2023 Polestar 2 BST Edition 270 First Drive Review: The Sport EV for Suspension Nerds


The 2023 Polestar 2 BST Edition 270 is finally here. After its debut as an experimental prototype at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Swedish EV builder Polestar announced a limited-run of the hotted-up Polestar 2 earlier this year. A few supply chain-related delays later — par for the course these days — and I find myself behind the wheel of the electric sport sedan on the damp and twisting back roads of the San Francisco Bay Area, my home turf, grinning from ear to ear.

Performance package upgrades

The Polestar 2 BST Edition 270 is essentially a Dual Motor Long Range model that’s been funked up with a bit of Polestar 1-inspired skunkworks stank. Each of the 270 examples begins life on a normal Polestar 2 assembly line before being whisked off to the Polestar Production Centre — former home of Polestar 1 production — for hand-customization and upgrades.  

The BST Edition 270 features the same performance software upgrade and power boost that makes the 2023 model year Performance Pack a more compelling upgrade since the last time we evaluated the 2. The software retune adds launch control and boosts the dual motor setup’s output to a combined 476 horsepower (350 kW) and 503 pound-feet of torque. That’s a decent bump over the 402 horsepower of the standard dual motor setup, enough to drop the 0 to 60 mph time from 4.5 seconds to 4.2 ticks. More straight line quickness is nice, but it’s the more responsive accelerator pedal and the extra oomph delivered at the exit of every corner that I appreciated the most.

Also inherited are the Performance Pack’s upgraded four-piston Brembo front brakes with upsized rotors. Of course, for daily driving, the regenerative braking system is responsible for most of the Polestar 2’s stopping power. But for performance and occasional track driving, the upgraded friction brakes are handy and are able to slow the heavy electric sedan from 60 mph to stopped in just 105 ft. They look pretty dope, too, finished in gold to match the Ohlins dampers and the Performance Pack’s gold seatbelts.

The limited-edition model also includes the Plus Pack cabin comfort upgrades and Pilot Pack enhanced driver aid systems. You can read more about those as part of our full Polestar 2 review.

Ohlins adjustable suspension

Pop the hood and you’ll see one of the biggest differences between the Polestar 2 Performance Pack and the BST Edition 270. Proudly displayed at the top of the EV’s frunk are the front remote reservoirs for the Dual Flow Valve dampers developed by Swedish suspension company Ohlins. The dampers feature separate oil flow circuits for low and high damper speeds. High-speed damping is controlled by internal valves that are non-adjustable. Low-speed compression and rebound can be independently customized via adjustable valves on each damper with 22 “clicks” of adjustability. Front compression is the most easily accessible adjustment, located on the reservoirs under the hood. The rest require a jack to access, being tucked beneath the EV. 

I tried out both the firmest and softest extremes for front compression adjustment on a twisty stretch and found Polestar’s recommendation of around 7 clicks from firmest to indeed be the Goldilocks zone for responsive steering and turn in with a bit of suppleness over bumps.  I might actually go a click or two softer, sacrificing just a hair of turn-in responsiveness, given the rough state of my favorite local backroads. Yes, electronic dampers that go from sport to comfort at the push of a button would be much more convenient, but the tactile click of the knobs, the deliberate nature of the adjustments and the highly-tuned level of customization this setup provides is exciting for folks who enjoy tweaking and customizing their cars.

The BST Edition 270 builds on the Performance Pack’s Ohlins suspension with more adjustability, higher performance limits and remote front reservoirs.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET Cars

The springs coiled around those dampers are also around 20% firmer than the Performance Pack’s setup, adding up to an 80% front and 40% rear increase over the base, non-Performance suspension. The static ride height sits 25mm (about an inch) lower than even the Performance Pack. Threaded lock-ring spring seats give the owner yet another degree of mechanical adjustment to firm up each corner’s spring preload for the track or adding a bit of compliance for the street.

Hidden beneath the frunk-liner, the BST Edition 270 also features a strut tower brace that improves the stiffness of the front suspension mounting points.

Bigger wheels, sticky tires

Upsized 21-inch wheels are even larger than the Performance Pack’s 20s and feature a design that’s inspired by, but not identical to, the Polestar 1’s rollers. The wheels are wider on the rear axle (9 inches) than up front (8 inches). Identically sized Pirelli P Zero 245/35 R21 sport tires are used at all four corners despite the stagger. Polestar tells me that the resulting slight stretch on the rear rubber removes a bit of sidewall flex, resulting in better response when cornering and accelerating. The wheels and tacky tires are perhaps the biggest contributor to the BST Edition 270’s higher handling limits; they’re also likely the reason that its range drops to 247 miles versus the Performance Pack’s 260-mile EPA estimate.

Visually, the BST Edition 270 further distinguishes itself with gloss black exterior details and  body-colored trim around the wheel arches and lower bumpers. The limited-edition sedan is available in either Snow white or Thunder gray paint. Maybe skip the optional matte black center stripe unless you’re going to be obsessively careful with it; my example’s vinyl was already peeling up slightly at the thin points around the “2” cutout on the hood. Plus, the roof stripe blocks about a third of the Plus Pack’s glass roof.

Polestar includes one free service center adjustment in the first year, just in case you get too far off-base with your tweaks.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET Cars

Only 270 Polestar 2 BST Edition 270 examples will be built globally with around 47 of them being destined for the US, depending on customer demand. Here, the BST Edition 270 will be priced starting at $76,900 (including $1,400 for destination), $9,250 more than a regular Polestar 2 fully loaded with the Performance, Pilot and Plus packages. That’s not too far off the cost of performing similar aftermarket tire and suspension upgrades yourself, but with the benefit of Polestar’s engineering know-how.

Like the Polestar 1 that inspired it, the 2023 Polestar 2 BST Edition 270 isn’t for everyone. Most drivers will find the mechanical suspension adjustment too fiddly or annoying, preferring the push-button ease of modern electronically controlled dampers. But the relatively few enthusiasts looking not just for increased driving joy, but also a deeper and more direct connection to their car’s performance — let’s be honest, there’s not much wrench turning left to be done on an EV — will find plenty of delight in this limited edition.


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