Polestar is delivering a not-so-subtle snub to Mercedes' subscription performance upgrade. The automaker has released an update that gives the Polestar 2's long range dual motor variant a 68HP power boost (plus 15lb. ft. of torque) in the US and Canada for a one-time $1,195 fee. That's far from a trivial expense, but it's a decidedly better value than Merc's $1,200 annual fee for EQS and EQE acceleration improvements.
The software tuning gives the Polestar 2 a total 476HP with 502lb. ft. of torque. That's enough to cut the 0-60MPH time to 4.2 seconds (normally 4.5), and it shaves half a second off the 50-70MPH dash (now 2.2 seconds). Polestar says you'll mainly notice the added grunt in the 44MPH to 80MPH range, so this update may be most helpful when you're overtaking someone on the highway.
You can buy the update through the Polestar web shop, and it will apply over the air. It's included with a new vehicle if you opt for the $5,000 Performance pack. You won't have to visit a store, then. There's no word of a comparable upgrade for the single motor Polestar 2 variant, or availability in other regions.
The patch won't suddenly give the Polestar 2 an edge over the Model 3 Performance (0-60 in 3.3 seconds) or other particularly quick EVs. And while this is a one-off purchase, you're still paying for something your car could technically handle before — it just wasn't available when the sedan was new. You're ultimately compensating Polestar for development time, not components, and this won't be thrilling if you preferred the days when paid upgrades were directly connected to better hardware.
This does make the Polestar 2 easier to justify if you crave speed, though. And importantly, you won't have to buy the extremely rare BST edition 270 just to get additional output. While you won't get as many track-ready features, you also won't have to receive an invitation (or, more likely, buy a used model at a premium) to get behind the wheel.