Porsche is getting ready to enter the all-electric sedan fray, showing off a battery-electric four-door coupe concept at the Frankfurt motor show. Called the Mission E, the concept could preview a future production model that would give the Tesla Model S a run for its money. In addition to running on an 800-volt system, the concept makes more than 590 hp and has a Porsche-estimated range of 311 miles.
The Mission E looks almost like a four-door 918 Spyder from the front, with its extra-wide fenders and signature quad-LED headlights. The concept measures just 51.2 inches tall with a radically swept roofline that gives it a true fastback look unlike the current Panamera. The lack of a B-pillar gives the Mission E a clean profile, while air inlets and outlets in the front fascia and fenders help it reduce lift and cut through the air. The concept rides on amply sized 21-inch front alloy wheels and 22-inch rears.
But the real magic happens underneath the sheetmetal. The Mission E utilizes an 800-volt drive system, which Porsche claims is the first of its kind (today's EVs rely on 400-volt systems). Two permanently-excited synchronous electric motors similar to the units used in the Le Mans-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP racer supply more than 590 hp, allowing for acceleration from 0-62 mph in less than 3.5 seconds. The drive system is capable of delivering its full power even after multiple bursts of acceleration, according to Porsche. The concept also benefits from need-based all-wheel drive with Porsche Torque Vectoring, which can automatically send torque to individual wheels. In addition, the Mission E features all-wheel steering. All of this equipment helped the concept lap the Nürburgring's Nordschleife in under eight minutes, Porsche claims.
The lithium-ion battery pack is mounted in the car's underbody, and spans the entire length between the front and rear axles. This gives the Mission E excellent weight distribution as well as a low center of gravity. Thanks to the 800-volt system, the battery pack can be recharged faster, according to Porsche. The system also reduces weight by downsizing the cables to a smaller gauge. Also helping to keep weight down is the sedan's mixed-material body, comprised of aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. The two charging ports are located in the driver's side front fender, and include a "Porsche Turbo Charging" quick charge port. Thanks to the 800-volt system, the Mission E can be fast-charged to 80 percent in roughly 15 minutes. The car is also capable of wireless inductive charging through a coil on the bottom of the car.
Inside, the concept boasts a number of innovative features. Just as with the Tesla Model S, the absence of a transmission tunnel allows for an open cabin. The concept seats four, with each passenger getting their own racing bucket-inspired seat. The gauge cluster is a free-standing, curved OLED screen featuring five round digital instruments. A camera-based eye-tracking system follows the driver's eyes to the gauge he or she is viewing. The system will then activate the menu for that instrument, which the driver can navigate using the steering wheel controls. The gauges will always be in the driver's line of sight -- even if their seating position changes or their body leans mid-turn, the gauges will be placed in the optimal position. A holographic display that extends into the passenger seat shows apps three-dimensionally.
The Porsche Mission E is a concept for now, but it more than likely previews a future Tesla fighter. We've reported before that Porsche was working on an all-electric sedan, and this could very well be it. What do you think of Porsche's potential answer to the Model S?