The Porsche Mission E concept looked like a killer electric car when it was announced earlier this year and had gearheads the world over drooling at the possibility of an electric powerhouse juxtaposed with the infamous road-hugging handling of a Porsche. The contrast seemed to start early cries of the Mission E being the next Tesla competitor (despite the fact that it is 5 years away from production), but those were met with understandable skepticism (tell us the arrival date again). But oh, the car. The sleek lines and stance of the car alone had many itching to see more, to hear more about this new creation after it was unveiled in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. But alas, it was just a concept…
Until now! Gas2 brought us the great news that Porsche had put the Mission E on the fast track to move it from concept to production. Parent group VW has been very vocal about making a large investment in shifting its investments from a focus on fossil fuel–powered vehicles to researching and building production electric vehicles. This is a big part of its plans coming out of the dieselgate scandal, so let’s hope that this is just the first of many announcements from the collective for Porsche.
Porsche isn’t treating this move lightly either. It is aggressively staffing up for a huge cultural and production lineup shift towards electrification. More than 1,000 new jobs are being created in its Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen facility, which will also receive a capital infusion of over $750 million (€700 million). It is worth noting that this is an expansion of the overall facility, which indicates that Porsche is looking to drive incremental sales of electric vehicles and not executing a wholesale replacement of existing diesel or gas production equipment (yet).
Porsche will also be adding a new paint shop, a new assembly plant, and expanding its engine factory specifically for electric motors. Suffice it to say that Porsche is bolting on the full suite of production equipment that’s required to build electric cars at its production facility. There will also be additional investment in its central Weissach development center to support the effort.
The Mission E concept car celebrated its premiere at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) in September. Visitors were gripped above all by its highly emotional design. Living up to the buzzword of ‘E-Performance’, the technological trailblazer combines outstanding driving performance with trendsetting day-to-day practicality. The four-door car with four individual seats has a system power output of over 440 kW (600 PS). The vehicle will thus achieve both acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in under 3.5 seconds and a range of more than 500 kilometres. Charged via an 800-volt charger unit specially developed for the car, which is twice as powerful as today’s quick-charge systems, the lithium-ion batteries integrated within the vehicle floor have enough power again for 80 percent of the range after just 15 minutes. The vehicle can optionally be ‘refuelled’ wirelessly by induction via a coil set into the garage floor.
The concept car combines the unmistakable emotional design of a Porsche with excellent performance and the forward-thinking practicality of the first 800-volt drive system. Key specification data of this fascinating sports car: four doors and four single seats, over 600 hp (440 kW) system power and over 500 km driving range. All-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, zero to 100 km/h acceleration in under 3.5 seconds and a charging time of around 15 minutes to reach an 80 per cent charge of electrical energy. Instruments are intuitively operated by eye-tracking and gesture control, some even via holograms – highly oriented toward the driver by automatically adjusting the displays to the driver’s position.
Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche AG, elaborates on what the future holds: “With Mission E, we are making a clear statement about the future of the brand. Even in a greatly changing motoring world, Porsche will maintain its front-row position with this fascinating sports car.” This bold statement is also right in line with what we heard from sister company Audi at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month, so it seems possible that VW could be turning the whole ship towards a brighter and cleaner future.