2023 Polestar 2 Bst Edition 41 1668095470

Polestar 2 BST Edition 270 Echoes Polestar’s Past

Before Polestar became Volvo’s all-electric offshoot brand, it was the Swedish automaker’s racing and performance division. Perhaps in an attempt to recapture some of that sporty personality, there’s a new limited-production model: the 2023 Polestar 2 BST Edition 270. Taking the twin-engine Polestar 2 as a starting point, the 270 in the name refers to to the global production run. The BST is a nod to its internal “Beast” development code.

For the starting price of $76,900, the BST is essentially a Polestar 2 with the optional Pilot, Plus and Performance package options. According to Polestar’s online configurator, adding these options to a non-BST model takes the price to $66,400. The BST’s power output of 469 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque is the same as the Performance pack’s, as are the upgraded Brembo brakes. The EV guts are also carryovers, with a lithium-ion battery pack that has a 75.0-kWh usable capacity and DC fast charging up to a 155-kW rate. Range drops slightly, however, down from an EPA-estimated 260 miles to 247 miles.

The BST’s price premium is justified with exclusive add-ons that include 21-inch forged wheels with custom Pirelli P Zeros, a front strut bar, a 1.0-inch lower ride height, painted body cladding and black mirrors. The big news is the inclusion of special Öhlins dampers that are two-way adjustable up front.

To see if those upgrades paid off, we had the opportunity to wring the BST out on the Bay Area’s Skyline Boulevard—an abstract scribble of pavement known for slicing through the redwoods.

Within the first few blocks on the way out of Burlingame, California, it’s clear that the BST’s ride quality is firmer than the standard Polestar 2 with the Performance package. You definitely feel the impact of ruts in the pavement, but only large potholes cause any real harshness. The smaller bumps are adequately smoothed out, thanks mainly to the Öhlins dampers’ dual-flow valve which allows for distinct behavior for low- and high-speed compression events.

This is similar to how progressive springs can add some initial compliance for comfort and stability, while also having greater resistance when cornering hard. The difference is that the Öhlins dampers are more easily adjustable to suit your taste. The coil spring preloads are also manually adjustable with the right tools.

Polestar’s head of product features Christian Samson told us that our BST is set at seven on the adjustment scale of one to 22, with one being the firmest and 22 the softest. That potentially leaves a lot more compliance for everyday comfort and a bit more firmness for a track day, though the 127 mph top speed will limit how much fun you can have on the straightaway.

As we find our way to Skyline Boulevard, the suspension starts to shine. You feel a strong connection to the BST and the Pirellis’ contact patches with every push of the steering wheel, although the steering effort seems too light for spirited driving. In typical EV fashion, having the batteries under the floor masks much of the small hatchback’s C/D-estimated 4700-pound curb weight. It’s easy to acclimate to the BST’s handling characteristics, and in no time we’re pushing harder and harder in each successive turn. However, larger undulations in the road can cause some worrying hops.

2023 polestar 2 bst edition 270

Polestar

There’s plenty of power, and Polestar claims the BST will hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, although past test experience suggests we’ll best that. It doesn’t have the explosive launch of some other high-performance EVs, but it’s more of a canyon carver than a drag racer. In one-pedal driving mode, you’ll rarely need to use the brake pedal, but you’ll need to start slowing down earlier than you normally would to scrape off enough speed. On some of the more challenging hairpins, we hit the brake pedal late and hard, and there’s a good feel through the soles of your shoes. It’s also easy to brake on the threshold before the ABS kicks in, making for smoother trail braking.

The Polestar BST is as entertaining and lively as the BMW i4, and the lack of synthetic car sounds gives it a more zen-like experience. You hear the tires screech and whine in corners when you pull hard on the brakes. They give a very good indication of how much harder you can drive in a delightfully old-school analogue way.

We performed a very subtle four-wheel slide in one turn and were pleased with how intuitive and effortless it was to drive. There were no clipping releases of adhesion, nor was there any need for any rally car history instruments by sawing away at the wheel. Like a gold medal gymnast, it just stuck the landing.

Rain began to fall as we approached the coastline. Despite all the fun we’d had up to that point, the BST was also well mannered on slippery roads. Midcorner bumps were barely acknowledged, and there was still an abundance of grip to keep charging with more aggression than most drivers would consider sensible.

There’s no doubt that the BST is a very different animal compared to the Polestar 2. It’s a tough version for the few willing to sacrifice some comfort for cornering excellence. It’s as good a dance partner as the i4, and its interior is noticeably nicer than that of a Tesla Model 3.

With most EVs taking the SUV route, there are few sporty alternatives that don’t cost as much as a Porsche Taycan or an Audi e-tron GT. Unfortunately, if you’re interested in a new Polestar 2 BST, you’re out of luck, as all 270 examples have been spoken for. And that begs the question of why Polestar greenlit such a limited production run. It seems likely that the BST is testing the waters for a more serious performance EV in the future.

2023 polestar 2 bst edition 270

Polestar

If this is finally realized, we will proceed with nervous anticipation. It’s impressive that the BST can extract so much more handling prowess from the existing Polestar 2 and bodes well for a purpose-built performance model.

Specifications

Specifications

2023 Polestar 2 BST Edition 270
Vehicle type: front and mid-engine, four-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE
Base: $76,900

POWER TRAIN
Front motor: permanent-magnet AC, 235 hp, 251 lb-ft
Rear motor: permanent-magnet AC, 235 hp, 251 lb-ft
Combined power: 469 hp
Combined torque: 502 lb-ft
Battery pack: liquid-cooled lithium ion, 75.0 kWh
On-board charger: 11.0 kW
Peak DC fast charging rate: 155 kW
Transmissions, F/H: direct-drive/direct-drive

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 107.7 inches
Length: 181.3 inches
Width: 73.2 inches
Height: 57.0 inches
Passenger volume: 91 feet3
Cargo volume, F/H: 1/14 ft3
Combat weight (C/D east): 4700 lbs.

PERFORMANCE (C/D IS)
60 mph: 4.0 sec
100 mph: 9.0 sec
1/4-mile: 12.2 sec
Top speed: 127 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 96/98/91 MPGe
Range: 247 miles

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