Under the Skin of the Mission R
It didn’t even have its striking shell when development engineer and racing driver Lars Kern started testing the future: the technology of the Mission R. The concept could be the basis of the first all-electric Porsche racer for the customer racing milieu.
It garnered a lot of attention at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Munich in early September: the Mission R. The all-electric racing car is, for now, just a vision. An idea of what the future design language might look like –demonstrated by the concept car for an all-electric customer racing vehicle from Porsche.
The design – both the exterior and interior – fascinates, polarises and fuels lively debate. As it should. Concept cars are market research embodied in an object. Often they are merely beautifully styled shells: show cars without engines, without technology under the skin. The Mission R, however, is already a capable racer.
“That’s the Porsche philosophy,” says Michael Behr. The technical project manager is responsible for orchestrating the different disciplines involved in the Mission R, and keeping a steady eye on feasibility. “This prototype is, of course, a show car at this point, yet it also meets the highest technical standards.”
Implementation of the Porsche strategy
Beneath its shell, the car represents the fulfillment of Porsche’s strategy on sustainability and social responsibility. While the company is already operating on an all-electric basis in Formula E, uses synthetic fuels in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, and is developing a new hybrid racer for endurance events, the Mission R is now bringing electric technology to customer racing as well. Porsche rarely shows such futuristic concept cars. But when it does, it often culminates in a resounding success. Take the Boxster: the original concept was presented in Detroit in 1993. Or the Carrera GT, which Walter Röhrl drove in front of the Louvre in Paris in 2000. The 918 Spyder concept car followed in 2010, this time in Geneva. The forerunner to the Taycan, the Mission E, debuted at the IAA in 2015. Behr was also on board for that project. “These are jobs with massive deadline pressure,” he admits, “yet at the same time they’re engineers’ dreams come true that start with a blank sheet of paper.” There’s no model for the Mission R. It is the model.