Motor (Australia)

A QUIET RIOT

Porsche’s Munich show stopper is a guide to a faster future

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PORSCHE’S MISSION R concept, revealed at the IAA motor show in Munich, is much more than it appears at first glance.

Not simply a pie-in-the-sky clay model that has specs dreamt up by a marketing department, the Mission R is a fully functionin­g proof of concept that is a key line in the sand for both Porsche’s road and race car businesses.

First off, the (not so) oily bits. The Mission R utilises a pair of electric motors – one on each axle – and an 80kWh hour battery to produce 800kW in qualifying trim. Porsche says constant power is closer to 500kW in regular running, with the front motor capable of 320kW, and the rear motor producing 480kW. Unsurprisi­ngly this equates to a claimed 0-100km/h sprint of under 2.5 seconds. Even the recharging is quick, with a 900-volt system allowing the battery to be juiced from five to 80 per cent charge in 15 minutes. All that aggressive aero isn’t static either, with F1-inspired drag reduction systems fitted to both the front and rear wings.

Underneath all of the aerodynami­cs are the bones of what could become Porsche’s fully electric Cayman replacemen­t.

“All design studies we present will come more or less through in future,” Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said at the show. “Remember the 918 or the Mission E? Here [with Mission R] we have the same commitment and elements or parts of the car will come true.

“The first idea was to create a vision for future sustainabl­e motorsport. We could have the opportunit­y to create our own Porsche series with this car, but we have also used elements you will find in future Porsche electric cars – on the design side but also the technology side. It’s more than a study. We use it to test like a concept car, and then also to think what could be feasible for series production as well.”

The electrical motors and aero are sure to grab plenty of attention, along with the heavy use of natural fibre reinforced plastic as a carbon fibre alternativ­e, but it’s the chassis beneath which will have the biggest impact for Porsche enthusiast­s. The Mission R sits atop a heavily

modified version of the current 718 chassis, an architectu­re that could easily become a production reality.

“The very first step of the platform is the steel body of the Cayman GT4, but then we changed the front and the rear as well to bring in the motors and the drive shafts,” Porsche GT racing vehicles project manager Matthias Scholz told MOTOR.

When the electric Cayman that the Mission R foreshadow­s is put into production it’ll use neither the J1 platform from the Taycan, nor the PPE chassis found in the Audi A6 E-Tron, instead debuting a third discrete architectu­re.

“When we electrify a model we won’t do a carryover of the combustion engine because there are too many compromise­s. When we are looking to future sports cars we would develop its own platform but connected with some modules coming from other cars. It will be unique,” Scholz added.

Making the Mission R’s functional status all the more impressive, is that it went from inception to its current state in just 10 months. Such a rapid turnaround indicates that there has been plenty of homework already conducted by the team at Stuttgart when it comes to building EV high performanc­e sports cars.

But this isn’t the death of ICE. Blume says in the next decade Porsche will offer three powertrain­s for every segment it is in – combustion, hybrid, and electric.

Think of the Mission R not as a hypothetic­al concept, but a true vision into the future for Porsche’s sports cars.

 ?? ?? ABOVE
Porsche integrated an FIA-spec roll cage into the Mission R’s architectu­re, helping lower the roofline
ABOVE Porsche integrated an FIA-spec roll cage into the Mission R’s architectu­re, helping lower the roofline
 ?? ?? TOP Don’t expect huge aero ducts, but Mission R’s design is promising for next-gen Cayman
TOP Don’t expect huge aero ducts, but Mission R’s design is promising for next-gen Cayman
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 ?? ?? RIGHT Porsche says the entire driver cell can be removed from the Mission R and used as a simulator
RIGHT Porsche says the entire driver cell can be removed from the Mission R and used as a simulator
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