Polestar 4 manages to split the Internet with one innovative and possibly very iffy idea

The attractive, white, all-electric 4-door coupe sat hidden under shimmering gold fabric for most of Wednesday morning at the New York International Auto Show before Polestar revealed its new 4-door EV, the Polestar 4, and presented an innovation conundrum: does a car need a rear window?

This was Polestar’s big innovation for its new EV: removing the rear window and instead placing an HD screen camera on the spoiler and projecting that image on the interior rear-view “mirror”. Of course, that mirror is now a display.

“It’s not just for the cool looks and the design of it,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath in his presentation, “it actually has an incredible functional benefit.”

Polestar 4

Polestar 4 under fabric (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Ingenlath explained that, unlike roomier SUVs, a coupe like the Polestar 4 would naturally have a lower roof and move the center construction beam over the heads of the rear passengers. The space back there can only be narrowed so much because you need a clear line of sight from the rearview mirror to the rear window. However, when you remove the rear window, it lets you move the beam back while giving your passengers more headroom.

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Converting the rear-view mirror into a display offers another benefit. Instead of looking at a mirror and seeing your car interior with a relatively small portal to the outside world in the middle of it, the entire display shows only what’s going on behind your car.

Polestar 4

Polestar 4 rear camera (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

It’s not a crazy idea and not even that new. Years ago, I sat in a concept car with a rearview mirror that could switch between a traditional mirror and a video feed from one of the car’s many cameras.

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