Polestar’s recently-released line of electric vehicles has helped the brand to position itself as a leader in the EV market. This is largely owed to the company’s relentless R&D process — a wildly involved and meticulous development cycle that sees its cutting-edge electric cars put through a battery of unusual tests in order to account for every possibility while out on the road — no matter the climate or region.
The latest example of this sees the Swedish marque task its chief chassis engineer — rally racer Joakim Rydholm — with turning the Polestar 2 into a hardcore winter ice racer known as the Arctic Circle concept. Based on a Performance Pack-equipped Dual Motor-spec of the Polestar 2 Long Range, the Scandanavian EV has been treated to a slew of major performance upgrades. Harnessing his experience in professional rally competition, Rydholm has bestowed the concept with a ride height that’s been increased by 1.2”, quad-piston Brembo calipers, torsional rigidity-bolstering front and rear strut braces, and three-way performance Öhlins dampers with softer springs that were custom-designed exclusively for the Arctic Circle project in collaboration with the Swedish suspension specialists.
The powertrain at the heart of the concept has also been tweaked for better performance, with the Dual Motor 2 model having its power output increased from 304kW (408hp) and 487ft-lbs of torque to 350kW (469hp) and 502ft-lbs. To help make the most of the concept’s newfound output, Polestar has also bestowed the project with a prototype launch control system that’s been integrated into the car’s steering-wheel-mounted paddles. Making the concept all the more conducive to driving on frozen lakes are four hood-mounted Stedi Quad Pro LED spotlights, a carbon fiber skid plate, and rally-inspired, white and matte gray 19” OZ Racing wheels wrapped in winter tires fitted with 0.16” carbide studs.
By putting the EV through its paces on surfaces with such limited traction, the Gothenburg-based outfit has been able to more efficiently feel out the dynamics of its Polestar 2 model at a markedly slower pace when compared to testing on the tarmac, enabling Polestar to better fine-tune the EV’s performance. Designed as a showpiece with no intentions of ever seeing the light of production, the Polestar 2 Arctic Circle is currently taking part in the Swedish brand’s 15-week winter testing program, which began in December and is scheduled to run through March of 2022.