You can hide a lot of things behind some racing numbers, it seems. How else to explain why car makers are so fond of using motorsport concepts to preview future production cars?
That certainly seems to be the case with the new Porsche Mission R Concept, which you might have noticed is rather similar in length, width and height to the current 718 Cayman. And while Porsche bosses won’t actually comment on whether it previews the forthcoming electric Cayman, what they do offer is the sort of knowing grin and non-denial that leaves some pretty big lines to read between. But even if the Mission R does point to the future of the Cayman, the racing livery isn’t just there as a disguise, unlike with some concepts. Instead, this concept offers a tangible, real and very serious look at the not-too-distant future of customer Porsche racing.
While Porsche is best known for its works motorsport projects, as demonstrated by 19 outright Le Mans 24 Hours wins, its Motorsport division has a hugely successful customer racing business. Customer 911s can be found racing in just about every level of GT endurance racing, and below that sits the firm’s portfolio of hugely successful one-make racing championships.
The Carrera Cup started in 1986 in Germany, and there are now some 30 series running in various countries – including the Carrera Cup GB, which supports the British Touring Car Championship. The headliner is the Formula 1- following Supercup, which this year brought in the 510bhp 992-generation 911 GT3 Cup.
Porsche boss Oliver Blume says “motorsport has always been a benchmark for our future development”, which is why the Supercup has switched to more environmentally friendly synthetic fuels for this season. But for motorsport to be relevant for Porsche’s future development, electrification has to play a key role – and beyond the firm’s works Formula E squad and forthcoming return to the World Endurance Championship (which includes Le Mans) with a hybrid hypercar.
“Motorsport is becoming more electric, digital and sustainable,” says Blume. “We want to take a lead in making motorsport more attractive for future generations.”