Polestar’s dynamics team discovers the ‘golden ride’

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As the design of the Polestar 2 electric car is being finalised for production in early 2020, the vehicle dynamics team has indicated that the chassis development work is now in its final stages. As Polestar is a performance electric vehicle brand, the team is focusing on creating a ‘unique driving sensation’ with a fun and engaging experience for drivers.

The dynamics team is finalising testing and development of the 300kW, 660Nm all-wheel-drive platform at Hällered Proving Grounds in Sweden, adding to work conducted at other test facilities in the USA, UK, South Africa, China, Germany, Spain and inside the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden.

“We want to create a car that people will really enjoy driving,” stated Joakim Rydholm, Polestar’s lead chassis engineer and chief test driver. “As with Polestar 1, we have spent time in many different environments around the world with Polestar 2, fine-tuning and testing lots of different chassis attributes – to find what we call ‘the golden ride’. This is the moment when we as chassis engineers find the ultimate configuration, a perfect balance between dampers, brakes, tyres, steering and power delivery that gives us goose bumps.”

The Polestar 2 experience can be raised further with the optional Performance Pack, which offers more focussed driver engagement and enhanced driving dynamics, enabled by hardware upgrades such as large Brembo brakes and adjustable Öhlins dampers.

The Performance Pack boasts larger Brembo brakes

Rydholm is also responsible for developing the chassis for the Polestar 1 model, and he says there are many similarities between the two cars: “These are Polestar cars and they should embody our electric performance philosophy. We develop our own unique driving characteristics, and you can really feel the way the two cars are related.

“Our cars should feel alive and communicative, but balanced and predictable. Suspension tuning is one of the most crucial elements in delivering this sophisticated ride. With our Performance Pack set-up in Polestar 2, we don’t have overcomplicated electronic suspension systems. Instead, we make the smallest adjustments to the Öhlins Dual Flow Valve dampers to find the sweet spot. This really sets the car apart from other electric vehicles,” stated Rydholm.

The dynamics team evaluating dampers for Polestar 2

Rydholm has also been enjoying the travel element of the programme, with each testing environment used in the world allowing him and his team to refine specific elements of the car in different ways. “The car should feel alive when negotiating a South African mountain pass, calm and confident when cruising at speed on a German autobahn. Cool in Death Valley, cosy in the Arctic, and relaxed on a wet country lane in England. As we hone each element along the way, to create that magical Polestar feeling, it gets very exciting. And we don’t stop until we are totally satisfied,” he added.

Rydholm has also earned praise from Polestar management, with CEO Thomas Ingenlath commenting, “If you ask me, Joakim and his chassis development team are the best in the industry. They work tirelessly to make our cars feel ‘Polestar’. I know when I get an excited phone call from one of the development engineers that they have ‘struck gold’.”

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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