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Straight line performance is immense. 0-60 mph comes in 3.0 seconds, a tenth of a second slower than the coupe, while the top speed remains 217 mph. The acceleration takes you like the double-handed grip of a particularly insistent deity and resolutely presses your body into the leather and Alcantara trimmed sports seats, as though it’s trying to mold them a new layer of human hide.

There is one very good reason why you should walk straight to the roofless Aventador S when you enter the Lamborghini dealership, of course, and that’s the soundtrack. In a world where ridiculous horsepower is being wrung from ever-smaller, turbocharged and supercharged engines, Lamborghini’s naturally-aspirated V12 is looking more and more rare. With those bragging rights come the sort of mechanical music that haunts your dreams.

It’s a howl, and a roar, and a ragged-edged bellow, and a chorus of trumpets and horns, hammering your senses from what feels like all directions. Windows down, roof off – its twin pieces stowed in the front trunk, and filling it completely – and the tiny rear glass lowered, there’s little to stop the siren song of the Aventador S’s 6.5-liters from making their glorious presence known. There’s a reverberation that comes along with it, a body-shuddering thrum that never allows you to forget that there’s 730 horsepower and 509 lb-ft. of torque happening right behind you.

Not that there’s much chance of you overlooking it. Lamborghini wisely directs that surfeit of power down to the road via all four wheels, each equipped with pushrod-activated springs and magneto-rhelogical dampers. Electrochemical trickery allows them to adjust their firmness in milliseconds, responding to the road conditions and how foolishly you’re driving.

$460,247 doesn’t buy you perfection, you see. Cabin visibility is so scant as to give you palpitations if there’s a curb within six feet, and the infotainment system has a screen and interface that could learn a trick or three from what’s recent by stablemates Porsche and Audi. Given sufficient time I suspect I’d have got to grips with the smattering of controls and their confusing layout, though I don’t know if I’d forgive the plastic buttons.

In the tighter turns of the Santa Monica Mountains, meanwhile, the size of the Aventador S makes itself known. Close canyon walls aren’t exactly conducive to relaxation when you’re driving a half-million-dollar supercar only a couple inches narrower than a Hummer H1. Thankfully I was too busy wrestling the transmission to focus too much on the potential for scratching paint.

The 7-speed single-clutch automated-manual transmission proved frustratingly slow to downshift when left to its own devices in the more aggressive corners. Happily the lengthy paddle shifters make it far easier to handle the gearshifts yourself; even when you’re also trying to concentrate on hairpin turns, the engine’s sky-high 8,500 rpm redline gives you plenty of headroom for those late upshifts. Alternatively it’s an invitation to let the V12 sing.

Whether auto or manual, the transmission has an action like a Vulcan cannon, slamming the next ratio into place with a distinctly mechanical sound. Lamborghini says shifts take place in 50 milliseconds, and you’ll hear and feel every one of them.

All this bombast, you see, is by design. If you want modernity and scalpel precision with the Lamborghini badge on the snout, a 2023 Huracan Performante is about as fast, far easier to hustle around a tight track, and considerably cheaper to boot. You can even get a Spyder drop-top version of it now, too.

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2014 Kia Sorento And Forte First Drive

2014 KIA Sorento and Forte First Drive

To kick off 2013 Kia Motors has already hit the ground running announcing three new vehicles to grip and rip the road. Those being the all new 2014 KIA Optima and Forte back at the LA Auto Show, followed by the new Forenza in Detroit. While they have plenty more to come this year, today SlashGear will be enjoying an exclusive first hand look (and test drive) with the first two. Today we’re proud to bring you live coverage from the Kia First Drive event in Scottsdale, AZ, for the all new Sorento and Forte.

Kia has been on the forefront of design and elegance ever since they launched their extremely popular and redesigned Optima, and you can’t forget the unique yet edgy Kia Soul (see our review) and now we’re getting a look at their newest offerings. The all new just announced vehicles mentioned above have been completely redesigned for the new year, and we’ll be getting up close and personal with both. Today SlashGear will be taking part in the official Kia First Drive for these vehicles. Be sure to check back later today for our hands-on coverage while we take both rides for a spin through the desert and red rock mountains of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Now the Kia Sorento might not look new at first glance, but for 2014 they’ve redesigned the front and rear facia, and then the important parts come under the skin and hood. The interior has been completely redesigned with Kia stating over 80% has been changed, tweaked, redesigned, or improved. Add in plenty of luxury amenities, a new 7-inch TFT gauge cluster, followed by their awesome 8-inch UVO infotainment system they’ve really set the bar. Being tech lovers here at SlashGear we’ll be sure to get up close with their new 8-inch UVO entertainment system, complete with Google Maps, and much much more.

You can see more from our announcement posts from earlier this year, but the new V6 offering, not to mention AWD options and more, KIA has really improved their offering for 2014 – so stay tuned after we take a quick drive with this baby today.

Then we have the Kia Forte. With a radical new look, edgy yet aerodynamic lines, and a smooth Sedan design the Kia Forte for 2014 looks to take on the road full stride. Kia aimed to make this the best option available in its segment, while being elegant and sporty, and with the Forte they certainly deliver just that. With a new 2.0 4-cylinder engine pushing 173 horsepower and all the features and UVO infotainment that’s kept KIA users happy over the past year, the all new Kia Forte looks pretty impressive. We’ll be giving both of these vehicles a nice test drive and checking out the fresh interior later today.

Stay tuned right here to SlashGear for all of our live coverage, additional details, tons of pictures and much much more.

2024 Acura Tlx First Drive

2024 Acura TLX First Drive – Focus Matters

Throwing development cash at a shrinking segment, with the hope of persuading badge-obsessed drivers to rethink their brand loyalties, sounds like a fool’s errand, but Acura has plotted a surprisingly sensible course with the new 2023 TLX. True, sedans may now comprise less than 38-percent of new premium vehicle sales in the US, but that’s still a sizable group of potential customers. Offer them something stylish, affordable, and rewarding from behind the wheel, and you could have a hit on your hands.

Acura has taken no chances getting the new TLX’s styling pitch-perfect. The sedan gets an exclusive platform, adds 2-inches in length compared to the outgoing car, and extends the wheelbase by 3.7-inches. It’s lower, the track is wider, and most notably the hood is longer with more distance between the front axle and the dashboard.

On top of that core silhouette there’s Acura’s detailing, which – until the somewhat exaggerated TLX Type S arrives next Spring – errs just on the right side of restraint. The kinked squiggles of the DRLs, gleaming like the remnants of a midnight light-painting, and their razor-sharp red echos in the tadpole-shaped rear clusters. The A-Spec swaps most of the exterior brightwork for black, most noticeably around the larger, more stylized grille that doesn’t – I’m looking at you, BMW – overpower the front fascia. My one complaint? That glossy panel right in the grille’s center, hiding the front sensors for the adaptive cruise control. Necessary, but not so great to look at.

Pricing kicks off at $37,500 (plus $1,025 destination) for the TLX 2.0T; the Technology package takes that to $41,500, the A-Spec to $44,250, and the Advance package to $46,300. Front-wheel drive comes as standard, while Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is a $2,000 upgrade.

Keeping things simple is the fact that, despite several trims and that sportier-looking A-Spec package, there’s only the one engine for now, and really just one decision to be made about FWD/AWD and one about suspension.

The TLX Advance gets adaptive dampers while the rest have simpler, single-mode amplitude-reactive dampers; all versions have double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear . Finally, there’s a 10-speed automatic transmission, variable gear ratio steering, and an electro-servo brake system derived from that of the NSX.

Acura is exceptionally proud of its SH-AWD system, and so I split my time between the all-wheel drive TLX in Advance and A-Spec forms. There’s good reason for the automaker to crow, too. Now in its fourth generation, SH-AWD is capable of pushing up to 70-percent of the power to the rear when required, and then allocating up to 100-percent of that to either the left or right wheels. Everything is managed automatically – and shaped by the drive mode you’re in – depending on traction and performance demands.

The 2023 TLX’s new engine may be smaller in capacity than its predecessor, but you notice the improvements from the get-go. Peak torque arrives at 1,600 rpm, but more important there’s about 90-percent more low-end torque available than in the old 2.4-liter car. Minimal turbo lag and the AWD’s ability to precisely place power where the TLX can use it best helps combat a tendency toward understeer: better to brake early into the corners and then squirt out of them, than try to carry too much speed through.

The TLX would probably benefit from summer tires on that front, rather than the all-season shoes Acura fits as standard. In part, though, this is just what you get with a front-heavy vehicle. Acura says it nudged the weight balance to 57:43 – an improvement from the 60:40 of the outgoing TLX, that even saw it move the 12V battery from the front to the rear where it nestles inside the optional spare tire – but physics is a callous mistress nonetheless.

That’s not to say it’s a disappointment, nothing of the sort in fact. Recognize the TLX’s tendencies and you can start having fun: the all-season rubber may squeal a little when pushed, but there’s still decent grip, and though I’m not normally a fan of transmissions with so many gears to choose from, Acura’s ability to shift by up to four ratios in one fell swoop at least means you’re not normally left waiting for the automatic to catch up. There are paddles, of course, if you’d rather shift yourself.

As for the steering, Acura’s variable ratio setup escapes the feeling of unpredictability that some rival systems struggle with, and it’s easy to place the TLX whether in tight corners or lanes on the highway. Similarly, though the trick brake-by-wire system may be dialed back from the aggressive settings in the NSX, it’s effective and easy to modulate without being jerky or grabby.

Honestly, I’d expected to be disappointed that Acura saved the adaptive dampers for only the most expensive TLX trim, but I clearly should’ve given the engineers more credit. In fact I prefer the simpler, single-mode dampers in the A-Spec. With their firm ride they aren’t quite as cushy in Normal and Comfort modes as the Advance, but they also escape the occasional floatiness that car’s adaptive system can exhibit when trying to deal with particularly ill-kept asphalt.

In Sport mode, meanwhile, the adaptive dampers are firmer than their single-setting cousins, but it leaves the TLX feeling a little too firm. The TLX isn’t easily unsettled, but you’ll definitely feel the bumps.

Inside, Acura’s cabin is generally a great place to be. I’ve bemoaned the brand’s obsession with over-designed and excessive plastic trim before, and the new TLX goes a long way to addressing that. The dashboard is still fairly busy to the eye, but the materials have taken a noticeable step up in quality. For the most part, what you see is what you touch: the wood is real open-pore wood; the metal is proper metal. There are still a lot of buttons and knobs, but at least they feel sturdy and premium.

I’m a big fan of the TLX’s front seats, which are not only nicely padded but well spaced thanks to the car’s extra width. Acura says it focused on the driver’s positioning, and that pays dividends with visibility, but the front passenger gets the automaker’s clever new “face-hugger” airbag. The rear feels a little more snug, and 13.5 cu-ft of trunk space isn’t vast; Acura figures that those looking for maximum practicality will continue down the dealership aisles and pick out an SUV instead.

A 10.2-inch Full HD display perches atop the dashboard, but don’t bother reaching for it. As in the RDX, Acura’s True Touchpad Interface puts a trackpad in the center tunnel, the position of icons on-screen mapped to points on its surface. It takes a little getting used to – my inclination is always to touch-and-swipe, which often just confuses things – but Acura says its research shows drivers end up less distracted and keep their eyes on the road more consistently. It also moved the power/volume and track controls down to the side of the touchpad, where they more readily fall to hand.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – both wired, not wireless – are standard, as is WiFi and support for OTA updates. The top-spec ELS Studio 3D Premium Audio system is, as I’ve written before, worthy of vehicles several multiples of the TLX’s price tag. Higher trim cars get LED color lighting, with three themes linked to the drive modes, and 24 owner-selectable themes apparently inspired by the favored routes of Acura team-members. A sizable 10.5-inch head-up display arrives on the Advance trim.

All in all, the walkaway feeling about the new TLX is promise. The outgoing TLX may be showing its age, but it still outsells Audi’s A4, Infinity’s Q50, Volvo’s S60, Lexus’ IS, Genesis’ G70, and Alfa Romeo’s Giulia. This new version, larger and better-equipped, improves on its predecessor in basically every way, and suddenly Acura’s goal of grabbing sales among people who might otherwise look to a similarly-priced Audi A4, Mercedes C300, or even a BMW 530i xDrive doesn’t seem as ridiculous as it might first sound.

What’s abundantly clear is that Acura has built a platform that’s more than ready for a performance upgrade. The TLX Type S will deliver on that, with a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. That should get 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, uprated Brembo brakes for the 20-inch wheels, and special adaptive suspension tuning.

2024 Infiniti Qx60 First Drive

2024 Infiniti QX60 First Drive

On that last point, the Infiniti QX60 has to be commended, as almost every single one of its buyers to date has been new to the brand. It’s an important role for the crossover and yet not a surprising one, given that the siblings book-ending it price-wise in the Infiniti catalogue have both proven to be fairly niche players. For most shoppers, the QX60 is undoubtedly the only crossover from the automaker whose mission is broad enough to encompass a wide swathe of lifestyles.

Enumerating the Infiniti’s charms requires no special calculus. It’s easy to understand the appeal of a comfortable, three-row ride that can transport as many as seven passengers for a starting window sticker of less than $43,000. This is especially true when you consider that it’s one of the few vehicles on the market at any price that allows for easy access to the rearmost accommodations with a child seat installed in the middle, making it much simpler for parents to load and unload from either side. The bench can slide and tilt as needed with no requirement to dismount the already-buckled booster.

As an aside, yes, you can still purchase the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid, only you’ll have to make a concerted effort to do so. After a decent start, Hybrid sales dwindled to a mere one percent of all models leaving the factory, despite it offering a five mile per gallon improvement over the base model in stop and go driving. Its unique battery-assisted supercharged, four-cylinder drivetrain is good for 250 horsepower, but if you want it it’s special order only from now on.

Aside from the cosmetics – a revised front fascia aligns the QX60 more strongly with the rest of its Infiniti brethren, a few new colors join the order sheet, and there’s additional exterior LED lighting – the rest of the updates made to the crossover are much more subtle. Inside the design team has swapped in a new gear selector that’s intended to standardize the look and feel of this component for all Infiniti models, and while it certainly looks good in the also-updated Q50 sedan, in the larger crossover it feels a little less substantial than what I would prefer.

Mechanically, there are also new shocks and springs at each corner, along with a re-tuned suspension that feels very similar to last year’s chassis, if somewhat more planted. The ride is quieter thanks to additional laminated glass keeping the noise of the outside world at bay and greater vibration absorption from new engine mounts, and the electric power steering system has also been given the once-over to improve its responsiveness.

Out on the road the 2024 Infiniti QX60 serves as a luxury bubble in which you and your brood can peacefully travel from A to B. The gearbox is essentially transparent in operation with none of the wind-out sometimes experienced in CVT designs, making it a pleasant companion in daily driving, and the vehicle’s plus-size dimensions really only make themselves apparent when attempting to squeeze into a tight parking spot. The QX60 is less overwhelming to access and operate when compared to several of its immediate competitors, in particular the more expensive GMC Yukon Denali, and it still delivers adult-friendly third-row space if required.

The 2024 Infiniti QX60 is the most conventional crossover you can buy from the premium brand, and those seeking a dependable and useful three-row family vehicle are better for it. There are no surprises regardless of where you happen to be sitting inside the hauler – it simply delivers the comfort, safety, and practicality one would expect from its size. Although at times overshadowed by the class-leading Acura MDX, the QX60 is worth more than a passing glance when in the market for a premium MPV.

2024 Honda Accord First Drive

2024 Honda Accord First Drive – Coupe, Sedan, and Sport

Scale is important, and so when it came to refreshing the best-selling 2024 Accord, it’s no surprise that Honda took no chances. Volume seller in the company’s line-up, both the sedan and the coupe body-styles needed bringing up to speed with the latest technology like Android Auto and CarPlay, but with minimal damage to the sticker price along the way. Refinement on a budget isn’t easy, so the question remains: does Honda still make the car for the everyman?

Honda sells more Accord cars than any other model in its line-up, which means changes don’t get rushed into. For 2024, that means building on the more comprehensive redesign of 2013’s 9th-gen car, with a focus on technology, safety, and ride.

That’s not to say there haven’t been some exterior changes, too. Both the coupe and the sedan get a new front-end, a little more aggressive than the old design, and there’s greater use of LED lighting, too. There are new side sills and a rear deck spoiler on the sedan in Sport and Touring trim, and the wheels are all new.

They’re bigger, too, in many cases. The EX and EX-L coupe gets 18-inch wheels as standard now, rather than 17-inch, and for the first time on the Accord there are 19-inch alloys for the Sport and Touring sedan, also paired with larger front brakes.

The result is a handsome car, though still fairly conservative. None of the swoops of the Mazda6, for instance; just some solid proportions lifted with better use of chrome work, more distinctive lights, and a bolder grille. The vents in the lower fascia have been reworked, too, and look all the better for it.

Under the metal there’ve been changes as well. Most models get new, high-performance dampers, while the Touring packs new amplitude reactive dampers and hydraulic rear subframe bushings. All have new stiffeners, a thicker front shock tower bar, and a sturdier rear bulkhead.

The result is a smooth, compliant ride, that proved easy-going even on run down road surfaces. Opting for the style of the 19-inch wheels does have a minor impact there, though I’m a sucker for how they fill the Accord’s arches.

Honda hasn’t changed its engine choices, so there’s either a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6, which are variously paired with a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic, or a CVT depending on model.

Unsurprisingly the 4-cylinder is the volume-seller, and so thankfully it’s a reassuring engine. 185 HP and 181 lb-ft of torque – bumped, unnoticeably, to 189 HP and 182 lb-ft in the Sport sedan, thanks to a high-flow exhaust system – are the same as the old car, but Honda’s expecting a 1 mpg jump for the CVT model, to 37 mpg on the highway, thanks to factors like a new aluminum hood and other tweaks.

If you go for the 4-cylinder, your choices are the manual or the CVT. The former isn’t a bad gearbox but, even when your steed is wearing a Sport badge on the trunk, it won’t be mistaken for a Miata transmission. Arguably the target audience will be more interested in the easy-going clutch, though.

More relaxing, however, is the CVT. Untamed, continuously variable transmissions have a tendency to leave you wishing for power when you jab the accelerator, and droning unpleasantly when cruising.

Happily Honda has curtailed most of the bad behavior, with the transmission mimicking traditional gear changes and doing a solid job of delivering overtaking power when you want it. Make no mistake, though, this isn’t a sporting experience.

If that makes it sound like not much of a driver’s car, that’s no accident. The 2024 Accord sedan is a thoroughly dependable, reliable beast, and for the person who wants reassurance not an edge-of-their-seat experience. In the coupe, the V6 puts its power down with more eagerness, and some of the body roll of the outgoing model has been finessed out in this 2024 revamp.

Honda Sensing, the company’s umbrella term for its safety and driver-assist technology, can now be added as an option to any 2024 Accord, and comes as standard on the top-spec Touring.

Effectively the same suite of gadgetry and aids as we saw branded AcuraWatch on the ILX recently, it includes collision-mitigation braking and forward collision warning, lane-departure warnings and lane-keep assist, road departure mitigation, and finally adaptive cruise control. As standard, every 2024 Accord gets a rearview camera, while the Touring gets parking sensors front and rear.

For the most part, the safety gadgetry sits quietly in the background, at least until it’s needed. New to the Accord for 2024 is Straight Driving Assist, for instance, which monitors the little corrections you have to do to keep in a straight line when the cruise control is doing its thing, and then tries to generate those adjustments automatically.

More noticeable is LaneWatch, standard on the EX, EX-L, and Touring. That puts a camera in the offside mirror, delivering an 80-degree view of the blindspot to the dashboard display whenever you indicate right. It’s something I appreciated on the Fit and the HR-V, and now the camera boots up quicker which makes it more useful again.

Inside, the sturdy and well-constructed interior of the 2013 car gets a polish, with a choice of new wood, piano black, or carbon fiber trim to the dashboard. SiriusXM is now standard on the EX and above, as is HD Radio, while the EX coupe gets 8-way power adjustment and the EX-L and Touring coupe throw in seat-memory.

In the rear, the Touring sedan gets heated seats, while every sedan from Sport up gets a 60/40 split. Total trunk volume is 15.8 cubic feet in the sedan and 13.7 in the coupe. LX and EX trim get cloth seats, the Sport gets fabric and leatherette, and the EX-L and Touring upgrade to real leather.

For me, the most interesting addition is CarPlay and Android Auto, however. True, the Accord isn’t the first car to embrace both Apple and Google’s smartphone-connected infotainment platforms – Hyundai got there first – but its sales scale should make for a big splash for the two systems.

On so-equipped cars, the 7-inch lower display is the touchscreen interface, while the 7.7-inch upper display is slaved for things like the currently-playing music, and directions from Honda’s own optional navigation system. Connect an iPhone or Android handset, though – there’s a neat little cubby in the center console for them to be tucked away while you’re driving – and a button on the touchscreen offers either CarPlay or Android Auto.

The actual experience of each is exactly as you’d get in other cars, just as you’d expect. Honda has integrated them neatly, mind; get a call while you’re using the Accord’s native infotainment, and CarPlay or Android Auto will temporarily appear so that you can handle it. End the call, and you’re returned to where you were before. Both platforms feed track information to the upper display, too, lending to the feeling of integration.

So far so good, but it’s also where I think Honda has made its biggest goof, mind. The Sport – which, company execs were eager to point out, has been particularly popular among drivers younger than the Accord’s traditional demographic – seems like the obvious place for the latest smartphone connectivity to be included, but it can only be had with a basic audio system.

The Sport sedan, meanwhile, starts at $24,165. If you want a V6, you’re looking at $30,645 for the EX-L with the 6-speed automatic, while the top-spec 3.5L V6 Touring sedan is $34,580.

The 2024 Accord sedan will arrive in showrooms from August 19, while the coupe will follow on come August 26.

Unfair, maybe, but you probably don’t climb into an Accord expecting to be wowed. Not for nothing has it achieved – and held – a reputation for dependability and reliability; those words aren’t entirely incompatible with driving excitement, but they’re fairly unlikely bedfellows all the same.

As for the coupe, though the segment it plays in is sparsely populated, Honda hasn’t phoned in its entrant. There’s still practicality and cruising ability there, but push a little harder and you can find a surprising amount of fun as well.

Packaging arguments aside, it means that while the 2024 Accord may be a purchase you make primarily with your head not your heart, living with it is nothing close to a hair-shirt experience.

2024 Polestar 2 First Drive

What all trims will have is Android Automotive OS at the Polestar 2’s heart. First vehicle to market with Google’s platform, unlike Android Auto – which runs on your smartphone and simply projects its interface to the dashboard display – this new OS variant actually runs on the car’s own systems. It means much tighter integration, not to mention the Google Assistant as your voice interface, and Google Maps for navigation.

It may be Google software, but the aesthetic is all Polestar’s. The graphics err on the side of simplistic: there’s a home screen with four panes of apps organized into categories like navigation and multimedia; big shortcut tabs at the top for the 360-degree camera that makes up for middling rear visibility, the vehicle settings, and user-profiles; and persistent icons at the bottom for the climate control. The driver’s display is similarly minimal, with a choice of three layouts – including range, speed, and battery info overlaid on a full-screen map – and easy to understand gauges.

You can tap at the touchscreen or use the steering wheel controls, or you can just say “Hey Google.” Pretty much anything you can do on a Google Home smart speaker can be done in the Polestar 2 – including asking general knowledge questions or remotely controlling smart home devices paired with your Google account – but because Android Automotive OS is woven into the car’s systems you can control those by voice as well.

That includes asking about remaining range, adjusting cabin temperature, or requesting charging stations be added to the current route. You can ask Google Maps how much battery you’ll have left by the time you reach your destination, and it’s a dynamic estimate too, changing according to driving style and traffic. The only thing missing is a more conversational style of interaction: you can’t ask a follow-up question without saying “Hey Google” again and, unlike with Mercedes’ latest voice control system, if you say “I’m cold” the Polestar 2 will simply commiserate rather than know to turn the heating up a few degrees.

Android Automotive OS also grants access to the Google Play store, though don’t assume that means anything running on your smartphone will be available for your Polestar. The reality is there’s only a handful of third-party apps, mainly audio-related like Spotify and YouTube Music, at present. If there’s an upside, it’s that the slow pipeline to the dashboard is to maximize in-car usability, like ensuring the controls are easy and safe to use, and that the Assistant can manage everything by voice. I was able to ask for music and the Assistant knew to use Spotify, which was installed on my demo car, streaming it over the embedded 4G LTE connection.

Polestar 2 buyers will get three years of AT&T service included, and that’s not just for apps and traffic data. It’ll also be used to deliver over-the-air (OTA) updates for the car, with Polestar able to tweak everything from infotainment through to motor performance via software changes. That’s something we’ve seen Tesla use to great effect, and Polestar has made sure features like Pilot Assist are also OTS upgrade capable. Google Maps automatically caches navigation data for when you’re outside coverage, meanwhile, and the car has sufficient onboard smarts that the Assistant can keep processing voice commands even without its connection to the cloud.

If Google’s contribution is successful in many ways, it also inevitably brings a question of privacy to the EV. You can, of course, log into the Polestar 2 with your regular Google account; or, you can set up a separate account just for the car. Multiple driver profiles can be saved, for different users. If you’d rather minimize your involvement with the search giant altogether, you can ignore an account completely: then you still get navigation and local-processing for voice control, but you’re only bound by Polestar’s user-agreement not Google’s. You could choose to use your smartphone instead, either via Android Auto or CarPlay, or simply with a Bluetooth connection.

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