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Future models - Polestar - 02 - Concept

Polestar unveils lithe open-topped BEV

The O2 concept is equipped with a built-in cinematic drone

4 Mar 2022

ALTHOUGH a convertible with a folding hard top isn’t usually the first type of BEV that will spring to mind, Polestar has unveiled the svelte and slinky O2 concept. The contours of the Swedish premium brand’s creation demonstrate the benefit of a compactly packaged electric platform.


GoAuto recently reported that the firm’s R&D team in the UK was refining the upcoming Polestar 5’s bespoke bonded-aluminium platform, which it had developed in-house. The O2’s “tight body control, high rigidity and intuitive dynamics are inherent benefits of that platform,” Polestar said.


Inspired by the Precept concept car, the Polestar O2 demonstrates how the brand’s evolving design language can be adapted to different body styles without diverging from the familial look. The low and wide body with an assertive stance, compact 2+2 cabin design, minimal overhangs and a long wheelbase, embody classic sports car proportions but with a modern, electric feel.


“Polestar O2 is the hero car for our brand,” Polestar chief executive officer Thomas Ingenlath said. “This is a taste of what we can design and engineer with the talent and technology we have in house. Being able to lower the roof and not hear an engine promises (to be) a superb sensation.”


The concept car’s aerodynamics were manipulated to maximise battery range thanks to disguised design features such as integrated ducts that improve laminar air flow over the wheels and body sides, and the rear lights that function as air blades to reduce turbulence behind the vehicle.


Meanwhile, the rigidity of the bonded aluminium platform is said to heighten the Polestar O2’s dynamic responses. “Handling dynamics (benefit from) small roll angles and high roll damping, and the agile, direct steering feel is linear, with great steering torque build-up,” the brand says.


The concept car also incorporates a new method of controlling recycled content. Each grade of aluminium used in the chassis is labelled accordingly, so they can be recycled more effectively. High-grade aluminium remains high grade, while other grades “maintain their characteristics, allowing for greater material efficiency and a lower requirement for virgin aluminium.”


A new thermoplastic mono-material (a single base material is used to manufacture different components) features extensively in the Polestar O2’s interior, while recycled polyester is the sole material used for all the soft components of the interior: foam, adhesive, 3D knit fibres and non-woven lamination. This simplifies recycling and is a significant step towards greater circularity.


Seeing as the Polestar O2 is a concept car, it needs an attention-grabbing MacGuffin and, in this case, it’s an autonomous cinematic drone integrated behind the vehicle’s rear seats. Developed in collaboration with Aerofugia’s consumer electronics brand Hoco Flow, “the concept drone can be deployed while the car is moving, to record the perfect driving sequence,” Polestar said.


Polestar engineers have developed a specialised aerofoil that raises behind the rear seats to create a calm area of negative pressure that allows the drone to take off when the car’s moving.


The drone operates autonomously, automatically following the car at speeds up to 90km/h, and the driver can choose between, say, an atmospheric sequence or a more action-filled sequence with a sportier expression. After filming, the drone can autonomously return to the car. Video clips can be edited and shared directly from the 15.0-inch centre display when the car is parked.


Polestar plans to introduce a new BEV every year for the next three years, starting with the Polestar 3 SUV later in 2022. The Polestar 4 – ostensibly a compact SUV coupe – will follow in 2023 and, the year after that, the Polestar 5 four-door GT, which will effectively be the production version of the Precept concept. The O2 concept will remain a design study, for now, anyway.

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