The Polestar O2 is a roadster designed for the electric age. This hardtop convertible sports car concept is a continuation of the Swedish electric brand’s Precept, evolving some of the eco-friendly and technological ideas explored in the 2020 concept car. And it comes with its own realization drone stand-alone films.
Like the concept of precept, the O2 is really an exercise in shaping the Polestar design theme and exploring how it can apply to different body shapes. After all, even though Polestar is linked to the Volvo brand from a commercial point of view, the mission from the beginning has been to create a brand that holds up, which requires building a memorable visual identity.
But before we get to the aesthetics, Polestar’s aim is also to deliver a distinct driving experience. Head of Design Maximilian Missoni explains the thought process behind the O2. “By blending the fun of open-air driving with the purity of electric mobility, it unleashes a new mix of emotions in a car. But as with all our cars, we’re about more than straight-line sprints. C t is when you turn the steering wheel that the real fun begins.
To achieve this, the O2 was 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, according to Polestar, gives the O2 benefit from increased dynamic response, while handling is kept taut due to small roll angles and high roll damping and nimble, direct steering feel is linear, with greater steering torque build-up .
The vehicle maintains the proportions of a classic sports car with a low and wide body, a compact 2+2 cab design, minimal overhangs and a long wheelbase. The shape is also designed to help the car’s aerodynamics where possible, to maximize battery range. Integrated ducts, for example, improve laminar airflow over the wheels and sides of the body, while the rear lights work as air knives to reduce turbulence behind the car.
The Polestar brand promise is rooted in promoting sustainable transportation, so this latest product, unsurprisingly, carries an eco-story. In the construction of the O2, the team incorporated a recycled content control method to improve the circularity of metal components. For example, the different grades of aluminum used in the chassis are individually labelled, so that they can be recycled more efficiently and their properties are retained.
This means that the high-grade aluminum remains so, while others retain their own characteristics. This in theory allows for greater material efficiency and less requirement for virgin metals – which is a major concern for circular design and manufacturing.
Meanwhile, all of the soft components of the O2 Interior is made from lightweight recycled polyester to include foam, adhesive, 3D knit fibers and non-woven lamination to simplify the recycling process and help achieve material circularity, which is Polestar’s ultimate goal .
The other promise of the brand is to be at the cutting edge of technology. And for a bit of frivolous fun, the O2 presents an autonomous filmmaking drone, developed in collaboration with consumer electronics company Hoco Flow.
Integrated behind the rear seats, the raised airfoil creates a calm zone 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 56 mph, while the driver chooses between atmospheric footage like a coastal cruise or an action scene. Once the drone returns, the driver edits the video clip and shares it on social networks via the central screen.
“We wanted to emphasize the experience you can have with a car like the Polestar O2 in new and unusual ways,” says Missoni. “It allowed us to push the boundaries of innovation. Not needing to stop and unload the drone before filming, but rather to deploy it quickly, is a key advantage of this innovative design.
Polestar announces that it plans to launch three new cars over the next three years, each carrying out some of the ideas presented by Precept and O2 concept cars.
Calling the O2 the company’s ‘heroic car’, continues CEO Thomas Ingenlath, ‘it opens the door to our secret chamber of future potential. It’s a taste of what we can design and engineer with the talent and technology we have in-house. It looks amazing and being able to lower the roof and not hear an engine promises a great feeling.
To see the Polestar Global Design Competitionvirtual fashion collaboration with Balenciaga and learn more about the origins of Polestar.