Porsche raised more than a few eyebrows when it confirmed plans to make the all-electric Mission E concept a reality. The Tesla-baiting sedan was so well received by enthusiasts and would-be buyers that the German firm has announced not a lot will change as it transitions from a show car to a production model.
“The external design will be very similar,” promised Porsche CEO Oliver Blume in an interview with Top Gear. Of course, Porsche will have to make a few tweaks to get the Mission E to comply with safety regulations all around the world, so it won’t be exactly identical to the concept.
Blume also suggested that the production model will boast the same performance credentials as the concept. In other words, the yet-unnamed series-produced Mission E will launch with a state-of-the-art 800-volt electric drivetrain made up of two electric motors programmed to send 600 horsepower to all four wheels. The sedan will be capable of hitting 60 mph from a stop in about 3.5 seconds.
The 800-volt drivetrain will allow the battery pack to receive an 80-percent charge in just 15 minutes — at least theoretically. Porsche concedes that, while bringing an EV with an 800-volt system to the market is feasible, it’s all but useless unless there’s a network of 800-volt charging stations that it can be plugged into. Blume said Porsche is currently talking to government officials in Europe, in the United States, and in China about investing in 800-volt stations, but Top Gear doesn’t believe the network will be ready in time for the car’s launch.
The Mission E is part of Porsche parent company Volkswagen’s attempt to improve its image in the wake of the widely-publicized Dieselgate scandal. Going green will be good for the German economy too, as Porsche expects the sedan’s development will create about 1,000 new jobs at its Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen factory in Germany. Notably, the company is investing $764 million to build a new paint shop and a new assembly building, and to expand its engine factory to allow production of electric motors.