As the stage door opened and the white four-door sports car rolled silently onto the stage in Frankfurt, Porsche unveiled its vision for the future of its products. Dubbed Mission E, it is the first all-electric four seat sports car in Porsche’s history.
With design that clearly is inspired by the 911, 918 and other Porsche products, Mission E also leans heavily upon Porsche’s racing heritage. It is powered by two permanent magnet synchronous motors similar to the motors used in the 919 hybrid racer that won Le Mans this year. The all wheel drive system employs torque vectoring so the power goes to the wheels that need it most, improving both performance and handling. With this pedigree it’s not surprising that the Mission E makes 600 horsepower, can go 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds, and lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in under eight minutes.
The surprise comes in its advancements in range and charging technology. The Mission E can be charged to 80% capacity in under 15 minutes when connected to an 800-volt supercharger and a full charge will deliver a range of 310 miles.
In order to keep weight down while improving vehicle dynamics, Mission E is constructed of a mix of carbon fiber, aluminum and steel. It features lightweight carbon fiber wheels that are 21 inches in front and 22 inches in diameter in the rear.
The interior design is pure Porsche based on the concepts of openness, driver-orientation, and functional efficiency. But that doesn’t mean it’s not elegant. The overall simplicity is punctuated by the lack of a traditional transmission tunnel that opens up the space for reinterpretation. The race inspired seats look to offer exceptional support while being very light weight. And the open center console arches up to the dashboard making optimum use of available space.
The car features a new concept in information display with its holographic instrument panel. By dividing the information into two three-dimensional layers, it brings clarity and focus to the display. Porsche also is experimenting with gesture display – a concept recently integrated into the new BMW 7-Series – to allow the driver to manipulate controls without touching and knobs, buttons or screens.
While no timetable has been set for the transformation of the Mission E into a production car, it appears that several of the technologies are production ready and could find themselves into existing Porsche models in the near future.