It looks like a Porsche. It performs like a Porsche. But when the Mission E concept becomes a production reality next year, we can be reasonably confident it won’t sound like any other Porsche. Because instead of the familiar sound of a Porsche flat six, the Mission E is all-electric, with a 0-62mph time of around 3.5 seconds and a range of up to 310 miles between charges. The words ‘game changer’ come to mind…
No official figures have been released yet for the production version, which probably won’t be called Mission E either. But Porsche have been open about the target performance of 0-100km/h (62mph) in 3.5 seconds, with 0-200km/h (124mph) taking around 12.5s. When it comes to electric cars, just as important as ‘how fast’ is the ‘how far’; Porsche talks about a maximum range of around 310 miles though this varies with how fast you drive (and how cold the temperature). One thing is certain – this is no humble electric city runabout.
Porsche has dipped into its Le Mans winning hybrid technology to inspire their first-ever 100% electric sports car. The secret of the Mission E’s impressive performance is an 800 Volt system, which powers two electric motors, and which the company claims to be more powerful than any production EV system today. Recharging can take place at home, though it will probably need to be overnight if you’re plugged in to a domestic electricity supply.
Away from the home, Porsche plans a similar approach to Tesla’s Supercharger network with its own Turbo-Charger system of public charge points, which should be able to charge the Mission E production car to a range of 249 miles (around 80% capacity) within 20 minutes. Mission E will also be able to update its own software via WiFi, and there will eventually be a range of models with varying power outputs. You may even be able to upgrade your Mission E’s power output over the internet for a fee. Batteries that can be replenished wirelessly via inductive charging, while a panel behind the front wheel of the concept hides the conventional charge port.
Porsche calls the Mission E a ‘four-door sports car’ and in size and design it fits midway between 911 and Panamera, with a low, sleek profile, a very Porsche-like bonnet line and four doors. On the 911 that bonnet line is low because the engine is out behind the rear axle; on Mission E, the bonnet line is low because electric motors are much more space-efficient than the internal combustion engine, leaving room in the cabin for four seats with more luggage space behind. The original Mission E concept car that was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor show featured forward opening ‘suicide’ rear doors, but the more recent shots of Arctic pre-production testing shows four conventionally front-hinged doors.
Inside the Mission E concept there’s a floating, 3D digital driver display as well as a second display that extends the full width of the dash, with eye-tracking and gesture control technology for the operation of the car’s major functions. Just how many of these futuristic features will make it into the production vehicle is currently not known.
Comparisons with the Tesla Model S are tempting, but two things are clear about the Mission E. One, Porsche isn’t venturing into all-electric car production to follow in any other maker’s wheel tracks, and two, the Mission E is a four-seater sports car, not a sporty four-seater. As part of the VW Group with its massive investment in electric technology, and with the experience of its own hugely-successful hybrid 919 racing car, Porsche has all it needs to create a new icon.
|Unladen Weight (DIN)||TBC|
|Engine / Cylinders||Full Electric|
|Range||>500km (300 miles)|
|Max Power||440kW (>600hp)|
|Charge Time||80% charge in < 15 mins|
|Acceleration||0-62 mph in <3.5sec|