What’s a clear conscience worth to you? If you avoid single-use plastics or repair aging apparel, you know that doing what feels right for the planet isn’t always easy. Maybe that’s why you’re interested in an electric vehicle, but renouncing fossil fuels is only part of the equation—as indicated by the Polestar 2.
We spoke to Maria Uggla, senior design manager for colors and materials at Polestar, about how this EV’s cabin showcases the brand’s sustainability focus. But your interior ideals might not align with what this electric fastback offers—it certainly sent us to a place of introspection. Perhaps the fact that this interior spurs such inward gazing is reason enough to examine it more closely.
Sustainable to the Core
Zero tailpipe emissions is just the start of Polestar’s planet promise. “Everything we do in terms of materials is focused on sustainability and pushing that forward,” Uggla said. To that end, the 2’s standard interior is entirely vegan and emphasizes the use of recycled materials.
You can’t miss it—few surfaces look or feel like those in traditional luxury cars, which takes some adjustment and acceptance. The primary upholstery on the firm and supportive seats is a nylon textile that’s somewhat rough to the touch. Likewise, the center console and dashboard trims are textured, technical fabrics and plastics. Dials and knobs also have a tactile diamond-cut texture.
A backlit Polestar logo glows from within the center of the rubberized drive selector knob. However, other bits like the door handles, window switches, and steering wheel are exactly what you’d find in a Volvo. They look and feel good, but we’ll be glad if future Polestar vehicles become more distinctive.
A few materials resemble animal-based products. One is the Alcantara flecked onto the seat side bolsters. Another is the steering wheel, which only appears to be leather-wrapped. Its vinyl finish is grained for texture and color, and it has a pleasantly pliable grip.
Everything is sourced from recycled and sustainable sources to the extent possible. “We won’t wait until the next car comes out to find a better solution, but rather constantly and continually make improvements within a car during model year updates,” Uggla said.
Leather to Make a Vegan Proud
Even if improvement is the goal, environmental benignity isn’t necessarily an outcome. Uggla conceded that many of the materials are manufactured. Conversely, the wood and leather are industrial byproducts, even if those industries are fraught. Indeed, such materials are offered as finishes for drivers seeking a more conventionally upscale ambiance.
“Finding a replacement for top-level luxury details is tricky,” said Uggla, who sees future potential for leather in Polestar vehicles. “It’s a byproduct and will continue to be a byproduct. Throwing away those hides wouldn’t make sense.” She reiterated that for as long as Polestar uses leather, it’ll come from suppliers cognizant of reducing environmental impact and treating their stock with the utmost care. “More and more, as we’ve been firm and clear in our stance, suppliers are adapting to work with us,” she said.
Gizmos by Google
As you’d expect from such a modish cabin, technology is a focus. Ahead of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital gauge display, which arranges key data in a clean and uncluttered format. Those points are minimized when the full-screen navigation map view is selected.
Physical buttons are few; we’d prefer knobs for temperature and fan speed. Instead, most functions are contained within the 11.2-inch infotainment touchscreen, which runs a Google-designed, Android-based interface that’s also proliferating across the Volvo lineup. Oddly, Android Auto is not part of the program, and neither is Apple CarPlay. They may eventually be added via over-the-air update, but for the time being we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves not missing them. Google Assistant provides robust voice recognition, and the Play store has downloadable apps to cover entertainment, recharging, or connectivity needs.
Two USB-C ports are equipped in each row of seats, and a wireless charging pad is available. The standard audio system thumps powerfully and avoids distortion.
Not Exactly a Sedan
Don’t be misled by its sedan-esque styling or 15.5-cubic-foot cargo measurement—this vehicle doesn’t have a conventional trunk. Rather, the rear decklid opens up to reveal a hatchback cargo area. A removable cover separates the space from the cabin, and when the rear seats are folded down, there’s enough room for bulky items like a bicycle. Plus, there’s a bit of extra space hidden beneath the cargo floor.
Conversely, there’s not much of a frunk. The enclosure is sized approximately for a briefcase; in our review car it was largely occupied by a Level 2 charge cable.
Form Versus Function
Uggla said her team set out to create a future-forward interior that’s different from the rest. “It doesn’t feel traditional, nor should it be traditional for the sake of it,” she said. “We’re searching for something else: a mix of modern, high-tech innovation. We think through everything.” We only dispute her final point—otherwise, the 2’s cabin would work better.
The slim windows add to concept car appearances outside but create a cramped, enclosed environment inside. That’s especially true in the second row, where, once you’ve squeezed through the slim door aperture, you’ll find little legroom under the shadow of the blocky C-pillar. The rear glass doesn’t fully lower into the door.
Although the cargo area is indeed cavernous, spaces to stash daily carry items in the passenger compartment are small. The ones beneath the infotainment screen, on the sides of the center tunnel, and on the door panels aren’t sized for much more than your smartphone and wallet. There’s a single fixed cupholder, plus another within the tiny bin under the armrest. The battery pack running through the 2’s spine seems to impede larger, more practical storage spaces. Those who carry handbags might run into issues, though the deployable hook in the glovebox door helps.
Inside the Car, Inside Your Head
Here’s where we arrive at introspection: Does any of that matter? Even if the 2’s interior functionality isn’t excellent, ultimately, it works. You might feel slightly confined or have to spend a moment figuring out where to put your things. Yet when weighing Uggla’s efforts to make your stylish surroundings as eco-friendly as can be, such inconveniences seem trivial.
Drivers seeking a traditionally luxurious interior won’t find what they’re looking for in the Polestar 2. However, those who seek the luxury of a clearer conscience just might. For them, the only reason to overlook this EV is to wait for the Polestar 3—Uggla promises that the brand’s first SUV, made in the United States and due to arrive for 2023, will place an even greater emphasis on recycled interior materials.
$2.3 Million in Stolen Cars Discovered at California Weed Growing Operation
2023 Ford F-150 Rattler First Look: Off-Road Goods for Cheap
What If the 2023 Acura Integra Received a Honda Civic Type R-Inspired Makeover?
Why the Awful, No Good Renault Alliance Was Our 1983 Car of the Year
Jeep Concepts for 2022 Easter Jeep Safari Include New Magneto EV, 4xe Plug-In Hybrids
Source: Read Full Article