How did the Porsche Mission E come to look the way it does? If you are famous car company that wants to build an all new, fully electric four door sports car, where do you start? If you are Porsche, you want the new car to be modern, but you also want it to reflect the company’s heritage.
You begin by posting photos and drawings of the many famous sports cars produced by the company in years past on the walls in your design center. That way, the people creating the car can incorporate a smidgen of the 718 RSK race car from the late ’50s and early ’60s here; a skoosh of the current 919 hybrid Le Mans racer there.
The original drawings became clay models that Porsche management could review and comment on. That feedback led to subtle changes until a final design was agreed to. Then it was time to design the interior. For the sake of continuity, Porsche wanted it to feel familiar to drivers of its iconic 911, the sports car that has defined the company since it was introduced in 1963. But it had to be a cutting edge cabin, too. So they also included high tech features like gesture recognition and holographic displays.
AutoBlog says the Mission E all wheel drive powertrain makes 590 horsepower. Porsche promises a 311-mile range using the European testing method. Subtract about a third to convert that to US standards. Production is scheduled to begin in 2020. Porsche’s factory near Stuttgart will have to be substantially modified and updated in order to build the new car. One key to the decision to build the Mission E was an agreement by Porsche employees to restructure their contract with the company in order to make manufacturing the car commercially viable.
Porsche says it new electric sports car will have an 800 volt electrical system that can provide an 80% battery charge in just 15 minutes. Where drivers will find high power charging stations to make rapid charging possible remains unknown.