Porsche’s Mission E electric-car development has reached singularity, it seems. The automaker claims that “the entire company is working towards a single goal” of offering, as its head of battery-electric vehicles, Stefan Weckbach, says in remarks released by the company, “a fully electric Porsche which is a perfect fit for [the] brand.”
For a brand known for creating emotive man-machine connections—built in no small part on a signature flat-six engine sound—it would seem an electric car would present a challenge to its designers and engineers. Weckbach agrees, and he lays out some of the ways his team is tackling that potential snafu in a broad-reaching update on all things electric Porsche.
First, the Mission E: It is a concept car that previews a very similar-looking, yet-to-be-formally-named production vehicle. Porsche plans to put the four-door EV on sale before the end of this decade and promises that the sedan’s 800-volt electrical architecture will support recharging to 250 miles of driving range in just 20 minutes. Overall driving range, on a full charge, will be over 300 miles.
So will it be fun to drive? Porsche thinks so, stressing that the car’s in-floor battery pack keeps the center of gravity low, aiding handling. While the company won’t “lower itself” to mimicking a gas engine’s sound using the interior speakers, it will deploy a sound of some kind that is “a clear reference to the [electric] technology.” Loud whirring, perhaps? In the remarks, Weckbach scoffs at Tesla models’ mind-bending acceleration, referencing that the quicker Model S and Model X cars can only attempt a few acceleration runs at a time before needing to cool down. He stresses that the electric Porsche’s performance will be repeatable—though we note he didn’t offer a commitment that the Porsche will outaccelerate Teslas—and even enable long periods of high-speed travel without cooling-dictated throttling of battery output.
Weckbach stresses that accelerative quickness isn’t the only metric customers will seek—charging times need to be rapid as well. Enter the car’s electrical architecture, which can play nice with 800-volt, 320-kW DC fast chargers. Porsche plans to install these at every one of its 189 dealerships in the United States, giving it the fastest chargers in America. For locations in between, the automaker is relying on the Volkswagen Group’s broader efforts to facilitate lower-voltage Level 2 charger installation along highways and in public areas throughout the nation to support long-distance travel.
Looks will also play a role in Porsche’s plan for seducing buyers. Weckbach says the production car will look nearly the same as the low-slung, futuristic Mission E concept. The show car’s camera-based side-view-mirror solution won’t carry over, but that’ll be the biggest deviation. Porsche was able to keep the Mission E’s ground-hugging roofline by carving footwells into the battery pack, ensuring the battery-as-floor setup didn’t infringe on passenger space or force a tall roof. The car will fit “up to” five passengers, and it will have a frunk—front trunk—with 3.5 cubic feet of cargo space in addition to a regular trunk. So it’ll be fast, charge fast, and hold you and a few friends—and it can’t arrive soon enough for Porsche.