0 Comments
2018 Porsche Mission E
2018 Porsche Mission E Cross Turimso. Photo: Supplied
 
 
Andrew Maclean | Mar, 22 2018 | 0 Comments

Porsche has raced its way to the forefront of electric vehicle development, according to Mark Webber.

The Aussie race ace, who won a world title in sports car racing for the German car maker with its radical petrol-electric 919 Hybrid, says Porsche’s upcoming Mission E family will re-set the benchmark for electric vehicles thanks to its Le Mans-winning project.

Porsche plans to introduce the first in a number of electric vehicles under the Mission E program in 2019, first with a conventional sedan and followed a high-riding crossover that was previewed by the Cross Turismo concept at the recent Geneva motor show.

Both vehicles will use a cutting-edge 800-volt battery pack – double the voltage of a current Tesla Model S – that will allow ultra-fast re-charging times as well as consistent performance that lives up to the values of the iconic sports car brand.

Webber says all of that learning has been transferred directly from its high-tech racing program.

“We have a tremendous amount of experience with the 919 and the 918 Spyder to a degree, but arguably the 919 was the most futuristic and aggressive project in the world from a technology perspective as a hybrid racing platform,” he told Drive while in Australia for this weekend’s Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

“It was phenomenal, and we believe we’re incredibly well positioned to smash it to smitherines, which we’re extremely proud of, and it’s coming. Electric is coming, for sure.

“We’ve learned a huge amount from racing and we know that is the direction the automotive industry is heading.”

Webber is playing an integral role in the development of Porsche’s future products as part of his role as a brand ambassador since hanging up his helmet at the end of the 2016 season.

While he has yet to drive a Mission E prototype, he will get his first taste of the electric car in a few weeks and then begin fine-tuning it over the next 12 months ahead of its official launch.

While the nerdy stuff and essential nuts and bolts will be handled by professional engineers, Webbers says his role is to help ‘stretch the envelope’ of vehicle dynamics to ensure it still has a broad depth of handling ability and matches the expectations of Porsche’s loyal sports car community.

“I have a lot of experience about how the torque is delivered [through electric motors]; on the 919 the front axle delivery was a huge challenge for us initially – massive headaches – and very complex,” he said.

“You can’t unlearn that, from a vehicle dynamics perspective.

“I’m also focused on keeping the emotion high – we need to keep that at a high level, and the consumer being able to accept that. Everyone is dining out on the 0-100km/h performance of electric cars at the moment, and anyone can do that, but it’s the recharging, the dynamics and all of that. Let’s go to the Nordschliefe for a few hours and see who will turn up with their cars – and that’s when you’ll weed out the wood from the chaff real fast.”

Even without experiencing it first hand – yet – Webber is prepared to park a Mission E among his collection of race-ready Porsches, such as the 911 GT2 RS, which holds the production car lap record around the Nurburgring circuit.

“I would never have said yes to that before 919, but when you see the torque, the power, the useability and versatility, it’s a new era. I’m totally one for new technologies,” he said.

“We can’t all sit here and say I want to stick with my Massey Ferguson all my life, but we have to move along.”

 
TMR Comments
Latest Comments
 
The size of your tyre is located on the sidewall of your tyre.
It will be similar to the sample below.