Porsche has revealed the Mission R, a racing concept vehicle that potentially previews an upcoming one-make motorsport series that could take shape as early as 2025. Even more interestingly, the car’s future-facing design elements could likely trickle into the next-generation 718 Cayman or, specifically, its electric replacement.
In 2021, we’re 6 years past the first time the German sports car maker previewed another ‘Mission’ vehicle, the Mission E, which portended the company’s foray into fully electric cars and powertrains.
Rather than focusing on an upcoming showroom EV model, as they did with their Taycan progenitor, the Mission R takes an alternate route through the crucible of motorsport.
The car is dimensionally more compact than Porsche’s current Cayman or Boxster measuring just 4,326mm in overall length, but wider at 1,990mm and lower at a mere 1,190mm.
Meanwhile, despite its racing focus, there's a much larger story unfolding when examining its design. Beyond that extremely wide track and big aero, there’s definitely a road car hiding somewhere in there - a rather elegant looking one too.
Of course, the automaker has not commented on the relation between the Mission R and any possible production model, though they have previously hinted at the development of an electric mid-engine sports car similar to the 718, either as a sister model or a direct replacement.
Porsche is presenting the fully electric racing concept at this year’s ongoing IAA in Munich, much like the pre-Taycan Mission E did.
In fact, it takes plenty of tech from Porsche's first production EV, such as its 800V architecture and dual motor powertrain with the front axle catered to by a 435hp motor while the rears receive a beefier 653hp motor. However, the Taycan’s 2-speed transmission has not been carried over, opting instead for a single reduction gear for quicker acceleration and less weight.
The Mission R's combined output would typically be capped at 610hp in its ‘standard’ mode to balance speed and endurance but is able to unleash up to 1,088hp in its most intense hot lap qualifying mode. With so much power and such a lightweight carbon fibre and NFRP (natural fibre reinforced plastic) body that comes in under 1,500kg, the 0-100km/h dash is done in less than 2.5 seconds while top speed is 300km/h.
Feeding the twin-motor setup is a high voltage battery packing 80-85kWh of energy capacity, which Porsche claims should offer around 40 minutes of hard racing. The bulk of the cells are concentrated behind the driver, approximately where the engine would sit in a typical mid-engine performance car, giving the Mission R a familiar set of dynamic characteristics.
Other racing-specific additions include adjustable flaps on the front wing and a two-stage rear wing with support for F1-style Drag Reduction System (DRS). When the Mission R evolves into a more complete product, the car is intended to be sold to and used by customer racing teams with special modifications to ensure an easy transition from Porsche’s current crop of 911 GT3 Cup and GT3R racers.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.