Designed to kick off a new Porsche customer electric racing series, the new race car concept also gives strong hints to the next-gen electric 718 Cayman’s design
The Porsche Mission R is a concept that’s also showing the way forwards in the world of automotive racing. The German sports car maker unveiled the electric racing car concept at the IAA 2021 in Munich yesterday, and its design is also a precursor of the next-gen, electric Porsche 718 Cayman.
The Mission R is developed by Porsche Motorsport and the Porsche Style design studio and described as “a pure race car, showing an idea of how a customer race car could be.”
While the body is new, the mechanics are based upon the powertrain tech from the all-electric Porsche Taycan. It’s been cranked up for even more performance, with two motors for four-wheel drive through a single reduction gear at each axle.
Porsche reveals that in standard race mode, the car has a total power output of 611 horsepower. It can be bumped up to an astonishing 1088 horsepower in a special qualifying mode, which should make for a big difference in lap times between qualifying and race sessions during a race weekend.
The Mission R has a top speed of 300km/h, and in qualifying mode 0 to 100km/h is dashed off in under 2.5 seconds. The car also has a F1-style Drag Reduction System to remotely change the rear wing’s angle of attack, and Porsche has fitted it with a two-stage rear wing and adjustable spoiler flaps on the front wing that help to adjust the car’s aerodynamic balance to different race tracks..
It’s powered by a 80-85kWh battery mounted in ‘mid-engined’ configuration, behind the driver and ahead of the rear wheels where a combustion engine normally would be in the Porsche 718 Cayman. It’s capable of around 40 minutes of race time, and a front axle energy recovery system helps reduce the battery size to keep the car light enough to racecar standards. The target is to keep the race version at 1,500kg, around what the current-gen Porsche customer racing cars weigh.
900V technology allows for charging at speeds of up to 340kW. At the maximum charge rate, Porsche claims that the car will go from five to 80 percent charge in 15 minutes.
The Mission R concept has a carbon fibre roll cage that is built directly into the bodywork for an exoskeletal structure, but current motorsport rules dictate that cars must be fitted with steel roll cages so this is clearly a design exercise and the actual racing cars will be modified accordingly.
The interior features a built-in cooling duct, along with a helmet holder.
In line with the practice of building cars more sustainably, the bodywork is largely built from natural fibre reinforced plastic (NFRP).
The Mission R is just 4326 mm long, making it slightly shorter than the current-gen 718 Cayman because of the compact size of the electric drivetrain.
While Porsche has made no official statement, many believe that the Mission R’s styling is in fact the design of the upcoming 718 Boxster and Cayman. The brand did state some time back that it is developing electric versions of the 718 Boxster and Cayman, due for launch in 2022 and be sold alongside the existing combustion-engined versions.
Porsche Mission R exterior designer Ingo Bauer-Scheinhütte refused to confirm the Mission R previewed those model designs.
“At the same time as we were working on this car the same team was working on the production cars as well. No matter what is underneath that car, you will see very similar design cues on our future production car,” he hinted.
Scholz pointed out that Porsche’s customer racing projects “are always based on a street-legal car.”
This does suggest that the one-make race series featuring electric Porsches would only get underway once a series production, street-legal version of the car comes to pass.
In Singapore, the Porsche Taycan went on record as the first series production sports car to be widely available in the country. When the electric version of the 718 Cayman is launched, it’s likely that we will see it here sooner rather than later too.