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Porsche approves production version of the electric Mission E concept

The automaker believes it will arrive in showrooms around the end of the decade.

Porsche Mission E Concept
Don't be surprised if UFO reports skyrocket in towns where the Mission E sells in droves.

Currently, you can pick up a hybrid-electric Porsche in a number of body styles, including a sedan (Panamera), a crossover (Cayenne) and a coupe (918 Spyder). However, the company does not sell a proper battery-electric car. That will change by 2020, though, as Porsche just received the green light to turn its Mission E concept into a production model.

"With Mission E, we are making a clear statement about the future of the brand," said Porsche chairman Dr. Wolfgang Porsche in a statement. "Even in a greatly changing motoring world, Porsche will maintain its front-row position with this fascinating sports car."

The Mission E concept debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and people were immediately taken by its futuristic take on traditional Porsche contours. It looks like a mix between a 911, a Panamera and a spaceship. Its electric motors provide nearly 600 horsepower, yet the car still has a range of about 310 miles. Some of those numbers might drop before the car hits production, as concepts regularly offer up solutions that prove too expensive to produce.

Nevertheless, the Mission E stands to bring Porsche's sports-car sensibilities to a new market. The automaker's 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid was hailed as a resounding success -- all 918 examples are sold, and many media outlets proclaimed it the quickest car they'd ever tested. It's only natural that the company would progress from partial to full-on electrification.

Since the car won't debut until the tail end of the decade, there isn't a single whiff of detail to be had in Porsche's release.

But if you're a gambler, it'd be a safe bet that the Porsche Mission E (or whatever it's called) will be priced to go head-to-head with Tesla's Model S P90D, the electric automaker's sportiest model. The P90D currently retails for $119,200 (directly converted, about £78,945 or AU$161,890).