FRANKFURT -- The future is electric -- at least, it is if you talk to most automobile manufacturers. Tesla is paving the way, but the big players in the auto industry are not far behind, and Porsche is giving us a quick look at what's coming down the road with the Mission E. It's a concept car unveiled here in Frankfurt ahead of the 2015 International Motor Show, and it looks every bit the part.
It's a four-door, four-seat sports car rather in the mold of the, but instead of a single gasoline engine situated up front, the car offers a pair of "permanently excited synchronous motors" driving all four wheels. Together, they offer something north of 600 horsepower, supposedly enough to get the (presumably heavy) car to 60mph in less than 3.5 seconds -- and to zip the entire thing around the mighty Nurburgring race track in less than 8 minutes.
The battery pack sits low in the chassis of the car to help handling, much like Tesla's Model S. That, plus an all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring to help slingshot the car around corners, should equate to a machine that goes as good as it looks. It'll go a long way, too: up to 500km (310 miles) on a charge, juicing up from empty to 80 percent in just 15 minutes with an integrated DC charger.
The tech extends to the interior. An eye-tracking system keeps the information centered and visible for the driver, regardless of how he or she is oriented in the car. A holographic display with gesture recognition means you can wave your hands at 3D icons rather than stabbing at boring touchscreens. And, if that weren't enough, a camera in the rear-view mirror detects the driver's emotions and the car will respond with appropriate emoticons.
We could probably do without the emoji, but everything else is looking quite good indeed. As ever with these things the Mission E is just a concept for now, with no word on production, but if you want a glimpse at what a future, all-electric Panamera could look like, just crack open that gallery embedded above.