No doubt unhappy letting some sports car upstart from California keep the hi-po electric car spotlight all to himself, Porsche has unveiled the Porsche Mission E, a four-seat, four-door sport sedan boasting a 600-hp drivetrain, and 500 km of driving range.
Using a pair of permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) Porsche says are similar to those in the 919 hybrid that won this year’s Le Mans endurance race, the Mission E is said to be capable of sprinting from a stop to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds, and to double that speed in 12 seconds. More importantly, says Porsche, for the development of electric car tech, the Mission E can be charged to 80 percent battery capacity–enough for 400 km/h of driving–in just 15 minutes(!), a feat made possible by the car’s 800-volt electrical system, which the manufacturer tells us offers the advantages of lighter-weight, lighter-gauge wiring. For those without 800-volt charging in their home’s garage, 400-volt charging (a standard we understand is available in some overseas markets, but not in North America) will do the trick, as will inductive charging.
In profile, the Mission E looks like a futuristic Porsche 911 with a stretched wheelbase; up front, the headlights are a hyper-model interpretation of the four-point LEDs used in current Porsche models, while out back, the full-width taillights look a bit like a Macan’s lights reimagined for the Panamera. Instead of traditional side mirrors, front wing-mounted cameras broadcast what they see to the bottom corners of the windshield.
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Mission E’s battery is mounted in the underbody for a lower centre of gravity, and further weight reduction comes through the body’s use of aluminum, carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer, and carbon wheels measuring 21 inches up front and 22 out back.
No big surprises inside, either, where there’s a high centre console splitting the interior into places for four bucket seats. Porsche says the OLED (organic LED) instrument cluster is more or less a graphic version of the five-pod arrangement used in the brand’s production cars and crossovers, with eye-tracking tech that knows which instrument the driver is looking at, at any given time; using that tech, the instruments will actually “move” with the driver so that no matter their position in the driver’s seat, all key driving-related information will be visible, and not blocked by from view, say, the steering wheel. Want to tell your friends you’re having fun driving your Porsche? A rearview mirror-mounted camera “recognizes the driver’s good mood,” and can save route and speed information so it can be shared later via social media.
A holographic display toward the passenger side of the car allows touch-free control of secondary functions, controlled via gestures, and updates to the car (chassis, engine, infotainment, you name it) can be made using an over-the-air service via smartphone or tablet.
The Mission will be on display to the public at the Frankfurt auto show, starting Thursday, September 17.