Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second electric car will fill a new niche

Porsche took its first step in the station wagon segment when it introduced the Panamera Sport Turismo. It will add a second long roof to its catalog of performance-bred models, and the sleek-looking Mission E Cross Turismo concept unveiled at the 2018 Geneva auto show hints at what it will look like.

The German firm explains the design study evolved from the Mission E concept that made its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show. Some of the styling cues (including the 911-inspired low hood and the rectangular headlights) come straight from the original design study. It sits taller than the Mission E, which nearly hugs the ground as it goes around a bend, and it looks more rugged thanks to add-ons like back trim around the wheel arches and the rocker panels.

On one hand, this is a completely different kind of Porsche. On the other hand, we would be remiss not to point out it reminds us a little of the toughened-up 959s that won the grueling Paris-Dakar Rally in the 1980s. Porsche’s off-roader heritage goes well beyond the Cayenne.

Designers looked toward the future, not the past, to put together an interior that’s high-tech while remaining intuitive to use. The driver faces an evolution of the 2015 Mission E’s dashboard that looks much closer to production. There is a wide, wing-shaped TFT screen in lieu of the instrument cluster, plus two additional screens that stretch nearly the entire width of the dashboard. The slanted center console incorporates another touch-sensitive surface the front passengers use to adjust the climate control settings. The only buttons are on the multi-function steering wheel.

Eye-tracking technology puts the information the driver wants front and center. If a weekend getaway is in order, Porsche’s DestinationApp helps the passengers plan by suggesting potential destinations and points of interests along the way. The software illustrates what the brand means when it says it’s going digital.

The Cross Turismo is a station wagon, an electric one at that, but it’s a Porsche above all. It is powered by a pair of electric motors that join forces to deliver 600 horsepower to all four wheels. Stefan Weckbach, the head of Porsche’s electric vehicle project, told Digital Trends on the sidelines of the Geneva show that Porsche teamed up with an external supplier to design the Mission E’s motors. They draw electricity from a lithium-ion battery pack.

Each electric motor lies over an axle, a setup which gives the Cross Turismo on-demand all-wheel drive, while torque vectoring and dynamic chassis control (DCC) technology boost driver engagement. The wagon takes merely 3.5 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop, and engineers went to great lengths to ensure it can do that over and over again without losing performance. An 800-volt charging system provides a 250-mile charge in just 15 minutes. Alternatively, wireless inductive charging can also top up the lithium-ion battery pack.

Called Taycan, Porsche’s Mission E-inspired electric sedan will begin arriving in showrooms in 2019. It will compete in the same segment as the Tesla Model S. Executives gave the Cross Turismo the proverbial green light for production in October 2018, a decision that will create 300 jobs in Germany, but they didn’t reveal when the first examples will reach showrooms. We wouldn’t bet on seeing the model (which might be called Taycan Sport Turismo) before the turn of the decade, however. Pricing information and full specs will be revealed closer to its on-sale date.

Updated 10-19-2018: Added confirmation of production green light.

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