Swedish electric performance automaker Polestar made a more powerful version of its electric fastback sedan for the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, which kicks off today, July 8th.
Polestar, which is jointly owned by Volvo and Volvo’s Chinese parent company Geely, has tuned the dual motor configuration to pump out 476 horsepower, compared to 408 horsepower in the production version. By doing this, it hopes that the modified Polestar 2 will be able to finish Goodwood’s hill-climbing race in record time.
The company has also widened the vehicle’s stance by 10 millimeters on both sides and lowered the ride height by 30 mm to improve its handling on the track. And it’s carried over a few features from its first vehicle, the plug-in hybrid Polestar 1, including 9×21-inch wheels, 6-piston Akebono front brakes, and 275/30R21 Pirelli PZero Rosso performance tires.
There have been other modifications as well, including stiffer front and rear springs, upgraded dampers, and a carbon-fiber front suspension strut bar from a Volvo S60. “This car is what happens when we are given freedom to go beyond our limits,” Joakim Rydholm, Polestar’s chief chassis engineer, said in a statement.
Polestar cites the company’s CEO, Thomas Ingenlath, as the impetus behind the experimental EV. Ingenlath, who for several months has been driving another experimental version of the Polestar 2 nicknamed “Beast,” said he directed the engineering team to “play with Polestar 2 and come up with something that makes a strong statement for Goodwood.”
Polestar isn’t the first EV company to aspire to win the Goodwood Festival. The current record holder is Romain Dumas, who broke a 20-year-record in 2019 while driving a Volkswagen ID R electric racecar. (The festival was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.) Dumas also holds the electric vehicle record at Germany’s famous Nürburgring, as well as the fastest run up Pikes Peak in Colorado.
But if Polestar wants to take the crown from the ID R, which was built explicitly to tackle these hill-climbing contests, Polestar will certainly have its work cut out for it.
There will be plenty of electric competitors this year as well. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 will be represented, and Ford CEO Jim Farley plans on driving the race himself from behind the wheel of a Mustang Mach-E GT Performance.