Porsche did it a little over a decade ago with the Cayenne, and in 2015 did it again with the Mission E. The Germany luxury automaker demonstrates that taboos are unnecessary, and it is possible to be innovative while staying true to the spirit and tradition of your brand.
The 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show introduced several new developments to the luxury segment, but one of them was an unexpected surprise. Porsche unveiled its Mission E, its prototype for an electric sports car capable of competing even with Tesla Motors.
Porsche launched an electric ‘bombshell’: 600 horsepower and a range that triggered expectations from experts and fans, as it can travel up to 500km (310 miles) on a single charge.
Even more amazing, the vehicle promises a charging time of around 15 minutes and can reach an 80 percent charge of electrical energy. Of its performance, the only data we have so far is that it can go from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds and can reach a speed of 200 km/h in less than 12 seconds.
With these features, even the dynamic Tesla Model S could feel threatened, because only the P85D version surpasses the performance of Porsche’s future rival, with the addition that the battery recharging could be faster in the German sports car.
In terms of design, Porsche maintains the traditional lines that have characterized the firm in recent years with an image too reminiscent of the 911 or the Panamera.
Inside, however, this electric four-seater shows some visible innovations. It features an intelligent interior, with a system that even allows the driver to operate various functions (browser, infotainment, climate control, settings…) through eye-tracking and gesture control. Intuitively, the car knows what instrument the driver is watching, so by simply pressing a button on the steering wheel he can navigate the menu in front of him without distractions.
Porsche has also placed in the Mission E the best of its road car capabilities as well as its experience in competition vehicles: two permanent synchronous motors, permanent magnet synchronous motors, brake energy recovery, on-demand all-wheel drive, active steering wheel or lightweight technology with optimum weight distribution, and a low center of gravity to optimize its sport performance.
Such was the impact of this model that it can be said it silenced even the most traditionalist fans of Porsche for whom—before—the idea of electric propulsion was against the sporting tradition of the firm.
It would be a different thing if— according to some rumors—the German company decided to implement the principles of the Mission E into an electric 911… Could the “purists” be able to forgive such sacrilege? ■