The 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show hasn’t even kicked off yet, but already there’s a contender for best in show. Porsche’s reveal of its stunning Mission E Concept is a show stopping, drop dead gorgeous, über-fast-charging, all-electric supercar that Porsche reckons will clock the Nürburgring in under 8 minutes, and while it might scream around the 20 odd kilometres of the Nordschleife, what this vehicle shows us very quietly is the future shape of automotive form and function.
Mission E concept is by far the cleanest design to hit the podium to date, very Porsche, but also very predictive of shapes to come. Loaded with plus numbers, 800 volt, 440kW-600hp, 0-100kmh in 3.5 seconds, a top speed of 250kmh and a range of 500km …and perhaps a cheeky nudging at the only other cool spark on the block ‘Lookout Tesla’ ::::
Hiding underneath Mission E’s sharply curvaceous bodywork are two permanent magnet synchronous motors, based on the same technology used in this year’s Le Mans winning 919 Spyder.
The two motors combine for an astounding total of 600 hp/447 kW, enough to push Mission E to 100 kmh in 3.5 seconds, and briskly on to 200 kmh in a nudge over 11 seconds.
And while power is one thing, electric motors are renowned for creating massive torque from zero revs, oddly, Porsche hasn’t quoted a torque figure for this wizbang new machine, leaving one to assume that the headline 447 kW figure is backed up by an equally impressive torque output, but we may have to wait until the Frankfurt Motor Show to actually opens for that reveal.
At just 1300mm high, Porsche describes its new vehicle as “That’s how a sports car looks when it‘s a real Porsche. And that’s how a 4-seat sedan looks when it’s a real Porsche. A height of only 1.3 m, yet space for four? Right.”
Porsche says its aim was to build a battery vehicle superior to those available today in every driving situation.
Thanks to the PSM high performance 800 volt motors – PSM stands for ‘permanently excited synchronous machine’ – an electric motor with extremely high power density, high efficiency and consistent performance over the entire range of speed and distance.
Mission E features two PSMs, one on each axle with a total of more than 440 kW
With long-distance comfort thanks to its high range of more than 500 km. And a continuous power previously unmatched by electric sports cars – indispensable on the race track. Several maximum acceleration starts in succession are possible without loss of performance. In endurance testing the currently available electric drives usually become weaker and thus slower with each new start. Not so Concept Study Mission E according to Porsche.
Because the Mission E is only a concept, details are thin about where or how owners would be able to take advantage of the 800-volt Turbo Charging system, although Porsche does say the car can be charged using more conventional charging stations, minus the ubercharge.
When it comes to handling, the Mission E has a number of advantages over petrol-powered supercars. Just like Tesla, Porsche has mounted the car’s batteries low in the underbody, making for a low center of gravity and quick direction changes. Because the batteries stretch the length of the car and there’s a motor on each axle, the car also has a well balanced weight distribution.
No weight numbers have yet been quoted, but Porsche says it has worked hard to keep the Mission E as light as possible by using the usual mix of composites, aluminum, carbon fiber and steel.
In Porsche’s methodology, lightweight design and construction isn’t about the indiscriminate use of carbon, instead, different materials have been combined and used intelligently – maximising the benefits of their natural properties. Aluminum, different steels, carbon fiber, all in the right combination and in just the right place, principles the car maker has developed in its motor sports ventures.
In one area, however, carbon is the optimal choice: in the so-called ‘Weissach Frame’, the passenger compartment formed as a carbon monocoque. Extremely light, and yet so stable that there is no need for the B-pillar.
The Concept Study stands on large wheels: 22-inch in the rear and 21-inch up front. The wide tires rest on very light aero rims. This allows for the high lateral dynamics typical of a Porsche and contributes to the concept’s strikingly modern appearance.
The Mission E seats four people in individual, lightweight bucket seats while the driver is treated to a curved display that tracks their eyes to know which instrument they’re looking at. Drivers can then swap through different modes on the instrument they’re watching by pressing a button on the steering wheel.
The interior makes the most of the space that going electric frees up – electric cars don’t need a transmission tunnel or driveshaft – designers are able to use almost all of the cockpit space, giving the interior a lighter feel, much more open.
If you’re the type of person who feels the need to share their every mood swing online, the Mission E will also use a small camera to recognize your face and display it as an emoticon in the dashboard, before offering an option for you to share it on social media along with information about your speed and route.
The center console has been given a similar set of high-tech tricks, allowing users to control infotainment and air conditioning with gestures.
The Mission E is, for now at least, just a concept, but it’s also an exciting look at whats to come for speed freaks. Here’s hoping Porsche takes the Mission E and turns it into an electric reality.
Acceleration 0-100 km/h < 3.5 sec
Acceleration 0-200 km/h < 12 sec Top speed > 250 km/h
Power > 440 kW (> 600 hp)
Range > 500 km
System voltage 800 V
Inductive Charging time 80% in < 15 min
Porsche says “What do we at Porsche think of when we look to tomorrow? Sports cars, naturally. Our Mission Future Sports Car. But we also look for sustainable mobility, and consider trends for digitization and urbanization. Because in the future our sports cars will tackle these routes too – in pole position – bringing new technologies from the race track to the road.
With Concept Study Mission E we take our next step towards the future. With an all-electric sports car that defines our vision of e-mobility. The time is ripe for this study. It shows that, in addition to our plug-in hybrids, all-electric drive systems can truly meet our standards of intelligent performance. For us, this declaration is distilled into one clear philosophy: Porsche E-Performance.
Our Concept Study Mission E is still just an idea but it embodies our complete vision of all-electric driving. Four individual seats, four doors, two luggage compartments. Electric drive. E-Performance, Porsche style. Integrated in a harmonious overall concept. Concept Study Mission E sets the stage for tomorrow. With its design and its technology, it provides answers to the question of the sports car of the future.”
What other sites are saying:
Jalopnic: Everyone thinks Porsche’s Mission E could be the next electric Panamera. But it’s smaller than that, which means you might be looking at the next 911 instead despite the four doors. No luxurious rear seats, but speed and beauty this time with an exciting concept that we’re hoping hits the streets by 2019.
plus Google: Wow… Leave it to PORSCHE to come up with the new high-water mark for an electric Super Car! But not just any car… A UFO on wheels!
The Verge: As a concept, the Mission E has the usual assortment of far-off-sounding features
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