Porsche is a major step loser to releasing its first fully-electric car after finishing testing for what has been known as project J1.
The near-production car, based heavily on the Mission E concept we saw at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, is now in the final phase of its development as the standalone sixth Porsche model line.
Porsche will finalise its spec, both technical and in terms of equipment, before giving it a debut at one of Europe’s major car shows. Officially slated for a 2019 launch, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it at Geneva in March.
The concept featured a two-motor setup with 590bhp and 663lb ft, with lithium-ion batteries integrated into the floor structure for a lower centre of gravity. It was all-wheel drive but Porsche said it sent most of the power to the rear. Mmmm, schpordy.
Part of project J1’s remit is to show the world – and, more specifically, Porsche buyers – that electric power doesn’t have to be associated with oversized, lumbering SUVs. Most manufacturers venturing into the larger electric car market choose SUVs for their sheer interior space, making it easier to package the batteries.
The £100,000-ish car has no name, as yet, but Porsche chief Oliver Blume says it won’t be called Mission E, according to Autocar. It has been set an ambitious-looking 20,000-unit annual sales target after the first year or two.
At the same time, the next 911 generation is being built with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain in mind. It’s possible that such a model would need to drop to four cylinders to make room for batteries while the rest of the range maintained six.
The J1 chassis will also be used for the first electric Bentley in 2020 or so. That will be a two-door electric sports car.