2025 Polestar 4 Sheds a Vestigial Limb

2025 polestar 4
2025 Polestar 4 Sheds a Vestigial LimbPolestar

In evolution, unnecessary appendages don't just fall off arbitrarily. As a vestige becomes less and less necessary for survival, it'll spend some time shrinking before it eventually disappears for good or becomes something else. Coupe-like SUVs have long sacrificed rear visibility for the sake of aesthetics, and instead of staying that course, the 2025 Polestar 4 is the first fish to take a walk in the sun and do away with the aft glass entirely. And, as we learned from some time with an engineering prototype, you won't miss it.

More Than Just a Missing Piece of Glass

The Polestar 4 isn't as physically imposing as its larger Polestar 3 sibling, which is billed as an electric competitor to the Porsche Cayenne. At 190.6 inches long, the 4 is about a half-foot longer than a Porsche Macan, and the Polestar's standard glass roof sits just over three inches lower than the German's roof does. The Swede's wheelbase is nearly eight inches longer, too, which makes for a vastly airier cabin—further aided by that gigantic glass panel overhead, stretching all the way over the second row.


Polestar offers the 4 in two distinct flavors. The long-range, single-motor configuration relies on a permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor producing 268 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque, which should shove the roughly 5000-pound Polestar to 62 mph in a claimed 7.1 seconds. Those looking for a little extra vim will find it in the dual-motor variant, which increases output to 536 horsepower and 506 pound-feet. In that version, 62 mph arrives much more hastily—in 3.8 seconds, by Polestar's stopwatch.

2025 polestar 4

Regardless of what's providing the motivation, the electricity comes from the same tap. Both Polestar 4 variants rely on a CATL-built lithium-ion battery (of the nickel-manganese-cobalt variety, for the chemistry buffs) with 94.0 kilowatt-hours of usable capacity. Polestar estimates a European WLTP range of 379 miles for the RWD model and 360 miles with AWD. In more star-spangled terms, we'd wager estimates closer to the 300-mile mark when the EPA gets its turn.

On the charging front, the Polestar 4's 400-volt architecture will accept up to 22.0 kilowatts of AC juicin' (enough to go from empty to full in about 5.5 hours on a 16-amp circuit) and up to 200 kilowatts of that DC good-good—provided the fast-charge gods feel like showing up to work at your plug of choice. If they do, Polestar says a charge from 10 to 80 percent should take 30 minutes.

Driving the Polestar 4

While we have had our constructive criticism taken to heart during engineering-prototype drives, it's probably too late to tell Polestar, "Nah, there should really be glass back here." So with an open mind, we hopped behind the wheel of both Polestar 4 iterations—and, turns out, we were too enamored with the 4's test-track manners to even care about the missing glass.

2025 polestar 4

We started in the dual-motor Polestar 4. Like any good performance-oriented EV, the all-wheel-drive 4 absolutely space-shuttles its way forward. Pedal response was good, not delivering everything all at once but not hiding all the beans in the back half of its travel either. Jam on the brakes like you're trying to grind those steel discs into a cloud of dust, and you're met with the opposite of dramatics; there is no squirming under heavy braking, just a whole lot of head-tilting g's.

The steering offers three different levels of artificial heft; we preferred it light, but even when the weight was dialed up, off-center response was quick, and it only required the lightest of touches to adjust the car's position. That may sound like a recipe for a lot of uncomfortable micro-darting on the road, but a quick run on a banked high-speed oval with Joakim Rydholm, Polestar's head of chassis development, proved that the steering shouldn't be twitchy on the highway.

Our AWD prototype was equipped with Polestar's three-mode adaptive dampers; the basic around-town setting does an impressive job of isolating wheel movement over Polestar's test-track adaptations of the world's worst roads. Ruts, potholes, and protruding manhole covers disappeared underfoot with only a hint of noise and jostling, but the ride wasn't so mushy and wallowy you'd confuse it with Grandpa's Lincoln. Moving over to its sportier Firm mode, we found plenty of usable communication between arse and asphalt. It will definitely rustle one's jimmies over bad pavement, but a simple touchscreen press is all it takes to return to the softer side.

2025 polestar 4

From there, we slid over to the single-motor Polestar 4, and unsurprisingly, the overarching vibe remained. Despite being down on power against the dual-motor model, the RWD model still hustles and doesn't feel heavy or overburdened. Even though this car ditches the adaptive dampers, the passive units are still extremely well tuned. There is a bit more bounce over major road undulations, and it's not as cushy overall, but everything is kept in check, and we felt fine whether we were chucking the car around or taking a lazy stroll through the curves.

Earlier in the day, Rydholm took us around a tighter test track in this model, and he spent the whole time drifting the car in lurid slides, so don't assume the single-motor 4 is some party-averse lameoid. It, too, can hang.

Oh, Right, About That Rear Windshield

"Change is painful for people," said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar's CEO, during an interview ahead of the prototype drive. "[Deleting the rear windshield] is not a gimmick—we really believe that this is a great innovation that will drive automotive design and technology forward. I hope we can convince people that it makes a lot of sense."

And the man's right. At no point during our brief prototype foray did we miss the rear glass. Granted, we weren't parallel-parking or weaving through rush-hour traffic, but there were merges on the test track where we had to watch out for other Polestar 4s zipping by, and we had zero issues there. A quick glance at either side mirror—physical side mirrors, not cameras, because Polestar wanted to retain some analog optics—is all we needed.

2025 polestar 4

An increasing number of new cars offer a digital rearview mirror, and the Polestar 4 keeps that going. Its unit carries a feed from a camera mounted atop the roof (a location free of wind vortices that could cover it in schmutz), and the view out back is displayed in a suitably crisp resolution that features a few new tricks to reduce the flicker from LED headlights, which can be extremely distracting on most modern digital mirrors. A switch on the bottom of the unit will revert it to a traditional mirror, should one feel the need to shoot a petulant child in the back seat the ol' stink eye.

Since there's no need to worry about engineering around a piece of rear glass, Polestar was able to set the seats a little farther back, offering an impressive amount of rear legroom, even for a wheelbase of this length. Your author's lanky six-foot Gumby build had no issue getting comfy back there. The rear seats recline for added comfort, but even when upright, there was zero risk of hair contacting anything remotely resembling a roof. Plus, with this newfound real estate, Polestar found a new space to add ambient lighting, bringing cars one step closer to becoming gaming PCs. Those who actually use their trunks will be happy to know that the rear seats still maintain a 60/40 folding split, and the little trim piece that separates cabin from cargo can be removed and stowed under the trunk floor—so you can stink-eye your groceries too.

Down to Brass Tacks

The 2025 Polestar 4 is easily the fledgling brand's most engaging offering to date. While we'll have to wait until later this year to take a deep dive into its impressive telematics and other tech offerings, we can assure you now that the dynamics half of the equation has already been signed, sealed, and delivered with gusto. Perhaps you're not quite ready to embrace a future with less glass in it, but here, too, we promise that it's not the end of the world. In fact, it's the start of an entirely new one. This fish has some real gams.

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