Porsche recently brought a concept version of its Cross Turismo variant of the Mission E to California and invited journalists from a few well known publications to drive it. They came away highly impressed. The ride and drive event wasn’t about performance. The actual driving was done on a public road with a police escort. No track time, burnouts, or four wheel drifts allowed.
First, the basics. The Cross Turismo is a version of the upcoming Porsche Mission E electric four door sports car that is scheduled to go into production in 2019. The Cross Turismo stands a little taller and rides a little higher than the Mission E, but other than that, both cars will be built on the same chassis with the similar interior appointments, batteries, motors, charging capabilities, performance, and range.
Porsche is suggesting 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds, thanks to a 600 horsepower rear mounted motor. That’s not quite as rapid as a Tesla P100D but for Porsche, performance is about more than drag racing away from a traffic light. Last year, Tim Stevens of CNET Road Show asked Porsche board member Detlev van Planten whether track performance would really be an important consideration for its Mission E/Cross Turismo cars. “It’s a Porsche,” he said, “so the answer is clearly yes. If you want to drive the track, you need more than one acceleration. That’s why we’re working on a technology that will differentiate from the others. Reproducible acceleration, better use of regeneration.” Part of that technology involves advanced battery cooling that can cope with frequent full throttle acceleration and sustained high speed operation.
Charging prowess is part of that thinking as well. “If you’re having some fun on the track,” von Platen said, “waiting 6 hours to recharge would bother you. That’s why we are working so hard on a technology that would charge the battery in 15 minutes.” Not a full charge in 15 minutes, but enough for another 250 miles of driving using one of the company’s new 800 volt chargers. Every Porsche dealer in the US will have at least one of those ultra high power chargers installed before the Mission E goes on sale next year.
Inside, the Porsche electric cars will offer video displays that span the entire width of the car and extensive use of voice commands. Critical information will be displayed in a heads-up display in front of the driver with three possible settings –Commute, Wayfinding, and Workout — according to Car and Driver. Driver selectable modes will include Range, Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual. The passenger side of the display will provide access to individualized infotainment and climate settings.
Both cars will offer customers a choice of battery sizes — 80 and 95 kWh units are hinted at, although final specs have not been set. Available only with a single rear motor at first, dual motor configurations should become available shortly after production begins. There are even hints that a two door coupe and a convertible version of the Mission E are under consideration.
The Cross Turismo has not yet been approved for production, but Car and Driver reports Porsche is already considering such options as a rooftop aerodynamic cargo box, a cargo organizer for the luggage compartment, and a rear mounted bicycle carrier. Let the comparisons with the Tesla Model X begin! Elon Musk has always said he welcomes compelling electric cars from other manufacturers. (It is no coincidence that Porsche selected California for the Cross Turismo introduction.) Based on the specs and early impressions of the Cross Turismo, Porsche is about to grant his wish.
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