Porsche head of battery electric vehicles Stefan Weckbach loosened his tongue on the forthcoming Mission E electric concept and the company’s general EV direction going forward on Wednesday. This is an internal Porsche on Porsche production, with leading questions and canned answers, so we’ll just give you the highlights.
Between the plug-in Cayenne and Panamera, 918 Spyder and 919 race car, the company has been working with electrification for years. It’s focusing on CO2 reduction but also using the new tech to boost performance. We’d expect nothing less from Porsche, which will introduce an electric line of cars based on the Mission E by the end of this decade.
The Mission E, or whatever comes next from the concept, will use an 800-volt architecture, allowing for a claimed 250-mile charge in less than 20 minutes. Porsche Cars North America president and CEO Klaus Zellmer says one of the company’s priorities is to equip all its 189 U.S. dealerships with 800V DC fast chargers. It just installed six at its new Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta.
When asked about its rival from Tesla, “that can manage 0-100 km/h in under three seconds,” Weckbach throws some shade.
“But only twice — the third attempt will fail. The system is throttled. Porsche drivers won’t need to worry about anything like that happening. The Mission E will offer reproducible performance and a top speed which can be maintained for long periods.”
Under the hood, according to Weckbach, the Mission E will have 3.5 cubic feet of storage space, in addition to the electric motor, power electronics, cooling system and other high-voltage components. It won’t use the rearview camera side mirrors of the concept because it would be impossible to homologate the system with the different regulations around the world.
How does it drive, according to Weckbach?
“It’s a fantastic drive — and I should know because recently I had the opportunity to drive the first few laps in the prototype with our developers at the Idiada test track. Our vehicle is a four-door sport sedan that can carry up to five people, with a very low center of gravity thanks to the underfloor battery and all possible refinements to the chassis. Driving performance combined with driving pleasure — everyone is in for quite a surprise. With Mission E, we will offer a fully electric Porsche, which is a perfect fit for our brand, finds approval with our customers and rightfully bears the name Porsche.”
Porsche, Audi and VW are working together on e-mobility, and that includes looking at how to charge customers for charging, and cooperating new platforms.
As for the Mission E being a “real Porsche,” Weckbach says we don’t have to worry. The company is taking advantage of the battery placement that lowers the center of gravity, but it won’t pipe in any gimmicky sound during acceleration. The car will get some driver assistance systems, like adaptive cruise control for traffic, but it won’t take any of the fun driving away.
Weckbach ends with this: “The entire company is looking forward to the Mission E. And that all of us — engineers, software developers, designers, salespeople and even finance experts — are quite clear about the fact that what we are doing here is creating a new world for Porsche.”
At one point, we would have feared that last comment, but we now know that electrification doesn’t mean the end of enthusiasm. And if a few Mission Es means a bunch more 600-hp 911s, we’re all on board.