Polestar O2 electric roadster set for launch mid-decade

Published: 24 June 2022

► Polestar 0₂  is a roadster EV
► Concept could join range in 2025
► Open-top twin for Polestar 5

The Polestar 0₂ is seemingly named after oxygen and gives life to the desire to bring open-top motoring to the electric car scene. We’ll call it 02 for the sake of our keyboards – and can confirm a raft of new details on the EV convertible, which looks set to join the Polestar 5 four-door GT on sale by the middle of the decade.

It’s a concept car for now, but CAR magazine can reveal the Polestar 02 is rapidly making its way from concept catwalk to the production plan. ‘Our portfolio in the future will be a mix of electric SUVs, fastbacks and cars like the 02 roadster,’ CEO Thomas Ingenlath told CAR at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed. ‘It’s not a flying saucer – it is an aspiration for us to get this type of product in our portfolio.’

It’s news that’ll be cheered by car enthusiasts worried that the electric revolution is bringing a limited choice of bodystyles, mostly coalescing around the SUV genre.

Polestar’s EV plan in detail

Polestar 02 roadster: set for launch around 2025

The key technical reason why the 02 concept has a rosy future is its technical architecture: it is based around the same lightweight, bonded aluminium platform as the Polestar 5. It is designed to enable low-volume production of different bodystyles – essentially top hats on a common, high-tech electric vehicle structure.

Pete Allen, who heads up the Polestar UK R&D base near Coventry, said that the aluminium-intensive architecture was designed to be super-rigid, allowing open-top bodyshells to avoid wobble and meaning that suspension engineers could achieve precise handling characteristics.

It’s the same technology pioneered by inhouse siblings in the Geely group, Lotus Cars and LEVC. Britain has world-class knowledge in this area, explaining why Polestar chose to open its second R&D base in the Midlands.

‘Polestar 02 is the hero car for our brand,’ said Ingenlath at the reveal of the concept in LA in March 2022. ‘It opens the door to our secret chamber of future potential. This is a taste of what we can design and engineer with the talent and technology we have in-house. It looks incredible and being able to lower the roof and not hear an engine promises a superb sensation.’

What else do we know about the Polestar 02?

The 02 looks a lot like the Polestar Precept concept, which will become the Polestar 5 – which should come as no surprise, since they share the same platform (although different wheelbases). It’s roughly the same width and height as the Precept, but 400mm shorter due to the removal of the rear ‘foot garages’ or footwells. This is a two-seater roadster.

Polestar says the 02 should have a dynamic sporty response and linear feel, thanks to its stiff aluminium chassis. ‘We can really tune this architecture to meet different goals,’ Allen told CAR.

He hinted that in future Polestar would stick with adaptive dampers rather than use the manually adjustable Ohlins units offered in Performance Pack version of the Polestar 2.

The 02 is planned to include twin electric motors, making it all-wheel drive and offering huge performance potential: a combined 872bhp is possible in flagship performance derivatives, making this a potentially super-fast convertible. You’ll need to hold on to your hat…

Design

As you’d expect, the new concept features the same arrowhead lights as the Precept, and combines it with aero that should make it efficient; a key requirement of electric cars. 

Note the uncluttered front end: the headlamps are super slimline and the area below is where all the driver aids and sensors are located, to declutter the windscreen area.

At the rear, the rear lights are integrated into what the design team call an aero blade – essentially a rear spoiler to manage airflow around the back of the car (see below).

Inside, Polestar has moved forward on its focus on sustainability. The O2 uses a new thermoplastic mono-material (essentialy a material made of just one thing for easier recycling) and metal components are also labelled for easier reuse. 

Will it make it to production?

Polestar has form with its concept cars: the Precept is the only other show car we’ve seen, and that’s already confirmed for production as the Polestar 5.

What almost certainly wouldn’t appear on a production car, however, is the Polestar O2’s counterpart drone. Sitting behind the seats, the drone is autonomous and programmed to follow the car at speeds of up to 40mph. The idea is to capture drives, and then edit them on the car’s 15-inch touchscreen.

‘We wanted to emphasise the experience you can have with a car like the Polestar 02 in new and unusual ways,’ said design chief Maximilian Missoni. ‘Integrating an autonomous cinematic drone was something that allowed us to push the boundaries on the innovation front.’

He suggested that the brand would start being more experimental with its concept cars, rather than merely foreshadowing future production cars. As Polestar matures, it will quickly fill its mainstream product range – meaning the company will have to explore further niches.

Further electric car reading

Our guide to all the Polestar EVs

The best electric cars on sale today

Cheapest electric cars to buy

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet

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