Polestar tunes the Volvos. Polestar used to only tune Volvo. Taking a Volvo and improving it was Polstar’s only real job until it became one of the dozen electric vehicle startups that have exploded onto the scene over the past 10 years. Now the company builds intriguing electric vehicles under the watchful eye of parent company Geely and almost parent company Volvo.
But Polestar could not deny his inclinations.
This is how the Polestar 2 BST Edition 2 (a confusing mouthful of a name) was born. A skunkworks project to fine-tune a Polestar 2 of … well, Polestar. The chassis team wanted to make a “stunning version of the EV Christian Samson,” Polestar’s head of product attributes told Ars Technica.
The team lowered the vehicle, put Polestar 1 parts on it, and handed the keys to Samson hoping he could convince CEO Thomas Ingenlath to drive it. The goal was for the boss to see what the frame team could accomplish. Ingenlath liked the car so much that the CEO said they should have sold it. Essentially the way it is. Samson realized that the ride was too stiff for Polestar customers, the company needed to bring some comfort back to the vehicle.
The result is the Polestar BST 270 edition. A limited run of 270 specially fitted vehicles that fulfills the chassis team’s dream with track vehicle dynamics while offering a much more comfortable ride than a real track vehicle. A compromise between the engineers and an excited CEO and Samson.
On the back roads of the Bay Area, the deal joins a vehicle that looks incredibly planted on the road without the twisted steering and suspension of a lowered sports car. While the Swedish design is typically subtle, the BST eschews tradition with a large black stripe running the full length of the vehicle. On the hood sits a number 2 proudly exploding out of the edge of the strip.
Inside, trying to find the limits of the vehicle’s attachment to the road is like playing a chicken game with yourself. The slightest squeak of the tires requires you to go way beyond what you think the vehicle can handle. Even wet and gravel roads find it difficult to clear BST from its path. It’s about that comfort. Smoothing of rough tips is achieved via Öhlins 2-way adjustable shock absorbers. With 22 levels of damping, a driver could potentially tackle an incredibly tough ride, or go the other way, dialing it up to 22 for (I assume) feeling nothing. Polestar set the system to seven.
The shock absorbers act against the low position of the vehicle. It has been dropped by one inch (25mm) and is fitted with glossy black 21-inch alloy wheels. Stretched out on the rums are Pirelli P-Zero 245/35 R21 tires. The rear wheel is actually half an inch wider than the front one, but the wheel size is the same. The idea is that the extra tension will reduce flank flex around corners to create a more predictable exit as the vehicle straightens.
In practice, the Polestar special edition is firm in its trajectory. The all-wheel drive EV comes out of corners with impressive stability. There are no swings, no slides, just a level of attachment to the tree root planet.
Typically this type of maneuverability is coupled with twisted steering and a stroke that dislodges the kidneys. The shock absorbers take care of your internal organs while the steering actually feels a little too detached. You know you’re stuck on the road, but even at the highest level of steering engagement, the feedback feels a little too video game-like. It wasn’t enough to break a deal, because you don’t really want to stop driving this vehicle on any road with a curve.
The vehicle has the same 476 hp (355 kW) as the Polestar dual-engine Performance Pack. But going faster in a straight line isn’t really the point; wars from zero to 60 are over thanks to electric vehicles. Thanks to the instant torque delivery of the electric motors, moving forward as fast as possible is not that difficult. After all, there is an electric Kia that can outrun a Lamborghini.
It is not possible to buy the new Polestar 2 BST edition 270. They are all sold out. But it shows that the automaker knows what makes a great electric vehicle in the future. It is an experience that delights the driver by offering a cornering experience that reminds you that every ramp is an opportunity to experience the joy of driving. All you need is the chassis team to woo the CEO.