New Polestar O2 electric roadster concept unveiled

The Swedish brand’s “vision of a new era for sports cars” hints at a future Tesla Roadster rival, with design language and platform taken from flagship Polestar 5 saloon

This is the Polestar O2: a two-seater electric convertible concept car that could go into production sometime after 2025, according to the Swedish brand’s CEO. If it does so, it’ll be a direct rival for the upcoming second-generation Tesla Roadster.

While the 2+2 sports car is very striking, Polestar boss Thomas Ingenlath told DrivingElectric “our concept cars have the spirit of being tangible.” He added: “from a packaging perspective, and how it is constructed, it is possible to put a car like the O2 into production.

“On the other hand, we have not put it into our business plan. We already have three cars for 2022, 2023 and 2024 in the books, and we are fully occupied with making those real. What is beyond 2025, the future will tell. We are putting out a dream here, with the O2, and we would be irresponsible if we would not make every effort possible to actually live our dreams and make them real.”

The bespoke bonded aluminium platform from the flagship Polestar 5 saloon, which is currently being developed in the UK, has been adapted for use in the more dynamic drop-top. The benefits of this, Polestar claims, are tight body control and high torsional rigidity.

At 4.7 metres long, the O2 concept is longer than the upcoming Tesla Roadster. But the O2’s wheelbase is also 400mm shorter than that of the Polestar 5 thanks to the removal of the ‘foot garages’ that provide extra room in the rear of the brand’s Mercedes EQS rival. The battery capacity and motor specs are likely to be the same as for the 5, but Polestar has yet to release performance or range estimates for its electric convertible concept.

The open-top Polestar’s styling is also an evolution of the design language previewed by the Precept prototype. That includes a very minimalist cabin, a low stance and wide, pronounced wheelarches. The O2 also displays a new take on the brand’s ‘Thor’s Hammer’ quad headlight design, while at the rear, there's a full-width lightbar, which extends at its edges into small ‘air blades’ to reduce turbulence behind the car.

They’re one of many aerodynamic touches Polestar has added to the O2, including integrated air ducts that improve air flow over the wheels and sides of the car, as well as replacing the conventional door mirrors with digital cameras – all in the name of maximising range and efficiency. 

Being a Polestar, the O2 concept puts sustainability front and centre. For example, recycled polyester is the only material used for all the soft components in the cockpit, from foam to 3D-knit fibres. This simplifies the recycling and manufacturing processes, as well as reducing weight and waste.

In terms of technology, one unique feature of the Polestar O2 is an autonomous cinematic drone, integrated behind the rear seats, that can be deployed by the driver while on the move. The drone can follow the car at up to 56mph and offers different options for the type of sequence you want it to record, from a calm cruise up the coast to something more action-packed and focused. 

After filming, the drone can autonomously return to the car. Video clips can then be edited and shared directly via the 15-inch central touchscreen when the car is parked. If the Polestar O2 were to ever enter production, this is one element that’s unlikely to be retained.

The production version of the Polestar O2 would arrive sometime after the Polestar 5’s debut in 2024 if the brand was to put it on sale. Polestar currently has its first SUV slated to launch later this year, with a sportier coupe-SUV arriving in 2023.

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