The Polestar O2 is a sleek electric roadster with a built-in drone for aerial filming


Polestar, the Swedish electric carmaker, has announced a new roadster concept called Polestar O2. The hardtop convertible, which made its debut in Los Angeles today, is designed to feature the automaker’s bonded aluminum platform, which it produces in-house, along with some more original innovations, like a drone integrated for aerial filming.

It’s the second concept from the company, which is a joint venture between Volvo and the Chinese parent company of automaker Geely. And it’s a nod to the company’s roots as a performance sub-brand of Volvo, which has since rebranded itself as an EV-only brand.

At first glance, the Polestar O2 looks extremely fun to drive. We haven’t seen a two-seat electric sports car introduced since the Tesla Roadster – and even Elon Musk’s next-gen version of his company’s first production vehicle is delayed until 2023. Most of the big Sports car makers like Lamborghini and Ferrari are still working on their first electric models, leaving an opening for Polestar to lay the smackdown with its peppy-looking concept.

As it is just a concept, the company does not release any of the Polestar O2 specs such as 0-60 time, battery capacity and range. But in an interview, Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath said the modularity of its bonded aluminum platform allows for a larger battery even in a shortened wheelbase.

“Over 110 kilowatt-hours of battery power we can still pack without compromise into this short wheelbase,” Ingenlath said.

The O2 shares many design traits with Polestar’s first concept, the Polestar Precept, including clean lines and a light signature that reflects the company’s Volvo origins. The vehicle body is low and wide, with an aggressive stance and a compact cabin. Polestar calls it “classic sports car proportions” with a more modern electric feel – and that’s hard to argue with.

“We wanted to make sure people understood that the architecture is capable of accommodating sports cars like this,” Ingenlath said. “The high-torque, high-power P10 engine we developed for the Precept will, in the peak performance version, find a place in all of our products… And of course it could be integrated into the roadster here.”

The Polestar O2 is a sleek electric roadster with a built-in drone for aerial filming

The O2 is also an opportunity to showcase Polestar’s environmental values. The interior is made from a new thermoplastic mono-material, which describes the use of a single base material to make different components. In this case, a recycled polyester is used as the sole material for all soft interior components, such as seat foam, adhesive, 3D knit fibers and non-woven lamination. Polestar says this simplifies recycling and represents a step towards “greater circularity”, while reducing weight and waste.

“It’s an idea we’d really like to put into production,” Ingenlath said of using a mono-material inside. “That’s how we really use these concept cars, to express that ambition and inject the energy into the organization to really strive to make that happen.”

And the vehicle chassis is designed to make recycling more transparent. Different grades of aluminum are labelled, allowing them to be recycled more efficiently and retain their properties.

The Polestar O2’s most distinctive feature is the inclusion of a “cinematic drone” so owners can film themselves while driving down a twisty mountain road, for example. The drone – which is also a concept – was developed in collaboration with Hoco Flow, Aerofugia’s consumer electronics brand. (Aerofugia is the company that was created after Geely acquired Terrafugia, a Boston-based vertical take-off and landing startup.) It’s designed to be deployed while the car is in motion, to record footage driving.

Ingenlath described the perception of owning a European sports car, driving on that winding mountain road, can be “very old-fashioned” and disconnected from today’s concept of shared experiences.

“We challenged our team and said, ‘Listen, guys, what would the modern response to this look like? “”, Did he declare. “The drone is definitely the vehicle to produce memories, to produce shareable moments, to capture that experience that you have, with your partner in the car, and the drone can film you. It can make for really exciting dynamic photos of the car or very quiet photos.

Ingenlath said the technology that would integrate a drone into the vehicle is “very feasible”, with the drone following the car at speeds of up to 100 km/h. After filming, the drone can autonomously return to the car. And video clips can be edited and shared directly from the central 15-inch screen when the car is parked. Ingenlath described it as less distracting to the driver than trying to film you with your smartphone.

Polestar has already committed to transforming its first concept, the Precept, into a production vehicle, the Polestar 5. Could the same thing happen to the Polestar O2? “Possibility? Definitely,” Ingenlath said. “I try very hard to provoke that question. I want to make that offer with this car and would be more than happy to confirm that in the future.


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