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Porsche Mission R previews Cayman, new GT racer

Electric Mission R one-make GT racer concept previews next-generation Porsche Cayman

7 Sep 2021

PORSCHE has debuted a concept car at the 2021 Munich motor show that both imagines a potential all-electric counterpart to the existing 911 GT3 Cup for a one-make race series and previews elements of the next-generation Cayman – which itself is likely to be electric when it arrives.

 

The Mission R develops up to 800kW in its most hardcore ‘qualifying’ drive mode, helping it match the 911 GT3 Cup for lap times – according to Porsche – and its 82kWh battery pack has the stamina for 25-40 minutes of sprint racing before visiting a compatible 900-volt, 340kW pit charger that takes 15 minutes to top it up from near-empty to 80 per cent.

 

All-wheel-drive traction from its 320kW front and 480kW rear motors enables the 0-100km/h sprint to be dispatched in less than 2.5 seconds on the way to top speed north of 300km/h, says Porsche.

 

These figures may seem a little extreme for a concept that Porsche drops heavy hints about being based on the successor to its entry-level coupe, which is expected to launch around the middle of this decade.

 

On the other hand, a follow-up to the 918 Spyder hypercar could inherit some tech from the Mission R concept, which Porsche says enables high continuous peak power outputs and efficiency using direct oil cooling technology for the electric motors.

 

In addition to the Mission R’s dimensions and daylight opening being compared to those of a Cayman in official materials accompanying the reveal, head of Style Porsche, Michael Mauer, described the concept as “packed to the gills with signs that hint of a future production model”.

 

“Many elements that we envisage in studies find their way later into production cars,” he said.

 

His comments echo statements in the Mission R media release that point out Porsche’s recent form in terms of taking concepts to production with its 2015 Mission E and 2018 Mission E Cross Turismo concepts that closely previewed the looks and technology of the Taycan and Taycan Cross Turismo.

 

The headlights and rear light bar with embedded Porsche graphic are reminiscent of the Taycan, the overall proportions are unmistakably Porsche and, peeling away the race-spec aerodynamics including adjustable two-section rear wing, lurks the mid-engined silhouette of the next Cayman.

 

“Our customer sports vehicles are always based on production sports cars,” Mr Mauer continued, potentially suggesting the next Cayman GT4 Clubsport track day special could go electric, or even be joined by an electric model to bridge the gap between GT4 Clubsport and GT3 Cup.

 

In addition to the in-built environmental benefits of going electric, the Mission R’s bodywork encompasses reduced embedded carbon dioxide emissions and sustainable materials, being mostly wrought from flax-based ‘natural fibre reinforced plastic’ that is also used for interior structures and materials.

 

Protecting occupants is a cage-like carbon-fibre ‘exoskeleton’ crash structure that combines the roof, supporting pillars and window frames into a distinctive and lightweight form that helps further lower the Mission R’s centre of gravity.

 

An innovative feature of the Mission R is the driver cell module with 3D-printed seat structure that can be used outside the car for use with racing simulators or help the driver prepare for their next race in a familiar cockpit environment or to participate in e-sports.

 

The seat’s upholstery of breathable fabric is also hi-tech, being produced using 3D knitting techniques to save resources by producing only the precise amount of material required for each job.

 

A trio of screens provide access to real-time race data, vital signs for both the vehicle and driver – the latter via sensors in the seat – and vision from three cameras that supplant interior and exterior rearview mirrors.

 

More cameras on the interior provide in-car footage for live-streaming races, during which fans can send encouragement direct to the driver in the form of social media ‘likes’ to which the driver can reciprocate by pressing a button on their steering wheel.

 

For driver comfort, an adjustable windscreen vent provides direct airflow to reduce energy usage from interior cooling fans and the Mission R also a bespoke helmet holder that disinfects and dries the crash hat in between lap sessions.

 

Porsche chairman Oliver Blume described the Mission R as the company’s “vision of all-electric customer motorsports”.

 

“In addition to our involvement in the Formula E World Championship, we are now taking the next big step forward in electric mobility,” he said.

 

“The Mission R embodies everything that makes Porsche strong: performance, design and sustainability.”


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