When Porsche produces a concept, it does so with intent. See the Mission E of 2015, which became the Taycan, and the Mission E Cross Turismo, a preview of the new Taycan Cross Turismo. In both instances, bar a few details, the production car was a faithful recreation of the concept. So with the 'Mission' badge back on a Porsche show car, it's worth paying attention, as it's not likely to be a pie-in-the-sky vision.
This time around it's the Mission R, a race car described by Porsche as combining "state-of-the-art technologies and sustainable materials... with a passion for racing." Roughly the same length as a Cayman but much wider and lower, the Mission R is powered by a pair of electric motors delivering a consistent 680hp and a qualifying mode with up to 1,088hp, or 800kW. Porsche says the concept can match the lap time of a current 911 Cup car, with a top speed more than 186mph.
Moreover, advancements in EV technology aim to make the Mission R the most viable electric racer yet. It's equipped with 900-volt charging technology (a Taycan has 800-volt architecture) and can accept 340kW of charge (where the road car is currently only 270kW), which means Porsche Turbo Charging can restore the Mission R to 80 per cent charge from five in 15 minutes. And even marshals don't eat their lunch that fast. The battery capacity is 80kWh, with maximum outputs of 435hp for the front motor and 653hp for the rear one in the quali mode.
It seemed best to get that out the way first, to spend more time talking about the incredible looks of the Mission R. Though there are tangible links back to the production EVs in both front and rear lights, this really is nothing like Porsche has ever produced - 918 Spyder included. If part of the reluctance around electric motorsport is something exciting to look at, the Mission R should help. Special mention is made of the aerodynamic advancements, with DRS on the front and rear wings. The rear diffuser is a work of art, and the gigantic wheels pay homage to the 935 of a few years ago. There's a new acronym to note for the exterior, too: Natural Fibre Reinforced Plastic (NFRP) is built out of flax fibres from farming, and used for the front spoiler lip, diffuser, and side skirts. Because, y'know, sustainability.
That's before considering the Mission R interior, which is an esports simulator. No, really. In an attempt to bring "real and virtual racing closer together than ever before", the carbon exoskeleton can be used for racing both on and offline. So, there are cameras to provide a rear view as well as others to give a great view to those watching your livestream. There's more NFRP to look at, too, including the door panels.
Pretty cool, huh? Porsche is hopeful about the vision for this concept, too: "The Porsche Mission R provides an indication of what the future of one-make series all-electric cars could look like." Cars that look like this with up to 1,000hp would surely provide a more engaging spectacle than Formula E, especially if the range is there to run on proper circuits for a decent race length. New cooling technology should mean "sprint racing" is possible "with no loss of output", which is encouraging. Porsche Chairman Oliver Blume is understandably enthusiastic, stating that the Mission R "embodies everything that makes Porsche strong: performance, design and sustainability." This won't be the last time you see the Mission R, basically. Which, when a car looks like this, can only be a good thing.
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