroelectric power and is said to employ production techniques that reduce emissions, such as low-carbon aluminium for smelting. 

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Fredrika Klarén, Polestar's head of sustainability, said: “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.”

The firm has published individual CO2 figures for each specification of the 4, with the entry-level standard-range car producing 19.4 tonnes, the long-range car 19.9 tonnes and the top-rung dual-motor car 21.4 tonnes. That makes it more carbon efficient than the Volkswagen ID 3.

It joins the 3 SUV as one of Polestar's bespoke offerings, in contrast to the Volvo-based design roots of its first two models, the 1 and 2.

A focus on maximum range has shaped the design, according to head of Polestar design Maximilian Missoni. This is due to the positioning of the header rail, which most cars have and is sited around the rear roof area to add rigidity and strength to the vehicle’s structure. Notably, it will not come with a rear window.

The rail’s position is pivotal: lower it too much to ensure a slippery vehicle and the rail impedes head room, but keep it high for more interior space and it impacts performance by affecting aerodynamics. 

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Polestar’s solution for the 4, which is based on Volvo/Polestar’s largely aluminium PMA platform, is to both lower the header and move it behind the rear passengers’ heads. Doing so sites the header rail where the rear window would normally be, so a roof-mounted camera now aids rear visibility in lieu of the rear glass. The 4’s drag coefficient is 0.269. The Tesla Model S’s, for comparison, is 0.208. 

Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath, formerly design head at Volvo, has been an influencing factor in how the 4 looks. Ingenlath joked that more conservative car makers would still be gauging reaction to the idea at customer clinics. “You are not a design leader if you have to go out and clinic,” he said. 

Polestar’s designers say the 4’s interior has been inspired by fashionwear. The materials used are typically modern in feel but minimalist in design. Aside from one rotary knob on the centre console, there are no separate buttons for the climate or infotainment. It’s all touchscreen. Missoni said he thinks it’s more usable.

The rear cabin, which has a backlit panel stretching behind the seats, is “a modern elegant cabin with a button-free layout”, according to Missoni. The rear-view mirror can be flicked from camera screen to mirror so drivers can check on rear-seat occupants. 

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First ride: new 2023 Polestar 4

Polestar has only a few models but the naming structure already needs some explaining. The 1 was its first model, a performance coupé, and the 2 is a smaller crossover. The 3 is a large premium SUV and the 4 is smaller than the 3, but bigger than the 2. Then the 5 is a saloon and the 6 is a sports car. All clear?

The 4 is tipped to be the brand’s biggest seller, with company CEO Thomas Ingenlath expecting it to take top honours when the firm is selling 155,000-165,000 cars per year by 2025. It’ll be built in both China and Korea and, intriguingly, cars for the Chinese market will get an entirely different operating system, so bespoke are the market’s requirements.

We’re in the front seat for a short ride around Santa Monica and up front the 4 feels like a bigger 2, the interior wrapped around the driver for a sporty feel.

It’s a different story in the back, where Polestar has ditched a rear windscreen entirely in favour of a rearview camera as it believes the lack of a screen allows for better seating positions and more space for rear passengers. It does: the car feels far more spacious in the back than it might otherwise.

Although the 4 arrives at a similar time to the 3, the two models are very different in their feel, positioning and execution. While the 3 is based on a Volvo platform, the 4 uses a Geely one, which naturally causes divergence anyway.

It feels modern and elegant inside, and while there’s no rear screen, there’s a large panoramic roof that makes the cabin feel bright and spacious. Whereas the touchscreen in the 3 is portrait, it's landscape in the 4. 

The 4 is rear-wheel drive as standard and offers a twin-motor version for four-wheel drive and then a Performance version on top of that gets upgraded brakes, wheels and tyres as well as a different tune for the steel suspension (there’s no air suspension offered on the 4) and steering.

We ride in a dual-motor version that feels firm, but suspension settings can be changed on the touchscreen rather than having to get your spanners out as with the 2…

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There is still plenty of software tuning to be done but the car is actually going into production as soon as next week in China. The 4 feels like it has far more in common with the 2 than the 3 but all share a firmness to the ride that’s becoming a Polestar trait.

Ride impressions by Mark Tisshaw

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes. 

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Add a comment…
lukeski 31 January 2024

Brilliant now we can't see out of the back window,(that won't feel claustrophobic in the back seats), and the car is less slippery than a 1990s Vauxhall Calibra.

catnip 31 January 2024

Not having a rear window is a stupid idea. Its already apparent that tiny glass areas, dark tinted windows just isolate drivers more and more from their surroundings, with resulting lack of awareness and consideration for anything outside that metal box.

xxxx 30 January 2024

Swedish firm, still toeing the line Autocar.  Polestar is owned by Geely, Chinese, and does not make Any cars in Sweden.

Andrew1 31 January 2024

Lol. It is public company headquartered in Sweden.

Much like JLR, a subsidiary of Tata Motors, Indian, is headquartered in England. Oh, And assembles cars in the EU and the UK.

It's irrelevant that it's doesn't assemble in Sweden. Apple doesn't make anything in the US yet it is an American public company.

Also the obsession with "making" cars in one place or another is a reminiscent of a long gone era. You must be quite old and can't get up to speed with how modern industry works. Cars are made all over the place and assembled in one final location.

Brexiteers - always entertaining.

mrking 31 January 2024

Well said, as you put it, Brexiteers - always entertaining. I'd add "often deluded" onto the end!

Chinese made Tesla's are worth more 2nd hand than US made ones because they are better built and have less faults.

I'm interested in how Polestar fare, in the next year or two there's going to be big winners and big losers in the shift to EV and Polestar will be a fascinating watch.