Car News

Porsche Will Field a Plethora of Mission E Variants

Porsche has revealed its forthcoming Mission E electric sports sedan will be offered with the same dizzying array of trims and powertrains as the rest of its models in a bid to appeal to as wide a range of buyers as possible.

Speaking at the Geneva auto show, Oliver Blume, the German company's chairman, told the UK's Autocar mag the Mission E will be sold in "a number of different model variants," so that its lineup would mirror those of Porsche's other models.

Blume also provided a clue about where the Mission E would fit in the Porsche model hierarchy, saying it would slot in below the 2017 Porsche Panamera, and will boast a 500-km driving range and a 15-minute charge time. Porsche is also considering the use of over-the-air updates, a'la Tesla, which would allow easy modification to the software that controls the car's performance. That could be good news for buyers constantly craving the latest and greatest: every time Porsche introduces a new, more powerful Mission E variant, you could get one by paying for a software update for your current car, rather than trading up for a new car.

For an idea of how extensive the Mission E lineup could eventually become, the current Panamera offers five powertrains in three different body styles for a total of 15 distinct configurations, and that pales next to the 25 different ways you can buy a 911 sports car.

Porsche is already set to give us a taste of its electric high-performance aspirations, with the announcement the next range-topping Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid model will become the brand's first flagship with hybrid power.

Blume also said the Mission E would have SAE Level 4 autonomous driving capability, clarifying (or contradicting) an earlier assertion by Blume that Porsche would never build an autonomous car; however, level 4 autonomy does still require there be a driver in the car to take over in certain situations.

Porsche's Blume said the company will begin testing Mission E prototypes this summer as it works toward an on-sale date near the end of 2019.