Polestar O2 Convertible Concept: Meet the EV Maker’s Extreme ‘Hero Car’
It’s as much about style as it is eco-friendliness.
Volvo's electric vehicle off-shoot Polestar is arguably one of the most eco-conscious automakers currently operating. It makes the effort to use sustainable recyclables, lays out the carbon footprint of its vehicles—even when it isn't spotless—and, of course, it doesn't build anything with a tailpipe. It's a young company and as such, its entire life lays ahead of it. That's part of what makes new concepts like this one so exciting.
It's called the O2, and it's a sporty hard-top convertible with room for four. Its styling is definitely similar to the previously released Polestar Precept concept, which is being turned into a real production sedan, the Polestar 5. The O2 is built on the same platform, but technical details of the concept aren't provided in full—there are no range, horsepower, or battery pack stats. However, Polestar does provide a few details about the flashy convertible that give us an idea of what it's all about. Most importantly, the company's CEO Thomas Ingenlath is calling it "the hero car for our brand." That's pretty significant.
One word you don't often hear describing electric vehicles is "lightweight," but it's apparently fitting for this one. Polestar says the O2 is designed to be "lively, light and full of confidence," going on to mention how rigid it is and how "intuitive" the dynamics will be. It doesn't give any details of what sort of suspension will underpin the vehicle, though, or an actual curb weight. We can at least be optimistic about the aesthetics.
The O2, like the Precept before it, evolves Polestar's design vision into something far less reminiscent of its parent company Volvo's. The current Polestar 2 bears a strong resemblance to cars like the S60, but this new vehicle departs from the softer lines that characterize the contemporary lineup from Gothenburg. It features sharper angles front and rear, as well as the single-piece rear taillight we're coming to expect on many EVs. The trendiness doesn't stop there, either.
The O2 not only features aerodynamic camera mirrors as opposed to the more conventional glass alternatives, but it also has a built-in drone. The drone can launch from the vehicle at speed thanks to a deployable windshield that prevents it from being blown directly into the car behind, and it can allegedly chase the concept at speeds as fast as 56 miles per hour. Polestar refers to this device as a "cinematic drone." It's meant to be released, shoot video of the car on the move, and then return home. Details like the flight time or what happens when you start driving away at something like 57 miles per hour were not stated. The captured film can then be edited directly on the 15-inch display in the vehicle and shared with the world.
This is actually a very similar concept to a patent Mazda filed not long ago.
The more, let's say relevant trendiness going on here is how the automaker has decided to assemble this vehicle in an effort to be kinder to the environment. As is typical with the sort of things that can actually make a difference when it comes to ecofriendliness, none of it is particularly flashy or interesting. For instance, the various grades of aluminum in the vehicle are labeled as such on the parts themselves to make them easier to recycle. Just the same, the interior seating is made from a single type of plastic—everything from the seat foam to the actual upholstery. This makes it much easier to process if it's going to be melted down and eventually turned into something else.
In some ways, the O2 is the spiritual successor to the discontinued Polestar 1, a tremendously heavy yet very attractive plug-in hybrid that kicked off the brand. This convertible isn't quite as suave; however, keep in mind that if it goes into production, it would be one of the few fully electric convertibles for sale. What this car really signals, then, is a continuation of the theme that, for some automakers, the era of the appliance EV is over.
Everything will be electrified, even convertible sports cars with a presumably reasonable price tag. There's no hard yes or no on whether the O2 is intended for production, but boy, I hope it is.
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