Polestar boss: “My ambition is to make the O2 a production car” | Top Gear
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Polestar boss: “My ambition is to make the O2 a production car”

Stunning Polestar O2 two-seat roadster previews the future: the petition to make it starts here

Published: 01 Jul 2022
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Polestar boss Thomas Ingenlath really wants to make the stunning O2 concept car a reality. As in, a buy-it-with-human-money reality.

The two-seat fully electric roadster, unveiled earlier this year, is something the company is ‘striving towards’, a car that epitomises the brand’s focus on ‘communicating technology through design’.

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“My ambition is to make it a production car,” Ingenlath told TopGear.com, “but it’s not that easy.”

Surely as the boss he can just push the button and make it so? “You have to respect the complexity,” he said. “We have to see where the O2 is going. When you’ve painted a painting, it’s always good to let it rest, and look at it after a couple of months and still see if it’s a good painting.”

Certainly looks like a good painting. Solid one, too. The O2 was the centrepiece of Polestar’s Goodwood Festival of Speed appearance and sits on an adapted version of the bonded aluminium platform that underpins that mad 872bhp Polestar 5 which joined the O2 at Goodwood.

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So it’s no show pony, and there’s proper engineering underneath that wide, 2+2 body. Wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine a version of that 5’s dual motor powertrain underneath any future iteration of the O2, not least because of what it means for Polestar.

“We’re actually investing in and building our own electric drivetrain,” Ingenlath told TG about the 5. “The rear motor – which is in-house development – together with the front motor, it’s over 870 horsepower. It’s amazing what you can do with electric engines.

“It’s insane, and great, and it’s super to do that, and you can imagine what kind of car you get there,” he said. “But that 870 horsepower will not be outstanding, because Tesla can do that… everybody can do that.

“The question then is how that thing drives, and I’m 100 per cent sure the guys in the UK team and our tuning specialists in Gothenburg will make [the Polestar 5] an enjoyable car for drivers. That it really handles, how precisely it settles, how precise it is in the steering.”

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Ingenlath clearly sees a market for the 5, and makes an interesting comparison. “All the people that feel excited about not driving an SUV,” he laughs when TG puts it to him who the target market is. “And it’s not totally exotic. Of course there is the Porsche Panamera out there which in a way offers a similar proposition to the customer.

“And it’s a successful car, so I’m pretty sure there’s an audience for that.”

And while an 872bhp four-door GT car might feel like the cherry on the Polestar cake, the company feels it's this Roadster instead. “Polestar O2 is the hero car for our brand,” Ingenlath said at the concept’s reveal. “It opens the door to our secret chamber of future potential. This is a taste of what we can design and engineer.”

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