When do you really start to take electric drive seriously? As a viable avenue in the pursuit of what will propel the motorcar in the future?
Is it when a new company sprouts up, creates an exceptional sporting luxury saloon EV, sells it by the bucketload and seems to partially solve most of the compromises with the EV formulae.
Not quite. It’s actually when one of the most revered sports car manufacturers, rumoured to be setting its sights on the aforementioned EV startup, brings a square on rival to the Frankfurt Motorshow.
Enter the Porsche Mission E Concept, and it does what it says on the tin. It is Porsche’s mission, and that mission is electric drive.
The rumoured answer to Teslas Model S, which comes to Frankfurt sporting a sloping four door coupe body style which borrows more than a little from the seminal 918 Spyder Hypercar aesthetically. It does look futuristically stunning, without departing from typical Porsche design language at all really.
On the inside the classic Porsche layout has been taken on five or ten years, with the familiar binnacle now housing a glorious OLED screen on which the traditional dials are displayed.
A second screen streaks across in front of the passenger and another down the central tunnel. Wonderfully uncluttered.
The steering wheel is refreshingly down to earth for what is such a forward looking concept, lending more to this cars perceived viability.
And viability is the word of the day with regard to the public perception of EVs. Are theyas easy and convenient to run as a fossil fuel powered vehicle?
In the case of the 8 hour charging 180 or so mile efforts of the last ten years, not really, but Porsche claims fervently to have made real forward strides. A 15 minute “turbo” charge time up to 80% (245 mile range) seems pretty convenient and viable to us.
A maximum range of 310 miles is just enough to take the game on, without being so high that it’s dismissed as pie in the sky. Porsche are very serious about this car.
Performance wise, its no P85D, but its got the poke. 600ps through an all wheel drive all wheel steering system delivers 62mph in 3.5 seconds and 124 in less than 12.
At present Mission E is just a concept, but conversely a very aggressive statement of intent. It will be Porsches mission to get this all new powertrain installed in future generations of Panamera and subsequent smaller models for the answer to Tesla that has been so hotly rumoured up to now.
For now we can enjoy the pretty Mission E at Frankfurt and finally absorb the reality of the coming onslaught of electric drive.