1073-HP Porsche Mission R Previews the Electric Future of Customer Racing

1073-HP Porsche Mission R Previews the Electric Future of Customer Racing
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  • the mission r is similar in size to the 718 cayman, although it's quite a bit wider, and it puts out 671 horsepower in "race mode" and cranks that up to 1073 horses in “qualifying mode."
  • porsche claims a zero-to-62-mph time of less than 2.5 seconds and a top speed of over 186 mph, while the mission r can also recharge from 5 to 80 percent in 15 minutes thanks to its 900-volt electrical architecture.
  • the mission r is currently a running prototype not scheduled for production, but its development will continue, with a fully realized version expected by 2025 or 2026.

    porsche has an extensive history in customer racing. the automaker's motorsports arm has churned out more 4400 cup cars over the past three decades, and porsche cup cars currently compete in 30 one-make series around the world. today, at the iaa auto show in munich, porsche revealed the mission r, a concept that hints at the all-electric direction of porsche's future customer racing vehicles.

    the mission r, which is similar in size to the 718 cayman but sits considerably lower and wider, features two electric motors, with a 429-hp unit on the front axle and a 644-hp motor powering the rear. in race mode, the mission r delivers a consistent 671 horsepower, but in qualifying mode, the motors churn out a whopping 1073 horsepower. the juice needed for all that power is delivered via an approximately 80.0-kwh battery that porsche says can supply 30 to 45 minutes of on-track action.

    porsche claims the mission r rockets from zero to 62 mph in less than 2.5 seconds, reaches a top speed of more than 186 mph, and can match the lap times of a current 911 gt3 cup. while the porsche taycan's 800-volt electrical system makes it among the fastest-charging evs currently for sale, porsche has taken the mission r a step further, installing a 900-volt system so it can recharge from 5 to 80 percent in just 15 minutes (with the right charging equipment, of course).

    typically, porsche's motorsport gurus take an existing road car and modify it for the track, but with the mission r, porsche's designers and racing engineers worked side by side from the get-go. instead of sticking in a roll cage as an afterthought, the mission r's carbon-fiber composite cage is integrated into the structure of the car itself, becoming visible within the roof in what porsche describes as an exoskeleton. the designer of the mission r was also heavily involved in unseen design studies, especially the vision spyder, and that influence can be seen in the recessed headlights, the roll-bar exoskeleton, and overall styling philosophy.

    typically, evs don’t tend to require as much cooling as gas-powered cars, but porsche says that the cooling requirements of the mission r actually ended up similar to those of a gas-powered gt3 cup race car. that's because its track focus necessitated a lot more air to maintain relatively stable battery temperatures. for this reason, active aerodynamics are abundant. louvers in the front air intakes can open and close depending on cooling needs, and they also work in conjunction with an adjustable rear wing, reducing front downforce when the drag-reduction system on the rear wing is open (while going flat out down a straight) for more top-end speed.

    the ev powertrain isn't the only area where porsche focused on sustainability. most of the mission r's body is built from natural-fiber-reinforced plastic, and the material features heavily in the interior along with 3d-printed foam elements. the interior is geared toward maximizing on-track performance, with a screen on the steering wheel providing important data while a display perched atop the steering column shows the side and rear mirror camera views. there are also cameras throughout the interior that can have their angle remotely adjusted, and porsche envisions fans choosing the camera angles while the race is livestreamed.

    the mission r is currently a running prototype—with porsche lapping it around their test track—but the company says more development is needed and suggests that a fully realized version could come in 2025 or 2026. porsche hasn't officially said if the mission r is bound for production, but the concept could preview the next-generation cayman and boxster, which are expected to be electric and could spawn a one-make electric racing series of its own.

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