In September, Porsche showed off the Mission E, a fully electric and fully beautiful concept made to dethrone Tesla motors as the EV industry’s king of cool. Today, Porsche announced it’s investing more than a billion dollars to bring the Mission E to production. As in, you’ll be able to buy one. We’re light on details—like the size of the battery, or when we’ll actually see one on the road—but we’ve got the most important numbers. The motor (or motors, Porsche hasn’t said) will produce more than 600 horsepower. The four-seater Mission E will go from 0 to 62 mph in under 3.5 seconds. And it will go 310 miles on a charge. Porsche, which faces increasingly strict fuel emission standards from US and European authorities, been working with batteries for a few years now, with top notch results.
It already offers plug-in hybrid versions of the Panamera and Cayenne, it’s successfully raced a 911 hybrid. Then there’s the flat-out amazing gas-electric 918 Spyder supercar and 919 Hybrid that won at Le Mans this year. So it makes sense to make the next step a full electric. Compared to Tesla’s current range-topper, the excellent Model S P90D, the Mission E will offer a bit less power and a slower acceleration time. But Porsche wins on range—the longest-legged Tesla goes roughly 286 miles on a charge. Here, the Germans have a second advantage: They’re working on an 800-volt charger that will power the car up to 80 percent in just 15 minutes, half the time it takes the Tesla.
Porsche plans to build the battery into the floor of the car like Tesla does, so you can expect a very low center of gravity, great news for performance. But really, the Mission E wins on looks. The Model S and Model X SUV are lovely designs, but the Porsche is simply gorgeous, in the way only a Porsche can be. We’ve only seen the concept version, but hopefully, Porsche will be smart enough to change as little as possible on the way to production.