Due to come out around the end of the decade, the Mission E is shaping up to be one of the most important models to ever carry the Porsche crest. It was previewed by a namesake concept a little over two years ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show and recently Automobile Magazine had the opportunity to conduct a brief test with a more evolved prototype at the Weissach track.

More than just a rudimentary test mule, the vehicle had niceties like electric windows, doors, and seats, along with a fairly advanced interior cabin (including a lap timer) to show Porsche has been making great progress with the Mission E’s development. Although it will be smaller than the Panamera, there’s still going to be enough room to provide a comfortable ride for those sitting on the rear seats. According to project leader, Stefan Weckbach, it will be nearly as spacious on the inside as a model from a class above.

Sources close to Porsche have disclosed the plan is to offer three different versions of the Mission E – all of which are going to have an all-wheel-drive arrangement. The entry-level model – which is set to kick off at about $85,000 like a Panamera – will offer roughly 402 horsepower (300 kilowatts). The midrange model will up the power ante to 536 hp (400 kW) whereas the flagship version will deliver a meaty 670 hp (500 kW). Further down the line, a cheaper rear-wheel-drive variant might be added.

Gallery: 2015 Porsche Mission E concept

Those impressive output figures will be available by combining a front-mounted electric setup rated at 215 hp (160 kW) and permanent 221 lb-ft / 300 Nm (325 lb-ft / 441 Nm for a limited time) with one of the two rear units. The first will be good for 322 hp (240 kW) and 251 lb-ft (340 Nm), while the second is going to generate 429 hp (320 kW) and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm). Needless to say, these numbers are not official at this point.

The quickest of the bunch will do the sprint to 60 mph (96 kph) in approximately 3.5 seconds before topping out at 155 mph (250 kph), with a “phenomenal midrange punch" and “explosive full-throttle acceleration in fourth and fifth gear” in-between. Porsche’s engineers are working on a two-speed gearbox and at the same time are developing an electronically controlled limited-slip differential set to be optionally available.

With the Mission E being first and foremost an electric vehicle, range will be a key selling point. Around 300 miles (483 kilometers) in the real world are being promised, along with the possibility to charge the battery to an 80-percent level in just 20 minutes.

Elsewhere in the Porsche range, the current-generation 911 will bow out with the updated GT3 RS and a new limited-edition Speedster. On the electric front, there are reasons to believe the Mission E will be followed by a zero-emissions Macan and a coupe tentatively called "929" to act as a spiritual successor of the 928.

Source: Automobile Magazine

Gallery: Porsche Mission E Winter Spy Photos

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