The fantastically futuristic car you see here is what a Porsche of the future could look like. Dubbed ‘Mission E’, its a totally feasible concept car that shows the boys from Stuttgart are serious about taking on Tesla head-on. And winning.
Porsche reckons this car proves that "even an electrically powered Porsche naturally fulfils all requirements related to performance, range and driving dynamics." And when you look at its vital statistics, it’s hard to argue: 590bhp powers all four wheels, and an 800-volt battery charging system contibutes to a range of 310 miles - it can be recharged to 80 per cent of maximum range in 15 minutes.
By comparison, the Tesla Model S P90D makes around 750bhp with a range of 300 miles if you drive sensibly, while recharging at a Supercharger will inject around 170 miles of range for every 30 minutes of charge. The Porsche will go from 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds, compared to 2.8 seconds in a Ludicrous Mode-enabled Tesla.
On paper, then, it’s all fairly similar. The Tesla’s more powerful and quicker off the line, but won’t go quite as far and takes longer to charge. Where the noticable difference will be is in the interior. While the Model S’s interior looks good, the seats are a bit flat and the choice of materials isn’t quite as luxurious as you’d expect.
On the contrary, Porsche is famed for its beautifully appointed interiors - Porsche has fitted four individual figure hugging chairs inspired by bucket seats, and without all that mechanical gumph under the car, each passenger has more personal space than an equivalent ICE car. The centre console curves upwards between the front occupants, leaving space behind it to give the cabin an even airy feel.
Porsche has taken technology from its Le Mans-winning race car, the 919 Hybrid, and applied it to the Mission E. Two ‘permanently-excited synchronous motors’ are responsible for both accelerating the car and recovering energy usually lost through braking. Porsche claims this system is better than the electric motor setups on the market today, as it doesn’t lose accelerative force if you plant your right boot multiple times within a short time period.
Interestingly, one of the Mission E’s unique selling points is that 800-volt battery. According to Porsche, by doubling the voltage compared to other manufacturers’ batteries, its car benefits from shorter charging times and lower weight, thanks to smaller copper cables being sufficient for energy transport.
In our humble opinion, the styling is absolutely fantastic. It takes the idea of a Panamera, sucks out the ugly, and infuses just enough bonkers concept styling to look cool without looking like something that’ll never get made.
As usual, there’s a load of PR guff about gesture controls, organic light-emitting diodes and all that lark, but its the electric tech that fascinates. Elon Musk and Tesla have done a great job of convincing the world that electric cars can be cool, and with a definite shift in attitudes towards eco cars, it was only a matter of time before the automotive heavyweights joined the arena. This is the fascinating battleground of our motoring future.