The Porsche Mission R, a vision for tomorrow

The Porsche Mission R gives a fascinating glimpse at the race car of the future

For as long as the automobile has been around, the winning recipe for the racing car has been a lightweight body wrapped around a powerful internal combustion engine. But, after more than a century, that formula is changing.  The Porsche Mission R gives us a glimpse of the race car of the future.

Porsche Mission R Concept 03

A new formula for racing success

Porsche, one of the leading sports car manufacturers globally, is changing the recipe of what constitutes a winning race car.  Gone is the large, powerful heart of a race car, the engine, replaced with a large battery pack and electric motors.

Battery packs and electric motors often weigh a lot more than internal combustion engines.  As a result, an electric race car likely weighs more than a conventional gasoline engine race car.  However, what an electric race car lacks in weight savings, more than makes up for in terms of power produced by the electric motors.

Porsche Mission R Concept 19

The electric racing Porsche of the future

The electric racing Porsche concept car you see here is powered by two electric motors delivering 800 kW, or 1,073 horsepower.  A battery capacity of 80 kWh and an innovative recuperation system makes sprint racing possible with no loss of input.

With just under 1,100 horsepower to all four wheels, the Mission R can rocket from 0 to 62 miles per hour in less than 2.5 seconds, accelerating to a top speed of over 186 miles per hour, performance on par with the current Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

The Mission R uses direct oil cooling to keep batteries cool, which helps facilitate a constant power output of 670 horsepower in race mode.

Porsche Mission R Concept 04

What are the motors powering the Porsche electric race car?

The Mission R has an electric motor powering the front axle producing close to 430 horsepower, while a second electric motor on the rear axle produces almost 645 horsepower.  Porsche Turbo Charging and advanced 900-volt technology charge the battery from 5 percent to 80 percent SoC (state of charge) in just 15 minutes.  The same amount of time needed for a quick break.  Charging can take place with up 340 kW.

Porsche Mission R Concept 22

What type of aerodynamic considerations does an electric race Porsche have?

Aerodynamics matter just as much in an electric car as they do in an internal combustion race car.

The Mission R utilized active aerodynamics and a drag reduction system on the nose section and rear wing in the form of three louvres in each of the two side air intakes on the nose section and an adjustable, two-section rear wing.

Porsche Mission R Concept 28

Will electric race cars be made of new materials?

The Porsche Mission R uses new materials in the form of natural fiber reinforced plastic, a natural, sustainable material obtained from farming.  This same material is used for the front spoiler lip, the diffuser, and side skirts.  The same material is also used extensively within the interior of the electric vehicle.

As with modern ICE race cars, the electric Porsche uses a monocoque driver’s module made of carbon fiber composite material that combines high protection potential with low weight.  Called an “exoskeleton” by Porsche engineers, it combines the safety cage and roof skin into a single integrated unit.

Porsche Mission R Concept 29

What is the size of the electric Porsche race car?

The Porsche Mission R is slightly shorter, wider, and lower than a 718 Cayman.  The Mission R is 14 feet, 1 inch long, 6.5 feet wide, and almost 4 feet tall.

Closing thoughts

The electric Porsche race car produces up to 1,073 horsepower and offers performance comparable to a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which produces 510 horsepower and has a curb weight of 2,645 pounds.  As a result, I would guess that the electric Porsche weighs considerably more than its ICE brethren.

The electric race cars of the future can be expected to weigh considerably more than gasoline-powered race cars.  As a result, their performance and overall driving experience will be much different than what we see with current ICE race cars.  Not only for the driver but the spectator as well.  For many car fans, myself included, the sounds a car makes at speed is just one part of the overall experience.  It remains to be seen just how this part of the experience will be replicated with electric race cars.


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