Autocar

Porsche Mission R

EV racer hints at electric Cayman

- JAMES ATTWOOD

Porsche’s new Mission R concept car previews an electric one-make racing series that could begin in 2025 – and gives strong hints at the appearance of the upcoming electric 718 Cayman.

The design is a joint developmen­t of Porsche Motorsport and the Porsche Style design studio.

Matthias Scholz, Porsche Motorsport’s GT race car chief, described it as “a pure race car, showing an idea of how a customer race car could be”.

It utilises powertrain technology from the Taycan and has been developed to offer performanc­e between a 911 GT3 Cup and a 911 GT3 R.

The twin-motor set-up offers two settings, with the 603bhp available in standard mode raised to 1073bhp for the special qualifying mode.

Unlike the Taycan, the Mission R has a single gear, because the use of rolling start in most privateer-level racing removes the need to optimise accelerati­on from a standstill.

There’s also a Formula 1style drag reduction system, although Porsche has paired it with adjustable flaps on the front spoiler that help to balance the stability of the car, making it easier for amateur racers to control.

The Mission R is powered by a high-voltage 80-85kwh battery that’s intended to give around 40 minutes of racing time. An energy recovery system on the front axle is used to help reduce the necessary battery size.

Scholz described the Mission R as having an “old-school mid-engined design”, with the battery mounted where the petrol engine would previously have sat. The target is for the car to come in at 1500kg, which would be close to the weight of current customer racing cars.

The concept features a carbonfibr­e roll-cage that’s built directly into the bodywork, which helps to reduce both the weight and size of the car, particular­ly saving space in the roof. Current motorsport rules require cars to be fitted with steel roll-cages, although Porsche hinted that it hoped this might change before any production version of the Mission R is launched.

The interior is a pure racing design, with a single seat and most of the key controls located on the wheel and a single control panel. Many of the car’s ancillarie­s are located in easily removable panels where the passenger seat would usually be. There’s also a built-in cooling duct and a special helmet holder.

The Mission R is smaller than existing Porsche racing cars, making it close in size to the 718 models. Officially, the firm insists this is to help reduce the size and weight in order to achieve the required performanc­e for a racing car – but the concept is likely to be an early preview of how a 718 EV could look.

While Porsche has yet to confirm plans, Autocar previously revealed that it’s developing electric versions of both the 718 Boxster roadster and the 718 Cayman coupé, which will go on sale next year alongside the existing petrol-engined versions.

While exterior designer Ingo Bauer-scheinhütt­e declined to confirm that the Mission R previews those models, he said: “At the same time as we were working on this car, the same team were working on production cars as well. No matter what’s underneath that car, you will see very similar design cues on our future production cars.”

In addition, Scholz noted that Porsche’s customer racing projects “are every time based on a street-legal car”, strongly suggesting that the Mission R would only reach race tracks once a production equivalent were available.

 ??  ?? MUNICH MOTOR SHOW
OFFICIAL PICTURES
Mission R gets 1073bhp from two motors and weighs about 1500kg
MUNICH MOTOR SHOW OFFICIAL PICTURES Mission R gets 1073bhp from two motors and weighs about 1500kg
 ??  ?? Underbody diffuser and big wing boost rear downforce
Underbody diffuser and big wing boost rear downforce
 ??  ?? Racing purpose is clear; roll-cage is integral to body
Racing purpose is clear; roll-cage is integral to body

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