Polestar tunes Volvo. Polestar is used for tuning Volvo cars only. Taking and improving a Volvo was Polestar’s only real job until it became one of dozens of electric start-ups that have come on the scene in the past 10 years. Now the company makes interesting electric cars under the direction of parent company Geely and semi-parent Volvo.
But Polestar could not deny her inclinations.
This is how Polestar 2 BST Version 2 (mouth mutilated from the name) was born. Skunkworks project to tuning Polestar 2 by…well, Polestar. The Hulk team wanted to make “an extraordinary version of the EV Christian Samson,” Polestar’s head of product characteristics told Ars Technica.
The team lowered the car, put Polestar 1 parts on it, and handed the keys to Samson in hopes of being able to convince CEO Thomas Ingenlath to drive it. The goal was to get the president to see what the Hulk team could accomplish. Ingenlath enjoyed the car so much that the CEO said they should sell it. Basically as it is. Samson realized the ride was too stiff for Polestar customers, as the company needed to put some comfort back into the car.
The result is a Polestar BST 270 edition. A limited number of 270 custom-fitted vehicles that fulfill the chassis team’s dream of track vehicle dynamics while also providing a more comfortable ride than a real vehicle. A compromise between engineers and a zealous, charismatic CEO.
On the back roads of the Bay Area, the Convention comes with a car that feels incredibly planted on the road without the sports car’s low steering and suspension. While Swedish styling is typically subtle, the BST eschews tradition with a large black stripe that runs the length of the car. On the cap sits proudly number 2 outside the ribbon margins.
Inside, trying to find the boundaries of a car’s association with the road is like playing a game of chicken with yourself. The slightest squeak of tires requires you to exceed what you think the car can handle. Even wet and dangerous roads find it difficult to throw BST off course. It’s about that convenience. Leveling of rough cuts is achieved with Öhlins adjustable bi-directional dampers. With 22 levels of damping, the driver can call a ride really rough, or go the other way, and call him up to 22 (I suppose) he feels nothing at all. Polestar set the system to seven.
The dampers operate against the vehicle’s low position. It was dropped by an inch (25 mm) and equipped with 21-inch gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels. It spanned over rum seating 245/35 R21 Pirelli P-Zero tires. The rear wheel is actually a half inch wider than the front but the wheel size is the same. The idea is that the extra tension will reduce sidewall bending around corners to create a more predictable exit as the car straightens.
In practice, the Polestar Special Edition is well on its way. The all-wheel drive EV pulls itself out of corners with impressive stability. There is no wobble, no slide, just the tree root level of connection to the planet.
This type of maneuver is usually combined with zigzag steering and a ride that dislodges the kidneys. The dampers take care of your internal organs while the steering actually feels very separate. You know you’re stuck on the road but even at the highest level of co-directive the feedback feels like a video game. It wasn’t enough to be a deal breaker, because you really don’t want to stop driving this car on any road with a curve.
Like the Polestar Performance Pack twin engine, the car has 476 hp (355 kW). But moving faster in a straight line isn’t really the point; The wars ended from zero to 60 thanks to electric vehicles. Thanks to the instant delivery of torque to electric motors, moving forward as fast as possible is not too difficult. There’s an electric Kia that can beat a Lamborghini, after all.
You cannot buy version 270 of the new Polestar 2 BST. Totally sold out. But it does show that the automaker knows what makes the EV great going forward. It delights the driver by providing a cornering experience that reminds you that every incline is an opportunity to feel the joy of driving. All you need is a chassis team to attract the CEO.
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