The second concept car from Polestar has been unveiled and it builds on the design language that was first seen on the Precept. Called the Polestar O2 Concept, this convertible with a 2+2 seating configuration is the brand’s vision of a topless battery-electric performance car that promises an engaging driving experience. Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar, calls the O2 the hero car of the brand, a vehicle that gives a taste of what the company can design and engineer with its in-house talent and technology.
Maximilian Missoni, Head of Design at Polestar, notes that the Polestar O2 Concept is a vision for a new era of sports cars. “By mixing the joy of open-top driving with the purity of electric mobility, it unlocks a new mix of emotions in a car,” he added. “But as with all of our cars, we are about more than just straight-line sprints. It’s when you turn the steering wheel that the true fun begins.”
Polestar notes that the O2’s driving experience is designed to be lively, light, and confidence-inspiring, noting that predictability and playfulness are core to a satisfying vehicle. To achieve tight body control and high rigidity, engineers plucked the bespoke bonded aluminum platform that will be used on the Polestar 5 that’s due in 2024 and developed by the brand’s U.K. research and development team. As a result, the O2 promises heightened responses, taut handling, and steering feel that’s agile, direct, linear, and builds up evenly.
The exterior design of the O2 Concept is the next evolution of the Precept but has a distinct character. This also shows how Polestar’s design language can be adapted to different vehicle types and retain a strong family resemblance. The body is low and wide, giving it the classic look of a sports car, especially when combined with short overhangs, and a long wheelbase. To maximize range, the O2 gets special integrated ducts that improve laminar airflow over the wheels and side of the body. The rear lights also double as air blades that reduce turbulence behind the car.
Polestar highlights advancements in sustainability and technology with the O2 Concept. The interior, for example, makes extensive use of new thermoplastic mono-material. That means multiple parts are manufactured using the same base material. Soft components are made exclusively with recycled polyester including the foam, adhesive, 3D knit fibers, and non-woven lamination. This also simplifies the recycling process and is a significant step toward circularity while reducing weight and waste. Polestar’s sustainability teams have also ensured that materials are recycled as much as possible via a new controlling method. For instance, there are different grades of aluminum used throughout the chassis, and they are labeled for more effective recycling. This also prevents mixing, meaning each grade of metal retains its characteristics, enabling better material efficiency and reducing the requirement for new aluminum.
The Polestar O2 Concept has one crazy feature: a built-in drone. Developed in collaboration with Hoco Flow, Aerofugia’s consumer electronics arm, the concept drone can be deployed while the vehicle is in motion to record that perfect driving sequence you so desire. Additionally, Polestar engineers have also developed a special aerofoil that comes up behind the rear seats to create an area of negative pressure that’s calm enough to enable the drone to take off without having to stop the vehicle. It also operates autonomously and can follow the O2 Concept at speeds of up to 56 mph. The driver can also choose between a more atmospheric or action-filled sequence. Once filming concludes, the drone can land on its own. Video clips can be edited and shared via the vehicle’s 15.0-inch main display but only when you’re parked.
Like the Precept, the Polestar O2 Concept previews the brand’s future design language. That means it’s likely not going into production but its influence will be seen in the three upcoming vehicles that will join the lineup between 2022 and 2024. Expect the Polestar 3, the brand’s first crossover, to sport some of the cues found in the Precept and O2 Concept.