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Porsche takes aim at Tesla with Mission E

Mission accomplished: Porsche has confirmed the concept that turned so many heads at the Frankfurt motor show will go into production, launching “at the end of the decade”.

Billion-dollar investment to spawn production Porsche Mission E by 2020


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7 Dec 2015

PORSCHE has confirmed it will put the Frankfurt motor show-stopping Mission E concept into production, following a €700m ($A1b) investment to expand its main facility in Stuttgart.

The significant pledge of cash will be used to build a new paint shop and assembly plant as well as the engine factory, which will be expanded to include the electric motors critical to the production of its first pure electric-drive vehicle.

Porsche has not finalised a name for the model but says it will be launched “at the end of the decade” and will be the “beginning a new chapter in the history of the sportscar”.

The confirmation of a sizeable investment in Porsche will come as a relief for many at the company, following an announcement from its Volkswagen Group parent, that some major projects would be shelved to release capital it needs to resolve the unfolding diesel emissions scandal.

Performance, range and packaging appear to be a direct shot across the bow of luxury car-maker Tesla, with the Mission E promising zero to 100km/h acceleration of less than 3.5 seconds, 440kW of instantaneous power, four doors and four seats.

The German car-maker says the sports sedan will go 500km before needing a recharge – about 100km further than the Tesla Model S – while an 800-volt fast charger can pump an 80 per cent charge into the lithium-ion battery in just 15 minutes.

Those statistics also shave critical minutes from the Tesla's best efforts of a half charge in 20 minutes, which requires one of the company's spreading specialised Supercharge points.

Porsche says the vehicle will also have a wireless charging option with induction loop technology available for installation in an owner's garage.

Other manufacturers have played with the cordless top-up tech, but the principle has been largely plagued with low transfer efficiency compared with copper wire methods.

In addition to securing a new model for Porsche, the main production site development will also create more than 1000 new jobs, which the company says is a statement of intent for the future.

“With Mission E, we are making a clear statement about the future of the brand,” said Porsche AG chairman of the supervisory board, Wolfgang Porsche.

“Even in a greatly changing motoring world, Porsche will maintain its front-row position with this fascinating sportscar.”

Those sentiments were repeated by Porsche executive board chairman, Oliver Blume, who added his support for the future of the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen site.

“We are resolutely taking on the challenge of electric mobility,” he said.

“Even with solely battery-powered sportscars, Porsche is remaining true to its philosophy and offering our customers the sportiest and technologically most sophisticated model in this market segment.”

Porsche AG deputy chairman of the supervisory board and chairman of the central works council and, Uwe Huck, concluded the statement, revealing the decision to go ahead with the production car was partly influenced by enthusiasm from all levels of the Porsche “workers” team.

“A day to celebrate! Yes, we did it! We brought Mission E to Zuffenhausen and Weissach where the future has tradition,” he said. “The workers' side made the employer's side an offer that they couldn't refuse.

“This heralds the dawn of a new age in Zuffenhausen and Weissach.

Digitalisation will be growing up with us. And Factory 4.0 will be a major challenge for the workforce, trade union and employer.

“We will be taking new approaches but not giving up on the social aspects. With today's decision, Porsche is driving flat out with no speed restrictions into the automotive and industrial future.”

While the company has given the first insight into the performance and capability of the production Mission E, little is known of how much the vehicle will change visually from show-car to showroom model.

Its extraordinary looks pulled a significant crowd at its debut in September this year with much praise for the unmistakable Porsche styling that honours its past while taking the brand into new territory.

It is possible the production version may surface as a replacement for the ageing Panamera, which has polarised car communities with its humpback aesthetics since its introduction six years ago.

With four seats and four doors, the Mission E is capable of succeeding the controversial model, but is likely to cause less of a ripple with styling that has already been heavily praised in concept form.

Porsche has previously dipped its toe into the world of electric power with a handful of hybrids, including a plug-in version of its Panamera and Cayenne models, as well as the furious 918 hybrid hyper car.

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