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I couldn't resist and took an extra long lunch (yay for delegating!) and visited the new PopUp in SF. Writing this now while nominally paying attention in a zoom meeting :D

tl;dr - piictures don't do things justice, both good and bad. Definitely check it out yourself.
For us, the P*2 is just right and just enough space. But I can see how some want more space, like for instance, the Model Y (P*2 and Model 3 are functionally the same size).
The P*2 is legit nicer in and out than anything from Tesla. Think entry level BMW, maybe not quite up to the etron or I-Pace mid-to-top-line trims though.
Android OS works fantastically and sets the standard for car infotainment.

longer, get a beer version:
I first stopped and checked out the Model 3 and Model Y (no test drive; saving that for near the P*2 test). First time I saw the model Y, which is basically an inflated model 3 with some more practical features (hatchback, more charge ports, better closing center console bin, more comfortable rear bench).

The PopUp is on SF's Union Square, in between a Louis Vuitton and an Apple-Store-ified Dyson (the actual Apple Store is on the opposite side of the Square). When you enter they spritz some hand sanitizer for you. The sanitizer is perfumed; I read somewhere Polestar has a trademarked scent and am guessing this is it. This is clearly the brand flavor they're going for. [mrs. polerad really likes the scent fwiw]

The staff are all cheerful and blonde. Not sure if that was a requirement of being hired or purely coincidental. But it does look like someone in HR hired based on "what do Americans think Swedes look like?". The staffers are nice and basically knowledgeable but clearly haven't obsessively read every Polestar-related online article and the whole of the Polestar site (including the P*2 manual) like, um, a friend. They are very eager to help and at least hear out the questions.

I was somehow not the first completely obsessed wacko to show up - two of y'all beat me there! I did have the whole place to myself for the better part of an hour.

First - omfg the Polestar 1. daaaaaamn son. It looks beautiful in pictures and even more so in the metal. First time a car made me feel under-dressed, not because I dress well but more I just didn't care before about checking out 6-fig cars while in jeans and a hoodie. The P*1 looks so good inside and out that I feel like I should try more. From my pics, mrs. polerad's first impression, I quote "that's a f*cking James Bond car." A luxury GT is a permissible 529 expense right? For science.

Now - the P*2. They have a black (void), with barley/leather on 19" wheels.
It looks smaller from the outside than what my memory and infinite YouTube videos suggest.
But then I get in and everything just fits. All the buttons are exactly within easy reach, including the tablet. Ergonomics overall great and better than the Model 3/Y.
Visibility front and side look great. Rear visibility is poor, similar to Model 3/Y.
Seats comfier than the Teslas and I can easily find a good position myself esp with the seat extender. I think the LHD config may work better than RHD because with your right leg extended you steer clear of the center console.
I find the center console not as annoying as I thought it might and now think it works well - the flared edge provides a nice place to rest my arm when managing the touchscreen. The "gear shift" isn't that big after all - just like a 2" nubbin. The cup holder in the arm rest is as useless as expected. Door bins seem big enough for my water bottle.
Interior lighting, particularly the accent lighting, is really nicely done. It feels much brighter inside than the Teslas. The Tesla pano roof has more of a tint to it maybe? Either way, much brighter inside and the Teslas seem like caves in comparison, esp in their black interior trim.

Now Google. This works amazingly well. This is the new standard for automotive infotainment. Navigation seems great and pulls the same view into the driver dash. Very intuitive interface. Voice commands "just work" even when I throw it curve balls with poorly pronounced nonEnglish names of restaurants to navigate to and music to pull up on Spotify.

Speaking of music; as it's just me and the faux-Swedes I blast it, with doors open and closed. I try some heavy bass, some jazz, some rock. Sounds great in all genres. I'm not an Audiophile (TM) but I'm impressed.

Now, the backseat. To get comfortable in the rear, I'd ask the front seat person to raise their seat some. I find the leg space better than the model 3, less spacious than the model Y. Overall fine enough. In both the Model 3 and the P*2 my head comes close to the C-pillar. But then this spot will be occupied usually by a car seat or 5'1" mrs. polerad. Seat itself is better than the Teslas.

But now the real test. I walk over a bulky car seat - as I said I had the whole place to myself.
I put the car seat rear-facing in the rear center seat to maximize the discomfort for the side passengers and the front passengers. And I fit in each remaining spot. Not just fit. I fit well. Front set is perfectly fine and I actually could even push the seat back a bit from my comfortable spot. For the sides, in the model 3, in the same test, on the rear back the side bench bolster was a bit too much so I couldn't get a good position and I felt like there was less width than needed. In the P*2 I'm snug but not uncomfortable. I actually have 1-2" of extra width than I imagined I would.
At first glance the rear bench looked like it would be cramped. But then I tried it out and found it more spacious than expected. There's some TARDIS magic going on here. Or was it something they put in that sanitizer??

Now, trunk. First I check the tow hitch. Looks great. Removable ball as the manual indicated. Semi-electric operation is done well enough.
Trunk at first glance definitely looks small. I'm worried. So I wheel over a 3-piece luggage set like this (again, had the whole place to myself),
I can make the whole thing fit in one layer along the floor. the smallest one was on its side, raising the parcel shelf like 5-10 mm, but still I could close the hatch fine with the parcel shelf basically in place. There was still the side recesses open and also the under floor area, which I would put a small cooler, a couple backpacks or the like. If I really wanted, I'd take out the parcel shelf and layer more things on top of that. Rear visibility was already poor so no need to try to save anything there - it's a hatchback so might as well use it. Again, at first glance looked small. But just enough space for us. TARDIS magic and/or psychedelics in the sanitizer.
The frunk handles the charging cables and maybe a small bag or two. That's about it.

So overall, it's a small car. More S40 than S60. But it is somehow spacious enough for where it needs to be that it's enough for me and my fam. I think if you're going for a maximally practical EV, the model Y is really a good bet. It's got more space in each dimension, more range, etc. The Model 3 interior is similar size to the P*2. Trunk and frunk are bigger but the P*2 hatch is easier to load/unload with. And with Tesla you are paying $50k+ for a $25-30k interior.
The P*2 interior feels like much greater quality. Is it $60k+ quality? certainly more so than the $50k Tesla, but maybe not quite like a $60k ICE Volvo/Audi/BMW/Merc would be. I do prefer the corresponding S60/S90. But for us, I think we're good with it. And it does look more artsy and designer, in a good way.

Other ends:
For actual info on delivery logistics, etc the FauxSwedes have nothing - they just call Mike/Alane like we do.

Re test drives. The press cars that were in NYC are now in Detroit and will be here next week for press drives (apparently in the Santa Cruz mountains so they can really test the handling out!). After that we get it.

So hopefully I got all the interior bits pored over enough for me so in ~1.5 weeks I can focus on how well it rides.
 

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Excellent. How come I trust your opinions more than the other reviewers?

Tardis or not, glad the space works well.

Thanks for the detailed post.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
568


Showing the trunk load test. Parcel shelf fits just over this (with some vertical space over the flat luggage) and hatch closes fine.
 

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BTW, it might have been a deal killer for me if the rear seats didn't fold down. Do they in the Teslas?
 

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BTW, it might have been a deal killer for me if the rear seats didn't fold down. Do they in the Teslas?
The Model 3 rear seats do fold down flat.

The model 3 has a slighter bigger boot and frunk. However the P*2 is a hatchback so a lot easier to load/unload cargo in the boot.

Depends on your needs really. For 95% of family's I'd say the Hatchback is easier to live with over a saloon. However if you really need to pack your cars with as many small bags as possible the the Model 3 is going to be better.
 

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So what's with the tow hitch? You say the ball is removable? So could you just use the receiver part of the hitch for a bicycle rack? I wonder if they can add that feature on after the fact.
 

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So what's with the tow hitch? You say the ball is removable? So could you just use the receiver part of the hitch for a bicycle rack? I wonder if they can add that feature on after the fact.
Yes. It reveals a 1-1/4" receiver to allow mounting of a corresponding bike rack or similar.
The US/Canadian tow hitch apparatus is apparently different from the EU/UK one whose ball isn't removable. [Insert juvenile joke here re Europeans holding onto their balls]
 

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From what I've seen, the cars coming to the U.S. have a 1 1/4" square receptacle into which fits a 2" ball.

Most bike racks I've seen expect a 2" square receptacle.

I'd be hesitant to use this for such a bike rack. It might work, but the tow mechanism fold back when not in use, so there might be unusual stress on that mechanism with a bike rack. Also, if you somehow hit the button with the rack attached, it might not go well.

I realize this is tons of speculation on my part... I'm getting the roof top carrier bars which I hope to put on and off when I need to carry my bikes.
 

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From what I've seen, the cars coming to the U.S. have a 1 1/4" square receptacle into which fits a 2" ball.

Most bike racks I've seen expect a 2" square receptacle.

I'd be hesitant to use this for such a bike rack. It might work, but the tow mechanism fold back when not in use, so there might be unusual stress on that mechanism with a bike rack. Also, if you somehow hit the button with the rack attached, it might not go well.

I realize this is tons of speculation on my part... I'm getting the roof top carrier bars which I hope to put on and off when I need to carry my bikes.
My rack is adjustable for 2" or 1 1/4".

Are you suggesting that all the US cars come with the receiver hitch, or only those ordered with the entire mechanism? I wouldn't worry about stress because the tongue weight of a trailer is a lot more than a few bikes. The retraction button though could definitely prove problematic.

Are the roof bars sold by Polestar/Volvo, or do you have after-market (e.g. Thule/Yakima)? I used to have those until I drove into my garage with the bikes still on the roof :oops:🚴‍♀️
 

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I believe you have to pay for the tow bar attachment and then you get the receiver with the ball insert... So, yeah... from what I know, you have to order the entire mechanism.

You're probably right about the stress and all... but there's a difference between directly applied weight (a force) and force at a distance (which causes moment). I'm not saying it won't work, but I'd be cautious and seek advice from Polestar.
 

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I believe you have to pay for the tow bar attachment and then you get the receiver with the ball insert... So, yeah... from what I know, you have to order the entire mechanism.

You're probably right about the stress and all... but there's a difference between directly applied weight (a force) and force at a distance (which causes moment). I'm not saying it won't work, but I'd be cautious and seek advice from Polestar.
I think you are referring to the weight of the trailer. The tongue weight is the direct downward force (i.e. weight) that a trailer exerts on the trailer hitch. Normally a 2000 lbs trailer will exert no more than 200 lbs of downward force on the tongue.
 

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With pitchers!

This is an interesting write-up. I can see now why they include, and want you to use their ball. The geometry has to be right to keep the trailer from impacting the car. A standard ball would be too low and too close to the car.
 

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I think you are referring to the weight of the trailer. The tongue weight is the direct downward force (i.e. weight) that a trailer exerts on the trailer hitch. Normally a 2000 lbs trailer will exert no more than 200 lbs of downward force on the tongue.
No, no. I understand the difference. When towing, there's the downward force (tongue weight) and longitudinal force (pull weight or towing capacity). With any kind of cantilevered attachment, there's additional moment (or torque) as force applied at a distance has leverage. I'm no towing expert, so anybody's justified in questioning anything I write about it, but I do have a pretty good feel for structural engineering.
 
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No, no. I understand the difference. When towing, there's the downward force (tongue weight) and longitudinal force (pull weight or towing capacity). With any kind of cantilevered attachment, there's additional moment (or torque) as force applied at a distance has leverage. I'm no towing expert, so anybody's justified in questioning anything I write about it, but I do have a pretty good feel for structural engineering.
I think if tongue weight rating is > rack+bikes, then that is sufficient. Or at least my extreme of use case is ~45 kg, which is ~1/2 of the rated tongue weight of 90 kg. So I'm comfortable with that.

FWIW at the SF PopUp I put a fair bit of weight/force down on the ball to test out the tongue weight so to speak. It didn't budge at all with a fair bit of force applied - I'm no body builder but I do believe I was applying effectively equivalent to >30 kg of weight at the ball, maybe more. I did so at least until the kind FauxSwedes seemed to get worried about what unnatural things I was doing. And the thing didn't budge. If anything I had a bit of trouble getting it to retract when pressing the button for it - either the button is a bit too sticky or it's specifically designed to need a bit of oomph to gate things to prevent inadvertent retraction.

Given the rated tongue weight, I should be able to stand on the tow ball without issue. As long as they let me and I'm in the area again, I may or may not pop in to do just that (in a socially-distanced and sanitized manner of course). Luckily I know a good orthopedic surgeon in case things go awry.
 

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Yeah... I bet you're right. I bet a bike rack would be fine. Just don't cross the beams! (I mean... push the button.)
 

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Depends on your needs really. For 95% of family's I'd say the Hatchback is easier to live with over a saloon. However if you really need to pack your cars with as many small bags as possible the the Model 3 is going to be better.
Or, if space and comfort are what you're optimizing for, and the P*2 or TM3 isn't enough, then in the current car industry you're looking at a 'crossover'. The model 3 trunk/frunk space over the P*2 I think is truly marginal functionally.

For EV's we're getting a lot of crossover options with the Model Y, MachE, XC40, ID4, Macan in addition to the even bigger etron, IPace, and modelX (though the IPace front seats and rear bench are similar size to the P*2 I think!).

If what you want is a lower height, more space car, EV or otherwise, you're s.o.l. The i4 will be P*2/TM3 sized. I think I heard of a 5-series EV in the works? Anyone know if Volvo will make an EV V60 or V90? They already announced the EV XC90 is on the way and think the ICE/hybrid V60 and V90 are on the same platform so there's some hope!

But overall sedans are in a death spiral in the car industry, EV or not, so I guess I'm counting my blessing that we have the P*2!
 

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Or, if space and comfort are what you're optimizing for, and the P*2 or TM3 isn't enough, then in the current car industry you're looking at a 'crossover'. The model 3 trunk/frunk space over the P*2 I think is truly marginal functionally.

For EV's we're getting a lot of crossover options with the Model Y, MachE, XC40, ID4, Macan in addition to the even bigger etron, IPace, and modelX (though the IPace front seats and rear bench are similar size to the P*2 I think!).

If what you want is a lower height, more space car, EV or otherwise, you're s.o.l. The i4 will be P*2/TM3 sized. I think I heard of a 5-series EV in the works? Anyone know if Volvo will make an EV V60 or V90? They already announced the EV XC90 is on the way and think the ICE/hybrid V60 and V90 are on the same platform so there's some hope!

But overall sedans are in a death spiral in the car industry, EV or not, so I guess I'm counting my blessing that we have the P*2!
If you need an EV now (my lease is up), at the moment there are precious few options other than the P2. Hyundai/Kia has a pretty nice car, but it's no Polestar.
 

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I also visited the SF pop-up today. The 2 on the floor happens to be the exact config I reserved (Void/Barley/Standard 19” Wheels), so it was great to see it in the metal. Here are a few photos from the visit (they also had a gorgeous Polestar 1 in the space, btw). Happy to answer any questions as best I can. A couple of notes:
  • The pop-up team are regarding this as a “soft opening” as a couple of elements weren’t in place yet, including color and fabric samples, as well as the interactive configuration table. Things should be more fleshed out in a week or two.
  • Demo cars should arrive in about the same timeframe (the pop-up team haven’t driven a Polestar yet), and they’re currently targeting the first week of September for customer test drives.
@polerad an associate mentioned that “a guy came in here with three suitcases” on Day 1 so congratulations, you’re a pop-up legend.

 

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