Imagine an electric sports car that uses holograms on its dashboard, can charge in about 15 minutes, then travel 310 miles on a charged battery. That’s just a few highlights of the Porsche Mission E electric concept sports car that was unveiled in the run up to the Frankfurt Motor Show.
“Mobility connects” is the slogan of the 66th IAA, the International Auto Show, in Frankfurt. Today about “one quarter of all new cars already have an Internet connection, and two years from now the figure will be 80%.” The 2015 IAA is showing the world that “cars and smartphones are merging into a single unit and the connected car is becoming a mobile communication platform.”
Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, added:
The intelligent, connected car communicates with its surroundings and with other road users. It can park itself, warns its driver of traffic obstacles in good time, and prevents accidents. To put it simply, in the coming years driving a car will become even safer and more comfortable. In addition, connectivity makes an important contribution to protecting the environment and the climate, because in the future unnecessary congestion can be avoided, CO2 emissions will continue to decrease, and there will be far less annoying traffic looking for a parking spot in towns and cities.
Porsche’s Concept Study Mission E certainly has its share of freaky-futuristic features. For example, the dashboard is divided into two levels with the upper layer containing the driver’s display. In-between the two levels is a “holographic display that extends far into the passenger's side. It shows individually selectable apps, which are stacked in virtual space and arranged by priority with a three-dimensional effect. The driver – or passenger – can use these apps to touch-free control primary functions such as media, navigation, climate control, contacts and vehicle. The desired symbol is activated by gestures that are detected by sensors. A grasping gesture means select, while pulling means control. Moreover, driver or passenger can use a touch display on the center console to control secondary functions such as detailed information menus.”
To show you how “fun” it is to drive the Mission E, Porsche mounted an emotion-recognizing camera in the rear-view mirror which shows a corresponding mood emoticon in the instrument panels; it’s meant to be shared with friends via social media.
There are five OLED round instruments on the driver’s display, organized in “themes of Connected Car, Performance, Drive, Energy and Sport Chrono.” The controls include an eye-tracking system that uses a camera to detect which instrument the driver is viewing. The driver activates the “menu of the instrument in focus by pushing a button on the steering wheel and navigate in it – which also involves an interplay of eye-tracking and manual activation.” If a driver leans to one side, the 3D display “reacts and moves with the driver.”
Porsche makes it clear that its concept car is “still just an idea but it embodies our complete vision of all-electric driving.” It’s a four-seat, four-door (suicide door style) electric sports car has two electric motors that produce over 600 horsepower to go from 0-62 mph in 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of about 155 mph; it can charge 80% in just 15 minutes on an 800-volt charger and travel 310 miles on a fully charged battery.
And there are no cables or plugins required as it includes inductive charging, meaning you simply drive over the charging mat to charge the battery. You can see the Mission E’s charging mat about 25 seconds into the video below.
For comparison, Tesla’s P85 D can go 0-60 in 3.1 seconds, or in 2.8 seconds if the car has the Ludicrous Speed Upgrade. It can drive 253 miles on a charge and has a top speed of 155 mph, but it takes about 30 minutes to charge the Model S to about 80% on a Telsa Supercharger. A Tesla P90 D can go nearly 300 miles on a charged battery.
The Porsche concept has virtual exterior mirrors, meaning the driver sees images from outside cameras displayed on the lower corners of the windshield. There are 21-inch wheels in front and 22-inch wheels in back; the light-weight concept sports car has torque vectoring and an all-wheel-drive steering system.
There are two luggage compartments and extra cabin space, yet the Mission E only has a height of about 4.3 feet. The car can be “configured externally from a tablet via Porsche Car Connect. Using ‘Over the Air and Remote Services’ the driver can essentially change the functional content of the vehicle overnight.”
The last time I mentioned Porsche in a post, it was regarding keyless ignition security vulnerabilities in Volkswagen-owned luxury brands. Volkswagen had sued researchers for two years to stop them from revealing flaws that made the vehicles easier to steal. But wowza, the concept Porsche may be nearly enough to make people forgive Volkswagen.
A concept car can be created to fly, but that doesn’t mean it would ever be manufactured. If Porsche can deliver Mission E with everything that comes with the concept version, then it might really give Tesla some competition.
The electric Porsche is expected to go from concept to market within the next five years. It will “be better than a Tesla,” said Matthias Mueller, head of the Volkswagen AG unit. He claimed Tesla “did a very good job, especially in terms of connectivity. Some things about the car itself could be better, but OK. That is our competition.”