Porsche vows no Tesla will catch its electric sedan

Porsche Mission E Concept Frankfurt Motor Show

PORSCHE says its new Mission E high performance electric car – shown as a concept at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show and expected on sale about 2018 - will be the fastest on the market.

That means it will out-accelerate the Tesla P85D, which gets from 0 to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds.

It could also spawn a high performance electric family, including SUVs and a sports car.

Speaking shortly after the sleek four-door’s motor show reveal at the show, Porsche research and development chief Wolfgang Hatz said it was important to take the electric performance lead.

Porsche -Mission -E-Concept -Car -Showroom“It will be the [highest performing] electric car,” said Hatz. “We will push the limits.”

The Mission E is powered by two “permanently-excited” electric motors claimed to produce more than 440kW and accelerate the sleek four-door to 100km/h in “under 3.5 seconds”.

“It will be less than 3.5 seconds, we didn�t say how much less,” said Hatz, refusing to give details.

He said the electric motors will use technology gleaned from the brand’s Le Mans-winning 919 hybrid race cars and that the engines would be developed in-house with a yet-to-be-announced external partner.

“It is very much influenced by 918 [Spyder] development and 919 used … our own e-motors,” said Hatz.

“Those e-motors we will use on the Mission E will also be strong in-house development together with a partner, which we cannot publish at the moment.”

Porsche -Mission -E-Concept -Car -rear -motor -showHatz said the electric motors would give repeatable performance, rather than reducing their performance when under extended load, as can happen with the Tesla.

He also said the Mission E production car would bring new battery and charging technology – including an 800V electrical system similar to that in the 919 race car – that would allow more than 500km of driving and an 80 percent charge within 15 minutes.

Much of its futuristic technology – including OLED displays, gesture control, holograms – was being worked on for production.

Hatz also said the overall design would not stray wildly from the Mission E concept, in much the same way as the 918 Spyder remained faithful to its concept.

Porsche has also built flexibility into its Mission E concept, which is designed to expand – or contract.

“We have now made a concept … which is scalable,” says Hatz. “We can shorten the wheelbase, we can lengthen the wheelbase, we can [make it] low, very lower, higher.”

Porsche -Mission -E-Concept -Car -open -doors -frankfurt -motor -showHe admitted SUVs or smaller cars would all be possible, but that the focus now was developing the Mission E for production, something expected about 2018.

“First of all we work hard to make the first car a success,” he says of the bold move into electric performance cars, which many see as a way to tackle the success of American newcomer Tesla.

“We decided four-door, four-seater is the first project to start with, and then we see. The first one has to be ‘wow, this is a real Porsche’.”

Hatz would not be drawn on how much the Mission E would cost, but confirmed it would be a profitable project for the car maker known most for its iconic 911 sports car.

“We need a reasonable volume on such a project,” he says. “We cannot afford a project where we lose money.”

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.

Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!