Porsche Mission E officially confirmed for production by 2020
Porsche announces electric Tesla-rivalling Porsche saloon will launch by 2020, with €1bn investment and 1,400 new jobs
Porsche has confirmed that the striking Mission E concept, first seen at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, has been given the green light for production by the end of the decade.
The brand’s first EV will herald a new era in battery-powered Porsches, and brings a massive investment into the new plant that will produce it.
With the VW Group looking to put ‘dieselgate’ behind it, the firm previously announced a cross-brand commitment to bringing a number of electric and hybrid models to market in the next few years. The group has confirmed the next Phaeton saloon will be electric, and now Porsche will build a more performance-oriented EV in the form of the 592bhp Mission E.
As a measure of full commitment to electric vehicle production, around €700million will be invested in Porsche’s main Stuttgart site to accommodate an extra assembly plant and paint shop. The existing engine factory will also expand for electric motor production, while over 1,400 extra jobs will be created there alone.
Around another €300million will boost other areas of the company. Dr Olivier Blume, chairman of Porsche’s executive board, says it is “beginning a new chapter in the history of the sports car”.
The Mission E is a fusion of 918 hypercar aggression and Panamera proportions, but with a less controversial look. It sits very low to the ground at only 1,300mm tall, with the body constructed from a mix of aluminium, steel and carbon fibre-reinforced polymer. The wheels are made out of carbon and measure 21 inches at the front and 22 inches at the rear.
The four-point matrix LED headlamps are a reinterpretation of the cluster design seen on the facelifted 911, while the 918-inspired plunging roofline and sculpted rear haunches are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible. A distinguishing feature of the Mission E is the suicide door layout, with the absence of a B-pillar allowing for easier access to the cabin.
In terms of performance, Porsche has looked to its Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid racer for assistance. A new 800-volt drive system, consisting of two electric motors and a powerful battery – which Porsche claims is twice as powerful as any other EV system available today – drive the Mission E via all four wheels, developing 592bhp.
Porsche claims 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds for the Mission E, with 0-124mph taking an additional nine seconds. The concept also features four-wheel steering, with Porsche Torque Vectoring automatically distributing power to individual wheels to maximise grip.
Another benefit of the powerful electric drive system is the car’s 500km (310-mile) range. That makes it a match for the Tesla Model S and Audi’s e-tron SUV concept.
Where the Mission E takes the upper hand is with the ‘Porsche Turbo Charging’ system, allowing an 80 per cent recharge of the batteries in around 15 minutes via the 800-volt port. Porsche claims this is possible because of the lighter, smaller copper cables the Mission E uses. As an alternative, the batteries can also be replenished wirelessly via inductive charging. A panel behind the front wheel of the concept hides the charge port.
But the tech-fest doesn’t end there, as inside Porsche has installed eye-tracking and gesture control technology for the operation of the car’s major functions.
The dash has also been separated into two distinctive sections, with a traditional instrument cluster making way for a floating, 3D digital display. The panel reacts to the driver’s movements so the display is always visible and in the driver’s line of sight.
A second holographic display extends the length of the dash – showing selectable 3D apps, which can be used to control primary functions such as the navigation, media and climate control. They can be accessed via swiping and pulling hand gestures, while the screen housed in the centre console is used for more detailed information menus.