Polestar Presents The O2 Concept As A Performance Electric Roadster

Polestar Presents The O2 Concept As A Performance Electric Roadster

The Polestar O2 is a roadster imagined for the electric age. This hard-top convertible sports car concept continues on from the Swedish electric brand’s Precept, evolving some of the ecological and technological ideas explored in the 2020 concept car. And it comes replete with its very own autonomous moviemaking drone.

Like the Precept concept, the O2 is very much an exercise in shaping the Polestar design theme and exploring how it may apply to different body shapes. After all, even though Polestar is related to the Volvo brand from a business perspective, the mission from the start has been to create a brand that holds its own, which does require building a memorable visual identity.

But before we get onto the aesthetics, Polestar’s aim is also to offer a distinct driving experience. Head of design, Maximilian Missoni, explains the thought process behind the O2. “By mixing the joy of open top driving with the purity of electric mobility, it unlocks a new mix of emotions in a car. But as with all our cars, we are about more than just straight line sprints. It’s when you turn the steering wheel that the true fun begins.”

To achieve this, the O2 has been built on a bonded aluminum platform, adapted from the Polestar 5 and developed in-house by the R&D team in the UK. The quality and rigidity of the platform, Polestar claims, gives the O2 experience a heightened dynamic response, while handling is kept taut due to small roll angles and high roll damping and the agile, direct steering feel is linear, with greater steering torque build-up.

The vehicle retains classic sports car proportions with a low and wide body, compact 2+2 cabin design, minimal overhangs and a long wheelbase. The shape is also designed to assist the car’s aerodynamics where possible, so as to help maximize battery range. The integrated ducts, for instance, improve laminar air flow over the wheels and body sides, while the rear lights function as air blades to reduce turbulence behind the car.

Polestar’s brand promise is anchored on pushing towards sustainable transport, so this latest product, unsurprisingly, carries an ecological story. In constructing the O2, the team integrated a method of controlling recycled content to improve circularity of metal components. For instance, the different grades of aluminum used throughout the chassis are individually labelled, so they can be recycled more effectively and their properties retained.

What this means is that high grade aluminum remains so, while others maintain their own characteristics. This in theory allows for greater material efficiency and a lower requirement for virgin metals — something that is a major concern with circular design and manufacturing.

Meanwhile, all the soft components in the O2 interior are made of light recycled polyester to include the foam, adhesive, 3D knit fibers and non-woven lamination to simplify the process of recycling and help towards achieving circularity of materials, which is Polestar’s ultimate aim.

The marque’s other promise is to be at the forefront of technology. And for a bit of frivolous fun, the O2 features an autonomous filmmaking drone, developed in collaboration with consumer electronics company Hoco Flow.

Integrated behind the rear seats, the raised airfoil creates a calm area of negative pressure for the drone to take off when the O2 is in motion. It then follows and films the car at speeds of up to 56mph, while the driver chooses between an atmospheric sequence like a coastline cruise, or an action scene. Once the drone returns, the driver edits the video clip and shares it on social media via the center screen.

“We wanted to emphasize the experience you can have with a car like the Polestar O2 in new and unusual ways,” explains Missoni. “It allowed us to push the boundaries on the innovation front. Not needing to stop and off-load the drone before filming, but rather deploying it at speed, is a key benefit to this innovative design.”

Polestar says it plans to launch three new cars over the coming three years, each of which will realize some of the ideas presented by the Precept and O2 concept cars.

Calling the O2 the company’s “hero car”, CEO Thomas Ingenlath goes on to say, “it opens the door to our secret chamber of future potential. This is a taste of what we can design and engineer with the talent and technology we have in-house. It looks incredible and being able to lower the roof and not hear an engine promises a superb sensation.”

See the Polestar global design contest, a virtual fashion collaboration with Balenciaga and read about the origins of Polestar.