Drive It

Porsche aims at Tesla with Mission E Concept

September 16, 2015

Porsche Mission E Concept
Porsche AG | Mission E Concept Car 2015

Even though Porsche might not be putting it in words openly, anyone taking a glimpse at the freshly unveiled Mission E Concept car can see the Germans are setting up their radar squarely at Tesla’s controversial but remarkable Model S.
Unveiled at the recent Frankfurt motor show, this electric sedan equipped with over 590 horsepower, doesn’t have quite as much electric raw muscle as a Model S, but the claimed 500 kilometers of range would outshine even the latest take on Elon Musk’s four-door sedan.
For the record, A Tesla Model S equiped with a ‘Ludicrous Speed’ package might still be the ultimate victor in a drag race because the Mission E’s 0-100km/h sprint takes a claimed ‘under 3.5 seconds’.

Porsche Mission E Concept
Porsche AG | Mission E Concept Car 2015

World premiere for Porsche Mission E

The Mission E is Porsche’s first all-electrically powered four-seat sports car in the brand’s history. The car combines the unmistakable emotional design of a Porsche with excellent performance and the forward-thinking practicality of the first 800-volt drive system.

Key specification data of this fascinating sports car: four doors and four single seats, over 440 kW system power and over 500 km driving range! All-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, zero to 100 km/h acceleration in under 3.5 seconds and a charging time of around 15 minutes to reach an 80 per cent charge of electrical energy. Instruments are intuitively operated by eye-tracking and gesture control, some even via some very futuristic looking holograms.

Drive system

Together the car’s two motors (producing over 440kW combined), can propel the Mission E to a speed of 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds and to 200 km/h in under a staggering twelve seconds.  This certainly makes the Mission E fit for the circuit race track – its lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife is under the eight-minute mark.

Driving range

The Mission E is undoubtedly quick off the marks, but its impressive 15 minute charge from 0 to 80% full puts it in a league of its own. Furthermore, according to Porsche, the Mission E can travel over 500 km on one battery charge, and it can be charged with enough energy for around 400 km more driving range in about fifteen minutes. The reason: Porsche is a front-runner in introducing innovative 800-volt technology for the first time. Doubling the voltage – compared to today’s electric vehicles that operate at 400 volts. This technology offers multiple advantages: shorter charging times and lower weight, because lighter, smaller gage copper cables are sufficient for energy transport.

Porsche Mission E Concept
Mission E Concept Car – Charging Port

Porsche’s Uber cool charging port (above) is hidden in a movable panel on the front left wing in front of the driver’s door. This moveable body segment gives access to the charging port for the innovative “Porsche Turbo Charging” system.

Driving dynamics

Another feature that is typical of a Porsche sports car is a lightweight concept with optimal weight distribution and a low centre of gravity. The battery mounted in the car’s underbody, which is based on the latest lithium-ion technology, runs the whole length between the front and rear axles. This distributes its weight to the two drive axles uniformly, resulting in exceptionally good balance.

The body as a whole is made up of a functional mix of aluminium, steel and carbon fibre reinforced polymer. The wheels are made of carbon: the Mission E has wide tyres mounted on 21-inch wheels in front and 22-inch wheels at the rear.

Design

Every square inch, every angle, every radius of the Mission E reflects one thing above all else: emotional sportiness in the best tradition of Porsche design. The much reduced sculpting of the front end shows a classic Porsche sweepback, and it relates the concept car to the 918 Spyder and Porsche race cars. A new type of matrix LED headlights in the brand’s typical four-point light design captures the viewer’s gaze.

Distinctive air inlets and outlets – on the front, sides and at the rear – typify the body’s full flow-through design that enhances efficiency and performance. Integrated air guides improve airflow around the wheels, for instance, and air outlets on the sides reduce overpressure in the wheel wells, thereby reducing lift.

At the rear, a three-dimensional “PORSCHE” badge illuminated from inside hovers beneath an arch of light that extends across the entire width in a black glass element.

Porsche Mission E Concept
Mission E Concept Car – Interior

Display and control concept

The instrument cluster shows five round instruments – they can be recognized as Porsche, but they are displayed virtually in OLED technology, i.e. by organic light-emitting diodes. The round instruments can be organized according to the driver-relevant themes of Connected Car, Performance, Drive, Energy and Sport Chrono.

The controls are just as ground-breaking. An eye-tracking system detects, via camera, which instrument the driver is viewing. The driver can then activate the menu of the instrument in focus by pushing a button on the steering wheel. But that is not all: the display follows the seat position and body attitude of the driver in what is known as a parallax effect. If the driver sits lower, higher or leans to one side, the 3D display of the round instruments reacts and moves with the driver!

Holographic display

The entire dashboard is chock full of new ideas. Its division into two three-dimensionally structuring layers reinforces the impression of lightness and clarity. The upper layer integrates the driver’s display, and between the levels there is a holographic display that extends far into the passenger’s side. The desired symbol is activated by gestures that are detected by sensors. A grasping gesture means select, while pulling means control for example.

Porsche Mission E Concept
Mission E Concept Car – Interior Dashboard

The driver can use a smartphone or tablet to start updates conveniently from the Porsche Connect Store. Furthermore, Porsche Connect enables direct contact to a Porsche Centre for remote diagnostics or to schedule appointments.

The virtual exterior mirrors are literally eye-catching. The lower corners of the windscreen show the images of the outside cameras that are mounted in the front wings. The benefits: the driver gets a better view of images and the surroundings, and safety information can also be actively displayed there.

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