Porsche has unveiled an electric four-door concept that may show clues to the next generation Panamera.
The Mission e concept introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show is the first all-electric four-seat sports car in the brand’s history and though it’s a radical departure from the brand’s iconic profile, it also bears some striking similarities, including outstanding performance.
Two permanent magnet synchronous motors provide over 600 hp to propel the car to 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds and 200 km/h in under 12 seconds. The motors are similar to those used in the Le Mans winning 919 Hybrid race car. The lithium ion batteries provide the Mission e with a 500 km driving range and can be recharged to 80 percent in 15 minutes (which means an additional 400 km of travel) via an 800-volt port located on the driver’s side front fender. Conventional charging will take considerably more time, but it the Mission e is all set up for wireless charging.
The battery takes up the whole undercarriage between the wheels, which means weight distribution and centre of gravity are optimal for the lightweight Porsche’s handling abilities. Further to that assertion, all-wheel drive and all wheel steering deliver the kind of driving dynamics expected from a Porsche.
The body is mix of aluminum, steel and carbon-fibre to take advantage of weight without losing strength. Integrated aerodynamics such as flush door handles, rear-view side cameras (in place of side mirrors, with images displayed on the respective lower corners of the windshield), and air inlets and outlets on the front, side and rear provide functional benefits, and also add to the futuristic sporty look. The nose, rear wing and window cut are all immediately recognized as 911 cues. The wheels (21 inches in front, 22 on the rear) are also carbon fibre.
Rear-hinged rear doors negate the need for a B-pillar, meaning unencumbered access to the cabin by front and rear occupants alike. Four minimalist seats are futuristic interpretations of today’s racing buckets, while the lack of a centre drive tunnel opens up the interior that’s a purist’s delight, with few physical controls for vehicle functions.
Vehicle instruments and controls are operated by eye-tracking and gesture control and there are even some holograms, all oriented toward the driver. The round instruments are instantly recognized as Porsche’s but they’re virtually displayed by organic LEDs. In a move inspired by the latest iPhone and iPad displays, the instruments adjust to the position of the driver (using cameras to track the driver’s eyes), so if the driver sits lower, higher or even off centre, the instruments will always display in the line of sight.
The centre console between the front seats is more of a flat panel, with open space beneath, and flows into the dashboard centre stack. The dashboard display is a holograph, which shows appropriate function apps that can be engaged via gesture controls by either the driver or front passenger. Traditional functions can also be controlled by a touchscreen on the centre console.
And when the driver is having a good time driving the Mission e, the rearview mirror will display an appropriate emoticon and the “mood” can be uploaded via Wi-Fi to social media.
Also of interest is that the functional content of the vehicle can be altered via a Porsche Car Connect mobile app on a tablet or Smartphone. Changes to the chassis, motor or infotainment systems can be updated remotely, and the link can also be used to schedule maintenance or for remote diagnostics from a dealership. Also, Junior doesn’t have to borrow the keys, since the driver can authenticate remote starting by an authorised user for a limited time frame and location.