How Porsche Designed Its First Electric Sports Car
Porsche’s team that is working on the company’s first all-electric car are trying to create a vehicle that is exciting and new without ignoring design features that make a Porsche instantly recognizable.
The German automaker released a video Tuesday that provides a behind-the-scenes look at how engineers and designers worked through that particular challenge. The video provides a few hints about what could end up in the production version of the sports car, including holographic technology that gives the dashboard display a 3D look and software that recognizes hand gestures, eye movements, and voice to control functions like air conditioning and music.
The video also highlights the kind of design opportunities available with a car that doesn’t have the same space constraints as a vehicle with a gasoline engine. For Porsche, the extra space inspired the designers to give the Mission E, the working name of the car being developed, a low front end to make it resemble Porsche models of the 1950s and 1960s.
Porsche first introduced the Mission E concept car at the 2015 Frankfurt International Motor Show in September. Several months later, the company announced plans to produce the all-electric four-door sports car. The Mission E is expected to have more than 600 horsepower (or 440 kilowatts in system power) and about a 310-mile battery range. It won’t hit the road until at least 2020.
While Porsche has produced plug-in electric hybrids such as the Panamera S E-Hybrid, this new model would be its first all-electric car on the market and mark a major milestone in the division’s history. And it’s spending at least $1 billion to develop the car, an investment that illustrates the company is serious about bringing it to market.