Polestar might not be the first automaker to offer a software-based performance upgrade for its electric vehicles, but the Volvo-owned EV brand's one-time-fee pricing may give it an advantage over rivals that offer subscriptions.
Polestar on Tuesday announced that it will sell a performance upgrade for dual-motor, long-range variants of the Polestar 2 electric car. The boost costs $1,195, with no subscription required to maintain this power bump. The results arrive via over-the-air download, so owners don't have to go to the dealership to have it applied.
Before the upgrade, this variant of Polestar 2 produces 408 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque. The software boosts motor output by 68 hp and 15 lb-ft, to a net 476 hp and 502 lb-ft. This reduces the Polestar 2's 0-to-60 time from 4.5 seconds to 4.2. The upgrade focuses on delivering better midrange power, reducing the car's 50-to-75 time from 2.7 seconds to 2.2.
Getting the upgrade is pretty darn easy, too. Owners of eligible vehicles can go to Polestar's online shop, enter their car's VIN and purchase the upgrade through a web browser. Since it's linked to a car's VIN, there's no chance Polestar will accidentally send the upgrade to some random in Tucumcari.
Polestar's one-time fee structure will likely go over better with owners than what one of its rivals is doing. Mercedes-Benz intends to offer an Acceleration Increase upgrade to owners of its EQE and EQS electric cars, which can drop 0-to-60 times by up to 1 second. However, at $1,200 per year, it's a pretty expensive proposition over the life of the vehicle. According to an Automotive News report, Mercedes will eventually offer the upgrade for a one-time fee, but that price has not yet been set, and it will likely cost more than the annual subscription price.