Porsche has stolen the limelight at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show with the surprise unveiling of a spectacular new 600bhp plus electric-powered concept car – the Mission E. This four-door, four-seat saloon shows how Porsche envisions ‘the future of the electric sports car’, with its clear aim being to rival the Tesla Model-S.
Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche’s R&D boss, had this to say on the concept car:
“With this car we intend to start a new era with Porsche, similar to the 911 fifty years ago. This is more than a show car, it’s a concept car that we can realise. To put it into production we’ll need three to three-and-a-half years.”
Drawing comparisons to the success of the Porsche 911 is no doubt a very bold and ambitious statement, but one that does seem plausible given Porsche’s recent technological developments. The Mission E will draw on the electric drive and energy storage knowledge, gained in the development of their Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid race car. This will be coupled with the lightweight construction and battery technology created for the 918 Spyder hypercar.
Performance of the Porsche Mission E
In terms of performance, the Mission E promises 0-62mph in less than 3.5 seconds, a 310-mile driving range and most unbelievably, a charging time of only 15 minutes to charge the battery 80%. It even managed a lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife – a popular German proving ground – in under eight minutes.
A new 800-volt drive system, consisting of two electric motors and a powerful battery – which Porsche claims is twice as powerful as any other EV system available today – drive the Mission E via all four wheels, developing 600bhp. It is in this power that this 2,000kg machine will be able to reach speeds just under that of the 911 Turbo.
Design of the Porsche Mission E
The design is distinctly Porsche, with the characteristic bulging fenders and downward-sloping hood. From the side, you can see echoes of the iconic 911 with more than a few nods given to the 918 Spyder.
Nose-to-tail it slots neatly between the Panamera and 911, but its makers were quick to point out that the Mission E is more of a four-door 911 than a small Panamera. At only 1,300mm tall, it sits very low to the ground which undeniably adds to its aesthetic appeal. The wheels are made from carbon and measure 21 inches at the front and 22 inches at the rear.
This car has many other new elements integrated too. The rear-hinged rear doors, 3D headlamps, clamshell bonnet and pinstripe taillight are all new. There’s aero-thinking in the exterior design too, with huge breather vents behind the front arches to smooth air whipped up by the carbon-fibre wheels.
It looks futuristic, but is still unmistakably a Porsche.
Interior of the Porsche Mission E
The futuristic technology doesn’t just apply to the exterior. Inside the cockpit a traditional instrument cluster makes way for a floating, 3D digital display. An eye-tracking system keeps the information centred and visible for the driver, no matter how he or she is positioned in the car.
A second holographic display extends the length of the dash, showing selectable 3D icons which can be accessed via swiping and pulling hand gestures – so no more boring touchscreens. The unnecessary yet very cool icing on the cake is a camera in the rear-view mirror that detects the driver’s mood and displays an appropriate emoticon – which the driver can then share on social media.
Pricing of the Porsche Mission E
In terms of pricing it is really too early to accurately guess, however there are rumours that the car will cost around £100,000, not too far from the BMW i8 and Tesla Model S.
There is however plenty of time for these figures to be changed, modified and improved. Porsche clearly want to impress and are start to build up the hype. Wolfgang Hatz claimed that Porsche’s plans are simple: “building the best electric car in the world. Do that, and people will buy it”. Either way, exciting times in the electric-powered car world are ahead.