Porsche’s Mission R, a next-generation electric 718?
At the IAA Mobility, Porsche presented its purely electric customer motorsport vision with the Mission R concept. The concept car is intended to be more than just a design study, and a rolling chassis is already being tested.
Porsche already showed a Mission E concept in 2015, launched in 2019 as the Taycan, the first 100% electric Porsche model. This Mission R is a bit shorter, wider, and slightly lower than the current Cayman 718.
So the dimensions are not that different, which makes us suspect that this is the prelude to a next-generation (electric) 718. After all, Porsche wants to market more models with electric drive, now that an electric version of the new Macan will also become available in a few years.
Mission R also announces innovative technology, as Porsche is raising the onboard voltage from 800 to 900 volts. This approach offers many advantages because by increasing the voltage, it is possible to reduce the amperage and still increase the charge capacity, up to 340 kW in this case.
Because the amperage is lower, the section (diameter) of the conductors can be reduced, as can the weight, which is what you want to achieve in a sports car and an electric car. In addition, the higher voltage will again reduce charging time, provided that the infrastructure is compatible.
The R Concept offers several driving modes. Its peak power (from 2 motors, one per axle) is 800 kW/1 088 hp in ‘Qualifying’ mode. In Race mode, it can deliver 680 hp continuously. As a result, a sprint from 0 to 100 kph is possible in 2,5 seconds.
What is more interesting is that Porsche has fitted a relatively small battery (80 kWh) in relation to the car’s power. That is a welcome development in a market where mainstream manufacturers mainly look for extra autonomy by providing more battery capacity (and especially extra weight with a higher consumption).
Porsche opts for a smaller oil-cooled battery that can recharge very quickly. Likely, Porsche will also provide – as in the Taycan – a kind of gearbox (with different ratios depending on the vehicle’s speed) to optimize performance and reduce consumption at higher speeds. However, this is not specifically mentioned in the press release.
Safeguarding the future
Porsche is today – as in the past – a high-tech brand that opts for alternative technical solutions and innovations. This approach ensures that it remains ‘politically correct’ to continue developing sports cars in a society where the focus is increasingly green.
Technology that optimizes performance today can be used tomorrow to counteract ordinary EVs’ (increasing) energy consumption. By acting like this, a brand like Porsche stays true to its roots as a technology innovator and hopes to continue playing that role in the future.