When Porsche floats a big idea in sports cars, it doesn’t fool around. The 911, for example, has been a design and performance benchmark since 1963. So now comes the Mission E, a knee-weakening electric beauty with 600 all-wheel-drive horsepower, much of it coming from a pair of permanently excited electric motors adapted from its LeMans-winning 919 Hybrid race car. It’s just a concept, but Porsche has pledged to get a version in showrooms by 2018. When that happens, figure on a dash to 60 miles per hour in less than 3.5 seconds, a 500-km (311-mile) driving range and a quick 15-minute charge to 80 percent battery capacity via a world’s-first 800-volt architecture.
The four-seater is swathed in carbon fiber, aluminum, and steel, and Porsche is targeting a curb weight below 4,400 pounds (1,995 kilograms—about 10 percent lighter than its obvious rival, the Tesla Model S). A five-dial instrument panel nods to the seminal 911. An eye-scanning camera recognizes which screen menus a driver is looking at, then magnifies them via steering-wheel buttons. Those gauges move in parallax to accommodate the driver’s seating position. Side mirrors are ditched for cameras that beam the exterior view onto corners of the windshield, perfect for watching lesser cars disappear as the Mission E charges ahead.