With the onslaught of electric concepts and production vehicles set to hit markets all over the world, electric vehicles are without a doubt the future of the automotive world. While a few manufacturers are exploring other areas such as hydrogen fuel cells and bioethanol, the industry’s keen interest in electricity driven vehicles is likely to give EVs a huge head start in the race to create the first zero-emission fleet.
Porsche, one of the few sports car makers with a hybrid supercar already in the market has showcased its first fully electric sports car concept. Dubbed the Mission E, the new concept serves as a platform for the German carmaker’s new E Performance philosophy. We take a look at Porsche’s take on the electric vehicle.
Porsche’s Mission E Concept is not a radical revamp of the German car maker’s design language. Borrowing modern day Porsche elements such as the current gen 918 front end and the 90’s 911 rear, the Mission E is a tantalizing blend of past, present and future. The headlights, composed of four separate units that make up the LED matrix, come fitted with an array of sensors for the various assistance systems. Despite being a four door sedan, the Mission E retains its sports car persona by sitting much lower than conventional saloons. As a result, the car is a mere 1.3 m in height.
Aerodynamics play an important role in Porsche’s design and the Mission E is no exception. The sides feature a distinct lack of features to improve air flow. The ORVMs have been done away with for a more advanced camera system. Porsche also claims that additional safety information can be beamed directly onto the images that are projected onto the windshield. The rear features a single taillight that runs through the entire width of the car and is accented by a black glass pane.
Interiors of the Porsche Mission E are decidedly minimal and retro. Similar to ultra luxury cars such as the Rolls Royce Phantom and Ghost, the Porsche Mission E seeks to make suicide doors mainstream once more. Suicide doors are essentially car doors that hinge at the front instead of the back. While suicide doors ease the process of entry and egress, they pose a greater risk of occupants falling out of the vehicle. However, with the introduction of seat belts and the use of such a system limited to only the rear doors, the risks are greatly reduced. The cabin is divided into two halves by the center console that extends all the way to the rear of the electric sedan. Although this system limits the occupant number to a maximum of four, it allows for advanced seat adjustment features for each car.
The Mission E’s dashboard sports three different displays. The primary display located on the center console serves as the main control center for the electric sports car’s major functions such as climate control, audio system, suspension setup etc. Porsche has also installed a secondary LCD unit that runs along the dashboard of the EV that broadcasts information in a manner accessible by the other passengers. The driver’s instrument cluster is the third and final display. While configurable instrument clusters are slowly becoming the norm in the industry, the German car maker takes it one step further with a 3D system that tracks eye position and dynamically adjusts gauge readout positions for optimal viewing angles.
Under the Hood:
Powering the Porsche Mission E is a pair of PSM (Permanently Excited Synchronous Machine) motors that produce a total of 440 kW (600 hp). With a 0-100 km/h time of 3.5 seconds, the Mission E falls behind the Tesla Model S on its ludicrous mode. However, with fast charging capability that recharges the battery to 80% in a mere 15 minutes, the Mission E seeks to eliminate the hassle of long waits between charges. However, with a range of 500 km, the Mission E seeks to eliminate charging between trips altogether. Porsche also offers the choice between two charging methods: inductive charging (wireless) and the conventional plug in type.