Car News

Porsche Mission E EV to Borrow Tech From 919 Le Mans Racer

Porsche has its sights set squarely on stealing a slice of Tesla's market for high-performance EVs, and it plans to do that before 2020 with a car based on the Mission E concept.

The Mission E itself is not new, having been revealed at last year's Frankfurt auto show, but Porsche has revealed that its 919 Hybrid Le Mans Prototype racer is a test bed for technology that will eventually wind up in the company's first all-electric vehicle.

Among those elements is an 800-volt electrical system Porsche says will pump enough charge into the car's lithium-ion battery pack for 400 km of driving in just 15 minutes(!).

While the 919 prototype is indeed a hybrid that combines electric power with a turbo four-cylinder gas engine, Porsche is using that racecar as an experiment to develop EV components that will translate into quick, reliable real-world performance. Among Porsche's concerns are cooling the battery to optimize performance and developing a battery management system and electric motors good enough to cope with 800 volts of electricity.

Porsche is indeed promising a Tesla killer in its future EV: a projected 3.5-second zero-to-100 km/h acceleration sprint is nearly as quick as the Model S P90D (though that car's "ludicrous" mode widens the gap), and a 500-km driving range targets the Model S' mid-level 75 kWh model.