The limited edition Polestar 2 BST 270’s tweaks include adjustable suspension, but what’s it like on road and track?
There was never a plan to produce a performance version of the Polestar 2, but when CEO Thomas Ingenlath asked his team if they could make his company car quicker, it was only a matter of time before it would become a production reality.
That journey started in 2020 when a concept – called the Beast – was shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. A year later a development car ran up the hill at the same event. Now it’s production ready, complete with a name – the BST Edition 270. It costs a touch over $120,000 in Europe where we’re driving it to see just how potent a Polestar 2 can be, but it won’t be coming to Australia.
Based on the dual-motor Polestar 2 with the optional Performance Pack, the BST 270 has the same 78kWh battery positioned between the front and rear axles and a motor on each producing a combined 355kW (up from the standard dual-motor’s 300kW), with torque increasing by 20Nm to 680Nm. It’s a tenth quicker to 100km/h at 4.4 seconds and has the same 204km/h top speed and claimed 462km range.
So where are the performance gains? From the chassis. Employing the services of Ohlins, Polestar has once again asked for something bespoke from the specialist suspension company. In the case of the BST 270, it’s a two-way adjustable damper for the front axle that includes a dual-flow valve allowing for both rebound and compression changes at the twist of a knob.
The target was to improve damper response times, low-speed ride, mid-range compliance and high-speed control. An aluminium strut brace for the front of the car has also been developed and equipped.
The BST sits on 25mm-shorter springs that are also 20 per cent stiffer, and is equipped with new 21-inch wheels fitted with bespoke Pirelli P Zero tyres. Polestar also asked Brembo to design a new braking system that was 20 per cent lighter.
When it comes to the damper adjustments, Polestar’s recommendation for the road is seven clicks of rebound and the same for compression, the settings applied to the rear mono-tube damper by jacking the car up and getting on your hands and knees and doing it manually. To adjust the front, you open the bonnet and turn the easily accessible knobs on the remote reservoirs.
On the road, the BST 270’s body control and ride are improved greatly over the Polestar 2 fitted with the Performance Pack, a car that crashes and thumps across the surface no matter its condition, shattering the calmness of the calming interior. It takes very few kays to appreciate the quieter, more controlled and polished ride of the BST. It’s still caught out by rough edges in the surfaces, but it no longer falls clumsily over them.
As a consequence it flows much better along the road, steering more keenly into corners, and it feels more settled on the apex and more enthusiastic on the exit. It’s no BMW i4 M50, but it’s a more composed car that feels more in tune with the performance its motors have to offer.
Should you (and we doubt many of the BST buyers will) find yourself in a pit lane, the adjustability of the damper settings means that you can dial in and out understeer and oversteer to create a chassis that reacts and suits your style of driving. And while this is a rather strange proposition for a 2.2-ton EV, there’s no denying that the work that has gone into creating the BST is hugely impressive.
You can also adjust the dampers to suit heavy payloads and/or poor road surfaces, of course, although those stiffer springs will always be a factor when it comes to ride comfort.
With only 270 examples of the BST set to be built, you’re as likely to see one on the road in Europe as you are a McLaren Senna. Which makes it not only a curious beast, but a rare one, too.
The Polestar 2 BST Edition 270 will set the company on a path that will result in a high-performance version of every car it creates. This first effort certainly delivers some impressive results, but we’re not convinced the customers will ever experience its potential.