Just as SUVs have become dominant in the automobile landscape, electrically-powered cars are also slowly growing in presence and at the Geneva Motor Show this year, virtually every major manufacturer is displaying production models or prototypes which have hybrid or full electric powertrains.
Porsche’s latest presentation of its future products is in the form of the Mission E Cross Turismo, a car described as possessing ‘many talents’ and a spectacular design language. The strengths of this Cross Utility Vehicle (CUV) include an emotional design with striking off-road elements as well as an innovative display and operating concept with touchscreen and eye-tracking control.
With a low-cut bonnet between heavily curved wings, the front of the Mission E Cross Turismo reveals its relationship to the iconic Porsche 911 at first glance. Other distinctive design features are vertical air inlets in the front known as air curtains and matrix LED headlights.
The silhouette is defined by a sporty roofline that slopes off to the rear, which Porsche designers refer to as a ‘flyline’. The broad wings and three-dimensional side panels with air outlets behind the front wheels reinforce the sporty crossover character of the concept car, which is 1.99 metres wide.
For Michael Mauer, Head of Style Porsche, it was especially important to choose a visual language that fitted perfectly with the product when it came to photographs of the Mission E Cross Turismo. In order to make this ambition a reality, Porsche was able to gain the support of Stefan Bogner, photographer and publisher of Curves magazine.
Limited light and special lighting angles emphasise the car’s design. “The special qualities of the outline, the interior and the infotainment system only really come into their own if you make intelligent use of light and shade,” noted Bogner.
“This is the perfect way to showcase highlights that represent a new era of electric mobility. The apparent contradiction of using low light to present the unmistakable Porsche design DNA of the Cross Turismo is perfectly fitting for this ‘understated’ Porsche. Only with low light do the pictures reveal how much attention to detail went into designing the concept study,” he explained.
Even from behind, the study can immediately be recognised as a Porsche with its exclusively light grey metallic paintwork. In addition to its sporty design and air-channelling roof spoiler, the continuous light strip is a typical feature. A large panoramic glass roof extends from the windscreen to the boot lid, ensuring a generous sense of space.
For Bogner, the Mission E Cross Turismo possesses a sensuality that other electric cars lack. One of his favourite picture motifs is the Porsche lettering on the rear of the CUV. Each character is designed using three-dimensional glass. In Bogner’s view, lettering that is illuminated blue has the potential to become a unique identifying feature for electrically-driven Porsche cars. In addition to a series of atmospheric pictures, the photographer created a film made exclusively from photographs – a new idea at Porsche.
The interior reinterprets classic Porsche elements, bringing them into the digital age. The dashboard, for example, emphasises the car’s width and is composed of a wing-shaped upper and lower part. The instrument panel is clearly organised horizontally with an extra-wide display for the driver and front passenger. The freestanding instrument cluster is angled towards the driver and includes three circular display graphics with digital content on TFT screens. The centre console between the front seats rises towards the dash panel.
The interior design features also include visible lightweight structures, which can be found on the instrument panel and other places as well as the sporty seats, reminiscent of those found in racing cars, with illuminated Porsche lettering. The door lining has innovative three-dimensional elements with a textured surface. Anodised edges in Nordic Blue on features such as the air vents and window lift modules create a contrast to the exclusive bicolour concept of the interior with aniline leather in black and light grey.
The concept car has compact electric motors, an underbody battery, no combustion engine, no exhaust system, no transmission tunnel – all opportunities to question and rethink existing design concepts. Combining typical Porsche design language and optimized aerodynamics, the result is a flow-optimized body designed for maximum performance. The projected performance data puts total system power output at 600 bhp with acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in under 3.5 seconds, and to 200 km/h in under 12 seconds.
Furthermore, the level of continuous power is said to be unmatched by any other electric car: multiple accelerations are possible in direct succession without loss of performance. Power is guaranteed on any surface thanks to on-demand all-wheel drive with Porsche Torque Vectoring, which automatically distributes torque to individual wheels.
The 800V architecture of the car ensures that the lithium-ion battery can be charged for a range of around 400 kms in just over 15 minutes. Charging is flexible and can take place while on the road or at home. The car is prepared for connection to the fast charging network, which is being created on arterial roads as part of the IONITY joint venture.
Additionally, the battery of the Mission E Cross Turismo can be replenished using induction, a charging station or a Porsche home energy storage system. The latter is compatible with solar power generated by domestic photovoltaic systems.
The all-wheel steering contributes to the exemplary agility and stability. Adaptive air suspension increases the ground clearance by up to 50 mm. Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control is also present, providing active roll stabilisation and preventing side tilt when cornering and reducing lateral rocking of the car on uneven surfaces.