Would You Trade Your 911 For An Electric Porsche If It Were RWD?
Images courtesy of Porsche
Porsche surprised plenty of people last week at the Geneva Motor Show with their Mission E Cross Turismo concept, but even more intriguing than the sleek soccer mom’s rock crawler was what was said in the roundtable interview that followed.
Stefan Weckbach, Porsche’s head of electric vehicle development, fielded a few questions about the company’s outlook regarding road-going EVs, and he hinted at the possibility of two-door and convertible models joining the Mission E range in the future: “If you talk about two-door cars or convertibles, the platform will be ready for that.”
He’s referring to the Mission E platform called J1 that’s underpinning the all-electric production sedan due to arrive on dealer floors sometime next year; it was developed in-house for Porsche alone, rather than a larger segment of VAG which will have its own shared electric platforms. Unlike Audi’s E-tron systems which rely on current-excited motors, Porsche decided to fit the Mission E with what are called permanent-magnet motors on the front and rear axle of the all-wheel drive electric sedan and Turismo models (there will be no SUVs on J1), and the advanced cooling properties of these units will allow for more consistent acceleration and top speed when the car is being driven hard for sustained periods; Porsche is promising that the Mission E will still perform admirably in any track day duties should its owners decide on a few silent hot laps from time to time.
Besides hinting at the coupe and convertibles that may be in the Mission E’s pipeline, Weckbach also mentioned that his team is “Definitely discussing rear-wheel-drive options right now.” Since ditching the front-axle power unit would result in a significant loss of regenerative braking force as well as a new weight balance challenge, it’s not as simple as just taking out the front-wheel drive motor. The all-wheel drive Mission E sedan should have a horsepower figure in the range of 600 if the Cross Turismo’s stats are any indication (an all-wheel drive model will be the most powerful Mission E car on the platform), so any rear-wheel drive Mission E variants will likely have significantly less thrust and require some novel engineering regarding the car’s effective range.
The idea of an all-electric 911 has been floated in the past, so this could be the beginning of the path toward that hypothetical car. There’s still a wide moat between that and say the current GT2 RS, but progress is certainly being made. I’m sure to some this is the last thing they’d call progress (especially if it were to eventually replace petrol-powered 911s), but if electric is the foreseeable future of driving, shouldn’t we be making the best of it? What do you think?