Polestar trims Volvo’s. Polestar used to only tune Volvos. Taking a Volvo and making it better was Polstar’s only real job until it became one of dozens of electric car startups that have burst onto the scene in the past 10 years. Now the company builds exciting electric vehicles under the supervision of parent company Geely and almost parent company Volvo.
But Polestar could not deny its inclinations.
That’s how the Polestar 2 BST edition 2 (a garbled mouthful of a name) was born. A skunkworks project to tune a Polestar 2 by… well, Polestar. The chassis team wanted to make an “extraordinary version of the Christian Samson electric car,” Polestar’s head of product attributes told Ars Technica.
The team lowered the vehicle, put Polestar 1 parts on it and gave Samson the keys in the hope that he could convince CEO Thomas Ingenlath to drive it. The aim was for the manager to see what the chassis team could achieve. Ingenlath liked the car so much that the CEO said they should sell it. Essentially as it is. Samson realized that the ride was too harsh for Polestar customers that the company needed to bring some comfort back to the vehicle.
The result is the Polestar BST edition 270. A limited edition of 270 specially equipped vehicles that realize the chassis team’s dream of track car dynamics while delivering a much more comfortable ride than a real track vehicle. A compromise between the engineers and an excited CEO and Samson.
On Bay Area backroads, the Accord comes together with a vehicle that feels incredibly planted on the road without the jerky steering and suspension of a lowered sports car. While Swedish design is usually subtle, the BST eschews tradition with a large black stripe running the length of the vehicle. On the hood proudly sits a number 2 that bursts outside the margins of the stripe.
Inside, trying to find the limits of the vehicle’s grip on the road is like playing a game of chicken with yourself. The slightest squeal from the tires requires you to go way beyond what you think the vehicle can handle. Even on wet, serious roads, it’s hard to throw the BST off its path. It’s about that comfort. The leveling of the rough pieces is achieved via Öhlins 2-way adjustable damper. With 22 levels of damping, a rider could potentially dial in a teething hard ride, or go the other way and crank it up to 22 to (I presume) feel nothing at all. Polestar set the system to seven.
The dampers counteract the vehicle’s lowered stance. It has been dropped an inch (25 mm) and is fitted with 21-inch black-gloss alloy wheels. Stretched across the room are 245/35 R21 Pirelli P-Zero tires. The rear wheel is actually half an inch wider than the front wheel but the wheel size is the same. The idea is that the added tension will reduce sidewall flex around corners to create a more predictable exit when the vehicle straightens out.
In practice, the special edition Polestar is steadfast in its trajectory. The four-wheel drive electric car gets out of the curves with impressive stability. There is no wiggle, no slide, just a tree-root level of attachment to the planet.
Usually this type of handling is combined with jerky steering and a kidney that comes loose. The dampers take care of your internal organs while the steering actually feels a little too loose. You know you’re stuck on the road, but even at the highest level of steering engagement, feedback feels a little too video game-like. It wasn’t enough to be a deal breaker, because you really don’t want to stop driving this vehicle on any curvy road.
The vehicle has the same 476 hp (355 kW) as the Performance Pack twin-engine Polestar. But going faster in a straight line really isn’t the point; The zero-to-60 wars are over thanks to electric cars. Thanks to the instant torque of the electric motors, it is not very difficult to go straight ahead as fast as possible. There is an electric Kia that can outrun a Lamborghini after all.
You cannot buy the new Polestar 2 BST edition 270. All are sold out. But it shows that the automaker knows what makes a great electric car going forward. It’s an experience that delights the driver by delivering a cornering experience that reminds you that every entry is an opportunity to feel the joy of driving. All you need is the chassis team to woo the CEO.
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