The simple reality is that while poky little cars like the Leaf and the i-MiEV may be the cars of the future, nobody actually wants to drive them. Everybody wants big, growly, powerful seeming cars that look cool. But only Tesla is making a car for the cool-seeker. Until now, as Porsche is getting in on the action with the Mission E.
The Mission E, in case you can’t guess from that terrible mix of wordplay and marketing, is a 590 horsepower electric roadster that wants to give the Model S a run for its money. It’s not as powerful as a Model S, it must be said, but considering it’s got an electric motor, the 0-60 speed is under 3.5 seconds and, let’s face it, that’s one of the few numbers Porsche owners really care about.
It uses similar motors to Porsche’s hybrid race car, which means it can absorb energy from braking while running the engine at the same time. Most interesting, though, is the charge time; if you can track down an 800 volt charging system, it’ll be charged to 80% capacity in just 15 minutes. Of course, it’s more likely you’ll find a 480-volt source, these days, but that’s still an impressively fast charging time.
Oh, and there are suicide doors, because of course there are.
It’s true that the Tesla Model S has slightly more speed and slightly more range; one doubts the Tesla faithful will be impressed by Porsche’s offering. On the other hand, anybody who wasn’t interested in the Model S but wants a little electric in their roadster will probably be tempted by the Mission E. It just has to come out first; right now, it’s just a concept.