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Polestar’s new SUV has no back window

<i>Polestar</i><br/>The Polestar 4 takes a major design leap
The Polestar 4 takes a major design leap

By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN

Polestar, the electric vehicle brand spun off from Volvo, just unveiled a new SUV that will be for sale in the United States next year. It finally does away with something that’s become increasingly pointless in new vehicles, anyway: The back window.

The Polestar 4 is a “coupe-shaped” SUV, with a rear roof that slopes down rather than having a flat back end. This has been a trendy vehicle style for years now, with many models from brands like BMW, Mercedes and Audi adopting the style. In these models, rear visibility — which is not so great in SUVs, anyway — is particularly poor through the shallow slant of the back glass.

But that’s not generally a big problem these days. Since 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has required all vehicles to have back-up cameras that come on whenever the vehicle is in reverse. These cameras provide a better view than one could get using the inside rear view mirror, anyway, especially in an SUV. At any rate, back windows are not expressly required by US auto safety regulations, according to Polestar.

Beside that, many vehicles also have camera-based rear view mirrors inside the cabin instead of just the regular reflecting mirror. These show a view behind the car that’s actually from a camera on the back of the vehicle. That way, the rear view “mirror” always has a clear view, even if there are tall passengers or cargo in the back.

The Polestar 4 has one of the video-based rear view mirrors. Like the video mirrors in other cars, it can also work as a regular reflecting mirror but, since there’s no back window, drivers will just see their backseat passengers when it’s used this way. Polestar notes this is a handy feature for parents during those “Do you want me to turn this car around right now?” moments.

Not having a back window also allows for a better view for backseat occupants, according to Polestar. The Polestar’s 4’s moonroof stretches farther back than it could if there were a back window, giving those in the back a better look at the sky.

The Polestar 4 will go on sale late next year with prices starting at about $60,000.

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