Ever since Porsche teased us with the low, long and luscious at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2015, we've been waiting with bated breath for more on the company's production EV future. Porsche's been teasing us with promises of production by the end of the decade, meanwhile and making huge investments in battery research and manufacturing.
That's all great, but we're starting to get a little desperate for more information about the car itself. Porsche isn't willing to tell us too much, but we did get a few choice details from Detlev von Platen, Porsche board member and former CEO of Porsche Cars North America, specifically about its track prowess.
Will the eventual production Mission E be the kind of car you want to take out for a day at the track? "It's a Porsche," von Platen told me, "so the answer is clearly yes."
That may seem like a natural conclusion, but in reality it's not necessarily a foregone one. Cars like the Tesla Model S are capable of brilliant acceleration, but lap after lap after lap on the track poses more of a challenge. Make big power demands from an EV and they tend to get quite warm, resulting in a reduction of power. And then there's the issue of slow recharging, which not only takes up time but also adds more heat to the equation.
According to von Platen, Porsche has some solutions. "If you're having some fun on the track, waiting 6 hours to recharge would bother you. That's why we are working so hard on a technology that would charge the battery in 15 minutes."
A 15-minute charge would be just about perfect for a track day, enough time to guzzle down a bottle of water and engage in a bit of braggadocio with your fellow drivers before heading back down the pit lane for the next session.
"Second," von Platen said, "is reproducable power. If you want to drive the track, you need more than one acceleration. That's why we're working on a technology that will differentiate from the others. Reproducable acceleration, better use of regeneration."
This future Porsche EV, then, could make for the ultimate in emissions-free trackday fun, but for Porsche, the company sees this as just the next expansion of its brand identity.
"We are not bringing another electric car," said von Platen, "we are bringing a Porsche car with an electric engine. It's a different approach."
And what is that engine? I also spoke with Klaus Zellmer, current Porsche Cars North America CEO, about the development around this EV, much of which is being done in-house. "There are not many shelves where we can source from," Zellmer told me.
He confirmed that the company has multiple EVs presently being tested around the world, "thoroughly camouflaged" he added. While he shrugged off most of my requests for details, he did hint that the company is developing something different, a motor configuration that will help further differentiate Porsche's EV efforts from those of the competition. As to exactly what that looks like, we'll just have to wait and see.
Geneva auto show 2017
CNET Roadshow covers the new models and concept cars shown off at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show.
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