Like the Tesla Model 3 before it, the Polestar 2 is capable of over-the-air updates thanks to its always-online Google-developed in-car operating system, and an ability to even change driving characteristics by reaching deeper into the car’s hardware, but so far buyers have been left with one major omission – Apple CarPlay.
While the car’s operating system offers you a limited choice of Android-based apps to pick from, and integrated Google Maps with a charging station search function, more can be gained for Apple users with CarPlay thanks to features like Siri, as well as the ability to use bespoke podcast, multimedia, and navigation software.
Read more about the Polestar 2
At the launch of the Polestar 2, the brand confirmed that CarPlay would be added in a future over-the-air update, and has now locked the feature in for an update slated for Q3 – just before the arrival of the updated 2023 model slated for November. The implementation of Apple CarPlay is understood to be wired only initially via one of the car’s USB-C ports. It is unclear at this stage if Android Auto mirroring will be added, although it seems redundant as users are able to log into their Google account in the operating system.
There’s plenty more though. In Europe, the Polestar 2 has been available with a downloadable software-based performance upgrade for the top-spec dual-motor variant, which unlocks a further 50kW and 20Nm from the drivetrain (for a total of 350kW/680Nm) since late November last year. The performance upgrade costs around €1000 overseas (currently $A1523 – local pricing is TBA) varying slightly on a per-country basis and will cut the 0-100km/h sprint time for the Long-Range Dual Motor from 4.7 seconds to 4.4 seconds.
CarsGuide understands the performance upgrade software will be available in Australia after some delay later this month.
So far Polestar has added an average of one software upgrade every seven weeks since the Polestar 2 launched, adding an internet browser, media player, an upgraded route-planner suite, and the latest version of the Android Automotive operating system. It is also periodically rolling out bug fixes and drivetrain refinements which include alterations to the accelerator response and regenerative braking, as well as enhancements to the climate suite.
The brand’s representatives also explained there are future updates in the works which will include tweaks to the autonomous cruise control and lane keep features to further optimise them.
Like Volkswagen, Polestar earmarks future paid software upgrades like the performance upgrade as a major part of its revenue model going forward which many brands are hoping will bridge the revenue gap lost from electric vehicles requiring less servicing. The Polestar 2, for example, only needs to be serviced once every two years or 30,000km, and is currently complementary for the first two visits.