As Porsche readies for the introduction of its fully electric Mission E next year, the automaker continues to reveal more technical details about the production version—while also dropping some hints about what comes after the Mission E in the brand’s electric push.
Porsche pointed to one such possibility this past week in the form of its Mission E Cross Turismo concept shown at the Geneva auto show. Although that version takes a conceptual leap halfway to SUVs, with a more rugged tack and a bit more ground clearance, don’t expect anything closer to an SUV built on Mission E underpinnings. That’s because the Mission E’s J1 platform—custom developed by Porsche alone—wouldn’t adapt well for high-floor vehicles, according to Stefan Weckbach, head of electric-vehicle development at Porsche.
But prior to the debut of any models built on the joint Audi/Porsche PPE (Premium Platform Electric) EV platform—still three or four years out—there may be other Mission E variants on the way. “If you talk about two-door cars or convertibles, the [Mission E] platform will be ready for that,” he said this week at an auto show roundtable interview.
The Mission E family will use permanent-magnet motors, developed with partner companies, that are completely different than the current-excited motors being used in the Audi e-tron. Porsche’s permanent-magnet configuration was chosen primarily for its heat and power advantages—elements that are important to Porsche, because it has made assurances that the Mission E will be able to repeat acceleration times and sustain a constant top speed.
Not all Mission E versions are likely to have two of those motors and all-wheel drive. “We’re definitely discussing rear-wheel-drive options right now,” said Weckbach, although he underscored that the most powerful version will have all-wheel drive and that its curb weight will be “almost the same or a little bit heavier than the Panamera.”
Porsche has a reputation for making some of its purest performance cars—the GT2, for instance—rear-wheel drive. An electric car like the Mission E, however, could be at more of a performance disadvantage in rear-wheel-drive form as it wouldn’t be able to recover as much energy via regenerative braking. “We try in the Mission E to regenerate as much power as possible, but we need to have the car stable,” said Weckbach, adding that the company learned a lot about this with its 919 hybrid Le Mans Prototype (LMP1-H) race car.