Polestar’s O2 concept vehicle has a bright future, it seems, the roadster show car set to return in production form by 2026 as the new Polestar 6.
The Swedish EV maker — a Volvo spinoff backed by China’s Geely — plans a rapid expansion of its line-up which currently consists of just the Polestar crossover. An earlier concept vehicle, the Polestar Precept, also will return in production form as the Polestar 5 coming in 2024.
“With the overwhelming consumer and press response, we took the decision to put this stunning roadster into production and I am so excited to make it a reality,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s CEO. “Polestar 6 is a perfect combination of powerful electric performance and the thrill of fresh air with the top down.”
A tech showcase
The electric O2 roadster — first shown in March — originally was intended to serve as a showcase for Polestar’s technology, starting with its new bonded aluminum platform. Like the underpinnings used for most new BEVs, it features a skateboard-like layout with the battery pack and electric drivetrain mounted below the load floor.
Don’t expect an exact replica of the O2 concept. Certainly not the aerial drone that could pop out of its body to help you film your adventures. And the cameras that replaced conventional sideview mirrors won’t go into production unless Polestar can win approval from various government regulatory agencies.
But the basic look should carry over, including the power-folding hardtop. Ingenlath, who started out as a designer himself, was seeking a low and wide appearance for the show car to underscore Polestar’s focus on the performance side of battery-electric technology.
Under the skin, the Polestar 6 will not only feature the automaker’s new platform but a next-generation electric drive system that migrates from 400 to 800 volts. That approach is costlier but also offers a number of advantages, including super-fast charging when plugged into the newer 150- and 350-kilowatt public charging systems. Depending upon the size and chemistry of the eventual battery pack, such technology could give the Polestar 6 a boost from a 10% to 80% state-of-charge in less than 20 minutes.
The dual-motor drivetrain will punch out 650 kilowatts, or 884 horsepower, and 663 pound-feet of torque, (though on its O2 website, lists a lower 872 hp number). It is targeting a 0-62 mph launch time of 3.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph.
Range is estimated to be “300+” miles. It should be noted there are a number of developments coming from the battery research labs that are expected to yield significant improvements in range, performance and charging speeds by mid-decade. The timing of the Polestar 6 launch suggests the company could take advantage of the improved technology by leveraging its relationship with Volvo and Geely.
Orders begin immediately
Despite the fact that the launch of the roadster is still years away, Polestar said it will begin taking orders today, Aug. 16. Perhaps that should be no surprise considering Tesla has been taking reservations for its own Roadster model, even though it has yet to provide a firm production date.
Pricing hasn’t been revealed yet and likely won’t be until closer to the production target.
Those who order early enough could get in line for the special Polestar 6 LA Concept edition, with just 500 numbered versions set to be produced. It will feature the Sky blue exterior paint and light blue interior of the O2 concept, along with its 21-inch wheels.
An environmentally friendly interior
Images released by Polestar show a squared-off steering wheel and a large, portrait-shaped touchscreen dominating the instrument panel. There are two plush front seats and two smaller buckets in the back. As with other Polestar models, expect to see few traditional controls, most vehicle operations transferred to that video display.
It’s also likely that the Polestar 6 will make extensive use of recycled and recyclable materials, rather than conventional leather and fabrics. In the O2 concept, a thermoplastic made from recycled polyester was used throughout the cabin, as well as for vehicle adhesive applications.
Polestar was founded as a standalone carmaker in 2017 — though its roots trace back to a Swedish motorsports company launched in 1996. It came to market with the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid in 2019. That high-performance coupe was followed by the all-electric Polestar 2 fastback in 2021. The Polestar 3 crossover will follow next year, with a Polestar 4 — expected to be another CUV — to follow. All future models will be pure electric, Polestar has declared.