2023 Polestar 2 BST Version 270 First Drive Assessment: The Sport EV for Suspension Nerds

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The 2023 Polestar 2 BST Version 270 is lastly right here. After its debut as an experimental prototype on the 2021 Goodwood Competition of Pace, Swedish EV builder Polestar introduced a restricted run of the hotted-up Polestar 2 earlier this yr. A couple of provide chain-related delays later — par for the course as of late — and I discover myself behind the wheel of the electrical sport sedan on the damp and twisting again roads of the San Francisco Bay Space, my dwelling turf, grinning from ear to ear.

Efficiency bundle upgrades

The Polestar 2 BST Version 270 is basically a Twin Motor Lengthy Vary mannequin that is been funked up with a little bit of Polestar 1-inspired skunkworks stank. Every of the 270 examples begins life on a traditional Polestar 2 meeting line earlier than being whisked off to the Polestar Manufacturing Centre — former dwelling of Polestar 1 manufacturing — for hand-customization and upgrades.  

The BST Version 270 options the identical efficiency software program improve and energy increase that makes the 2023 mannequin yr Efficiency Pack a extra compelling improve because the final time we evaluated the two. The software program retune provides launch management and boosts the twin motor setup’s output to a mixed 476 horsepower (350 kW) and 503 pound-feet of torque. That is an honest bump over the 402 horsepower of the usual twin motor setup, sufficient to drop the 0 to 60 mph time from 4.5 seconds to 4.2 ticks. Extra straight line quickness is good, however it’s the extra responsive accelerator pedal and the additional oomph delivered on the exit of each nook that I appreciated essentially the most.

Additionally inherited are the Efficiency Pack’s upgraded four-piston Brembo entrance brakes with upsized rotors. For every day driving, the regenerative braking system is chargeable for many of the Polestar 2’s stopping energy. However for efficiency and occasional monitor driving, the upgraded friction brakes are useful and are in a position to sluggish the heavy electrical sedan from 60 mph to stopped in simply 105 ft. They appear dope, too, completed in gold to match the Ohlins dampers and the Efficiency Pack’s gold seatbelts.

The limited-edition mannequin additionally contains the Plus Pack cabin consolation upgrades and Pilot Pack enhanced driver help programs. You’ll be able to learn extra about these as a part of our full Polestar 2 assessment.

Ohlins adjustable suspension

Pop the hood and you may see one of many greatest variations between the Polestar 2 Efficiency Pack and the BST Version 270. Proudly displayed on the high of the EV’s frunk are the entrance distant reservoirs for the Twin Stream Valve dampers developed by Swedish suspension firm Ohlins. The dampers function separate oil stream circuits for high and low damper speeds. Excessive-speed damping is managed by inner valves which are non-adjustable. Low-speed compression and rebound may be independently custom-made by way of adjustable valves on every damper with 22 “clicks” of adjustability. Entrance compression is essentially the most simply accessible adjustment, positioned on the reservoirs underneath the hood. The remaining require a jack to entry, being tucked beneath the EV. 

I attempted out each the firmest and softest extremes for entrance compression adjustment on a twisty stretch and located Polestar’s advice of round seven clicks from firmest to be the Goldilocks zone for responsive steering and switch in with a bit of flexibleness over bumps. I’d really go a click on or two softer, sacrificing only a hair of turn-in responsiveness, given the tough state of my favourite native backroads. Sure, digital dampers that go from sport to consolation on the push of a button could be way more handy, however the tactile click on of the knobs, the deliberate nature of the changes and the extremely tuned stage of customization this setup gives is thrilling for folk who take pleasure in tweaking and customizing their automobiles.

The BST Version 270 builds on the Efficiency Pack’s Ohlins suspension with extra adjustability, increased efficiency limits and distant entrance reservoirs.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET Automobiles

The springs coiled round these dampers are additionally round 20% firmer than the Efficiency Pack’s setup, including as much as an 80% entrance and 40% rear improve over the bottom, non-Efficiency suspension. The static trip top sits 25mm (about an inch) decrease than even the Efficiency Pack. Threaded lock-ring spring seats offer you yet one more diploma of mechanical adjustment to agency up every nook’s spring preload for the monitor or including a little bit of compliance for the road.

Hidden beneath the frunk-liner, the BST Version 270 additionally encompasses a strut tower brace that improves the stiffness of the entrance suspension mounting factors.

Larger wheels, sticky tires

Upsized 21-inch wheels are even bigger than the Efficiency Pack’s 20s and have a design that is impressed by, however not an identical to, the Polestar 1’s rollers. The wheels are wider on the rear axle (9 inches) than up entrance (8 inches). It makes use of identically sized Pirelli P Zero 245/35 R21 sport tires in any respect 4 corners regardless of the stagger. Polestar tells me the ensuing stretch on the rear rubber removes a little bit of sidewall flex, leading to higher response when cornering and accelerating. The wheels and cheesy tires are maybe the largest contributor to the BST Version 270’s increased dealing with limits; they’re additionally probably the explanation that its vary drops to 247 miles versus the Efficiency Pack’s 260-mile EPA estimate.

Visually, the BST Version 270 additional distinguishes itself with gloss black exterior particulars and  body-colored trim across the wheel arches and decrease bumpers. The limited-edition sedan is offered in both Snow white or Thunder grey paint. Perhaps skip the non-obligatory matte black middle stripe until you are going to be obsessively cautious with it; my instance’s vinyl was already peeling up barely on the skinny factors across the “2” cutout on the hood. Plus, the roof stripe blocks a few third of the Plus Pack’s glass roof.

Polestar contains one free service middle adjustment within the first yr, simply in case you get too far off-base along with your tweaks.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET Automobiles

Solely 270 Polestar 2 BST Version 270 examples will likely be constructed globally, with round 47 of them destined for the US, relying on buyer demand. Right here, the BST Version 270 will likely be priced beginning at $76,900 (together with $1,400 for vacation spot), $9,250 greater than a daily Polestar 2 totally loaded with the Efficiency, Pilot and Plus packages. That is not too far off the price of performing comparable aftermarket tire and suspension upgrades your self, however with the advantage of Polestar’s engineering know-how.

Like the Polestar 1 that impressed it, the 2023 Polestar 2 BST Version 270 is not for everybody. Most drivers will discover the mechanical suspension adjustment too fiddly or annoying, preferring the push-button ease of contemporary electronically managed dampers. However the comparatively few fans wanting not only for elevated driving pleasure, but in addition a deeper and extra direct connection to their automotive’s efficiency — let’s be sincere, there’s not a lot wrench turning left to be accomplished on an EV — will discover loads of delight on this restricted version.

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