Porsche has stolen the limelight at this year’s Frankfurt motor show with the unveiling of this spectacular new 600bhp plus electric-powered concept car – the Mission E.
Drawing on the electric drive and energy storage know-how gained in the development of the Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid race car, along with the lightweight construction and battery technology created for the 918 Spyder hypercar, the sleek new four-door concept is claimed to closely preview an innovative new Telsa Model S rival that's being readied for launch before the end of the decade.
The Mission E is based on a newly developed platform conceived specifically around its electric drive system. “We have taken a whole new direction with the structure. There’s no need for a traditional centre tunnel, for example, and this has been factored in to the design,” reveals Hatz.
The floorpan is made from aluminium, high-strength steel and carbon-fibre reinforced plastic – a combination Porsche says will be reflected on the production version tentatively planned to appear in 2018. Significantly, the adoption of a bespoke platform rules out petrol, diesel or hybrid variants of the new car. “It is a standalone electric car,” declares Hatz, putting to rest speculation that the new concept also holds clues to a long-mooted saloon model to go up against the Audi A6, BMW 5-series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz E-class.
Hatz doesn’t categorically rule out a sub-Panamera saloon, but he indicates such a would require a different platform and floorpan structure to the Mission E.
Hints of new Panamera
Various elements of the concept car’s chassis, including the suspension, have been sourced from the second-generation Panamera, due out in 2016. Details still remain scarce, though Porsche confirms the use of four-wheel steering – a development now available across the 911 line-up. The 21-inch front and 22-inch rear wheels make use of the centre locking mechanisms first used by the 911 GT3.
Reiterating the significance of the engineering project behind its development, Autocar’s 2015 man of the year, said: “We are deadly serious about this car. It is not just a concept, but at clear look at the future of Porsche. The implications to the brand are as important as those when the 911 was created over 50 years ago.”
The four-door Mission E was styled by a small team led by Porsche design boss, Michael Mauer. The former Mercedes-Benz, Saab and General Motors designer has been responsible for a range of critically acclaimed Porsche concept cars in recent years, including the original 918 Spyder concept wheeled out at the 2010 Geneva motor show.