The 884-HP Polestar 6 Roadster Is a More Realistic Tesla Roadster
These two drop-top EVs seem similar in theory, but they’re far from the same.
Polestar confirmed Tuesday morning that its gorgeous O2 convertible concept will enter production as the 2026 Polestar 6. This means we can look forward to a proper electric drop-top that isn't the long-promised Tesla Roadster. (Yes, I am aware that the GMC Hummer EV's "infinity roof" panels can be removed, but you know what I mean.)
We thought it would be interesting to see how the two forthcoming e-roadsters stacked up. It's worth noting that neither of these cars "exist" yet and that the specs and facts laid out here are preliminary, and are very likely subject to change.
- Price: TBD
- Powertrain: Dual-motor AWD
- Horsepower: 884
- Torque: 664 lb-ft
- 0-62 mph: 3.2 seconds
- Top speed: 155 mph
- Range: TBD
- Seating capacity: 4
- Roof: Retractable hardtop
- Release date: 2026
- Price: $200,000 in 2017
- Powertrain: Tri-motor AWD (one in front, two in the rear)
- Horsepower: ~1,000 to 1,400 according to Engineering Explained.
- Torque: 7,375 lb-ft (10,000 nm) according to Tesla. 758 lb-ft according to Engineering Explained.
- 0-60 mph: 1.9 seconds
- Top speed: "Over 250 mph"
- Range: 620 miles
- Seating capacity: 4
- Roof: Removable glass panel
- Release date: 2023
Let's start with the fun stuff: performance. While the more tame Polestar makes do with one motor on each axle producing a total of 885 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, the Tesla uses three motors—one powering the front wheels, and two for the rears.
The only hp and torque figures released by Tesla happen to be 10,000 nm, or 7,375 lb-ft of torque back when the car was first unveiled in 2017. In an enlightening video by Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained, however, that figure represents the car's wheel torque and not the industry-standard engine torque that's commonly quoted by other manufacturers. Converted to engine torque, the Roadster apparently makes 758 lb-ft and, depending on how heavy the car happens to be, should make somewhere in the ballpark of 1,000 to 1,400 hp.
That engine torque figure isn't quite as eye-catching as the one Tesla published but if the company's acceleration stats are accurate, it's still enough to handily outrun the Polestar 6. While the Polestar needs 3.2 seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) and tops out at 155 mph, the Tesla claims to reach 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds and has a top speed exceeding 250 mph. In other words, whereas the Polestar appears to offer a similar pace to, say, a really fast gas-powered super sedan, Tesla has set its sights on hypercars like Rimacs and Bugattis, that sort of thing.
Believe it or not, both cars will apparently be four-seaters. Or 2+2s, more accurately, with that second set of 2s surely being quite cramped. They deviate, however, in terms of how their roofs are removed. While the Polestar 6 will use a power-retractable hardtop (à la the Mazda MX-5 RF and McLaren's Spider models), the Tesla Roadster's more targa-like situation uses a hand-removable glass panel similar to the MkIV Toyota Supra.
Now, for the elephant in the room: pricing and availability. Polestar hasn't specified a price for its convertible EV but, for what it's worth, Tesla assigned a $200,000 price tag to the Roadster back in 2017. Adjusting for inflation, the Tesla Roadster would cost about $240,000 if it were released in 2022.
But it's not. Originally slated for 2020, the Tesla Roadster has been delayed a year, every year since. Its current target date is 2023, but based on Tesla's track record, I wouldn't hold my breath. Polestar, meanwhile, says the 6 will be out in 2026.
Got a tip or question for the author about the Polestar 6? You can reach him here: firstname.lastname@example.org