Hui, what kind of devil guys and devil girls (is that how you say it?) At Porsche. Have you just discovered the unoccupied segment of electrically powered racing cars with a panoramic roof? They want to occupy it as quickly as possible and show what it could look like with the Mission R. Serious? Hm, apart from the part with the panorama roof, actually. Although there are actually transparent segments between the carbon fiber elements in the roof – but rather to show the special, integrated roll cage design particularly vividly.


Otherwise: racing cars. Purely electric. Yes, that would be a good thing, they find in Zuffenhausen. And leave us behind the wheel of the Mission R, which grabs you with its soundscape from the very first few meters. Artificially generated? Pah! Really. Mixed together from the noises of the two straight-toothed input gears connected to the motors and the two oil-cooled, permanent magnet synchronous machines. They just produce 800 kW, i.e. 1,088 PS in the old currency, possibly a little more, because power seems to be available practically at any time in the age of electromobility. In any case, the front unit contributes 320 kW at full escalation, the rear 480 kW, both connected by a thick orange cable that runs somewhere next to me in the depths of the wildly winged single piece. The manufacturer puts the continuous system output in racing at 500 kW.


Into the limiter in 2.5 seconds

Yes, Porsche actually releases the driver’s seat of the handcrafted show car and also provides a not so trivial layout of a hand link course at the in-house Experience Center in Los Angeles. Because the unique piece doesn’t like rain. And that is rare in this region. So the Mission R howls wildly, allegedly in 2.5 seconds from zero to 100 km / h, which cannot be proven at the moment, on the other hand, whether the whole bag full of G-forces that are now pressing on the stomach, may not be doubted.


Porsche

Spoiler, diffuser, light bar … what more does a rear end need?

The race car, which weighs around 1,550 kilograms, rages off as if whole continents were to be pulled out of their lethargy. Well, he doesn’t overdo it, because at 100 km / h the Mission R shreds against a virtual wall. The developers are too concerned about the individual item, the route is too narrow and poor in run-out zones. In the technical passages, however, the 4.33 meter short and 1.99 meter wide Porsche shows which traits it was dictated into the specifications: playful agility around the vertical axis, unshakable traction, maximum communication with the driver. Its seat is firmly screwed to the chassis, borrowed from the 718 Cayman and clad with add-on parts made of natural fiber-reinforced plastic, while the adjustable steering wheel and pedals create the ergonomically optimal position behind the steering wheel, which the Mission R borrowed from a 911 RSR today for driving out. In addition, a new type of roll cage creates space, because instead of a subsequently screwed or welded steel structure, there is a kind of carbon fiber skeleton in the roof. With a larger yellow rotary control in the croissant steering wheel, the drive level can now be selected, and reverse gear with a push button.


Fortunately no hypersensitive steering

Then there is the option to adjust the ABS, but the show car does without that. Great. So the treadless Michelin racing tires on the 18-inch rims in the format 30 / 68-18 at the front (30 centimeters wide) and 31 / 71-18 at the rear (31 centimeters wide) have to get up to temperature quickly before they are first of all caused by careless braking too much rubber and secondly lose their round shape. Once everything fits, the Porsche can be slowed down with remarkable sensitivity. And this despite the fact that a brake-by-wire system is used, which is vilified by the traditionalists and does not require a mechanical connection between the brake pedal and the brake system.


And does the Porsche recuperate too? Yes, with up to 400 kW, depending on the charge level of the 82 kWh battery, which is located in front of the rear axle, similar to a mid-engine. The Mission R does not have a steer-by-wire system, although this is already used in some racing cars in the GT3 class, but it has a very communicative electromechanical design. It does not respond in a hypersensitive manner, which on the partly extremely undulating surface of the circuit brings the necessary calm to straight-line stability, and in very tight corners may require an idea too much steering angle.

Porsche Mission R

Porsche

Treadless Michelin racing tires provide plenty of grip.

But hey, as I said: prototype, one-off, show car – and one that has been thought through to the end. So you drive lively in the ring, as the number of laps increases, trust in the car and displeasure about the speed limit grow in equal measure. So you look forward to every curve in which you can change the load a little using the accelerator pedal and accelerate out with full force early on. “The goal has to be to drive everything here at 100 km / h,” joked factory and Nürburgring record lap driver Lars Kern beforehand, which even he should not be able to do. Especially not on the corkscrew lookalike, where you definitely don’t want to let the car get too easy over the hilltop. Even here, however, the Mission R appears extremely stiff, solid and serious, roaring every steering command to the front wheels, which, suspended from double wishbones, implement it immediately. How long will the fun go? Depending on the race format, the Porsche has to go to the pillar for between 25 and 40 minutes.


Mechanical differential locks

Direct oil cooling of the battery, similar to that of the motors, ensures consistently high performance. The voltage of 900 volts should enable short charging times, for example from five to 80 percent in around 15 minutes. The display in the steering wheel display still indicates almost 40 percent, but with every further lap the risk of breaking something out of arrogance increases, but not the gain in knowledge. So out to the charging station, where, among others, Lars Kern and Marc Lieb, 2016 Le Mans winners, want to know what it was like at Mission R. Counter-question: What speaks against a rapid implementation of this concept from the perspective of the professionals ? “Nothing really,” replies Lars. “The performance as well as the precision and speed of the force distribution are great”.

Porsche Mission R

Porsche

After 40 minutes at the latest, loading is announced.

Although there is not yet much work with torque vectoring here. There are mechanical differential locks on the axles. Marc doesn’t contradict. “It will take some time before we can drive a real long-distance race with it. Since this is my favorite discipline, I would like to see faster progress.” Then a little debate ensues with the developers about whether or not you should apply an ABS, you might have to think about traction control right away, oh, in the Carrera Cup you can get by without all of that, yes what because now? Even if the discussion ends without a concrete result: Concrete ideas to translate the Mission R project into the reality of a motorsport format are evident. But please: don’t think too long!


opinion poll

Yes, in any case!

No, nobody needs it!



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Conclusion

The playful handling of the Mission R grabs you, the crowd doesn’t get in the way of the ease of the driving experience. The precision of the steering and the controllability of the ABS-free brakes are right. And the performance? Possibly too much of a good thing. A great concept, albeit a (too) short pleasure. It would be interesting if racing cars with electric drives and combustion engines could compete against each other.

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