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Polestar O2 is Swedish brand’s first convertible and it’s built like a Lotus Elise

John Law

Electric specialist Polestar has unveiled another gorgeous design study, the O2 Concept, which is a drop-top sports car built like a Lotus Elise

The O2 Concept is Swedish EV specialist Polestar’s first foray into drop-top sports cars, and like the forthcoming Polestar 5 grand tourer, it will use a bespoke, bonded aluminium chassis.

Polestar says the O2 Concept is all about clean open-air motoring and sharp handling, prefiguring a car that could make it into production by around 2025.

Some headline features of the O2 Concept include its retractable glass roof, a 15.0-inch portrait touchscreen, recycled cabin materials that could feature in future models such as the Polestar 3 large SUV.

Polestar O2 Concept 2022-5
It looks good with the top up, but with the roof back the Polestar O2 is gorgeous

Make no mistake though – this O2 Concept has nothing to do with the CMA platform-based Polestar 2 sedan that went on sale in Australia this year from $59,900 before on-road costs. 

That much is evident from the O2 Concept’s appearance (though we haven’t seen it in the flesh yet), with proportions clearly inspired by 1960s racers with a long and low body, stretched bonnet and short overhangs.

The O2 Concept is not retro though because Polestar has injected some of its signature visual personality such as sharp body lines and the full-width ‘Blade’ LED tail-lights that act as an aerodynamic feature to smooth airflow.

The two-door O2 Concept is smaller than the four-door Precept/Polestar 5 with a 309mm shorter wheelbase (at 2792mm), though two seats remain in the back. 

Polestar O2 Concept 2022-8
Polestar’s clean design ethos is on show in the O2 concept

Currently, the Polestar O2 doesn’t have a direct rival from any brand, though by the time it launches Tesla’s new Roadster may be on sale, as might Porsche’s unconfirmed electric 718 Cayman and Boxster replacements. 

Polestar CEO Thomas Ingelnath said of the O2: “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.”

Does the Polestar O2 have any cool tech?

From the expected touches like a digital driver’s display to the generous 15.0-inch portrait touchscreen that allows owners to edit videos when parked, the O2 Concept attempts to deliver a cutting-edge technical experience.

Polestar’s reason to include video cutting functionality is the autonomous drone that can be stowed behind the rear seats. 

Polestar O2 Concept 2022-1
The O2 comes with its own autonomous drone

Polestar says the drone’s top speed is 90km/h and that it can film the O2 Concept driving down the road with several programs including ‘Atmospheric’ or ‘Action-packed’, depending on your preferences, to satisfy a “social media obsessed world.”

The brand is focused on sustainability too, so all of the O2 Concept’s soft materials are recycled, including the foam in the seats, the soft dash topper, cabin adhesives and 3D-knit upholstery.

How will the Polestar O2 drive?

Polestar’s sustainable focus will also extend to the O2 Concept’s bonded aluminium construction.

In certain areas the hardware needs to be extremely strong, so Polestar will rely on ‘virgin’ aluminium for these components. The structural elements that aren’t so crucial will be made from recycled aluminium and labelled in the process to make end-of-life recycling easier.

Polestar O2 Concept 2022-9
With its bonded aluminium chassis the Polestar O2 should be light for an EV

The bonded aluminium construction – which is being developed by Polestar in its Coventry R&D hub – bodes well for how the O2 Concept will drive, as it’s similar to that employed by the British-built Lotus Elise that stunned the world at its 1996 launch with a lithe 725kg kerb weight.

Polestar says when the O2 Concept morphs into a production vehicle it will be “lively, light and full of confidence” to drive, with “small roll angles and tight damping.”

Powertrain details have neither been confirmed or hinted at by Polestar, though it’s likely the production version of the O2 Concept will boast in excess of 450kW and all-wheel-drive.

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