Porsche confirmed in 2015 to put into production an electric car based on its Mission E concept unveiled at that year’s Frankfurt auto show.
Today we bring you the first spy shots of a test mule for the car, spotted undergoing cold-weather testing near the Arctic Circle. The test mule is using the modified body of a second-generation Panamera but there are a handful of clues that reveal the true identity.
You’ll immediately notice that the test mule is somewhat taller than the Panamera. This is due to the flat battery pack sitting in the vehicle floor. You can even see traces of it from some angles.
The standard intakes in the Panamera bumper have also been sealed. Electric cars have lower cooling requirements than their internal combustion rivals so tend to have fewer openings. The sealed front of the test mule suggests that Porsche’s electric car will feature a streamlined face much like the updated version of the Tesla [NSDQ:TSLA] Model S.
There are also some electric warning signs plastered around the car and you’ll notice that there is only one port, located behind the front wheel on the passenger side, likely concealing the charging dock. The test mule also reveals that Porsche’s electric car will have a smaller wheelbase than the Panamera, as evidenced by the shortened doors.
The Mission E concept resembled a large coupe but featured four doors. It’s not clear what form the production model will take but a sedan is a strong possibility, as this would increase the appeal of the car. With the second-generation Panamera having grown in length to almost 199 inches, there’s certainly room in Porsche’s lineup for a more design-oriented coupe-like sedan, i.e. the oft-rumored Pajun (Panamera Junior). We’ve also heard, though, that Porsche’s electric car could be a proper coupe, one wearing the automaker’s 928 name.
As for the technology, the Mission E concept points the way. It featured a separate motor for the front and rear wheels delivering about 600 horsepower, plus torque vectoring on an individual wheel basis. The car was claimed to be capable of 0-62 mph acceleration in 3.5 seconds and 0-124 mph acceleration in less than 12 seconds. Most impressive though was its battery, which Porsche said would offer more than 300 miles of range and be able to be charged to 80 percent capacity in just 15 minutes. The latter is to be made possible by a new 800-volt charging system.
As we are still at an early stage of development, we’re not expecting the first prototypes until the second half of 2017. Stay tuned for updates as development continues.