The Polestar 4 Is Decent. Regretfully, The Zeekr 001 Is Superior

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By Car Brand Experts

The embargo on driving impressions for the Polestar 4 has been lifted, and generally, most are delving into what this rear windowless four-door crossover has to offer. It’s stylish, fun to drive, and fairly reasonably priced. Admittedly, the absence of a rear window isn’t everyone’s preference (certainly not mine). Nonetheless, the strong performance of the Polestar showcases that its Geely SEA-based origins provide a solid foundation for the future development of any Geely, Zeekr, Polestar, Volvo, Lotus, or any other brand utilizing this platform.

During the drive of the Polestar 4 in Spain, a thought crossed my mind: Could this be the ultimate version of this car? On paper and to some extent behind the wheel, it didn’t seem like the pinnacle of the SEA platform that I had experienced. Trust me, I had tested nearly all of them a few weeks earlier on a racetrack in Beijing.

Zeekr Surpasses Polestar in Sales

Both Zeekr and Polestar are electric vehicle brands owned by the Chinese corporation Geely. In 2023, Polestar sold 54,626 units worldwide. In comparison, Zeekr’s global sales for the same period amounted to 118,685 units.

Based on specifications, the Zeekr 001 presents the best value among SEA-based cars. From a dynamic perspective, it comes down to personal preference whether the Zeekr or Polestar is the superior vehicle. Technically speaking, the Zeekr 001 stands out as the more advanced choice. It boasts incredibly rigid single-piece chassis components and an 800-volt electrical system that positions it as one of the fastest-charging EVs on the market.

Despite both the Polestar 4 and Zeekr 001 being manufactured in the same factory (until Geely’s South Korean facility commences production, which will handle the Polestar 4), the Polestar 4 lacks these enhancements. Adding insult to injury, the Chinese market’s Zeekr 001 is slightly more affordable than the Polestar 4 in the same market. This is a disadvantage for a brand that desperately needs to boost its sales not only in China but globally.

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While assessing the Polestar 4 in Spain, I inquired with Polestar’s CEO, Thomas Ingenlath, about the brand’s intentions to incorporate the upgrades from the enhanced Zeekr 001.

“Certain technological enhancements will be implemented in collaboration….but there exists a significant cultural contrast between the brands,” he remarked. “Indeed, we will collaborate on specific initiatives with [Zeekr], but we won’t undertake every endeavor jointly because it must align with our brand and objectives.” While Ingenlath expressed appreciation for having access to the Geely toolbox, it remains uncertain whether the Polestar 4 will receive updates that could enhance the charging and driving experience.

The Zeekr 001 units sold outside of China are pre-facelift models without the megacast rear end or the 800-volt architecture. If Polestar manages to integrate these upgrades into the 4, it could become the fastest-charging electric crossover available in the United States. The updated Zeekr 001 can achieve a 10-80% charge in under 12 minutes, reaching speeds of over 500 kW.

One can only hope that Polestar recognizes the potential and delivers an upgraded Polestar 4 with a more robust chassis and remarkable charging capabilities.

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