Porsche Mission E variants in the works

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Porsche Mission E to arrive in 2019

The Porsche Mission E

Sports car maker Porsche first announced the Mission E electric sports car back in 2015. As the project moves forward, the German company plans to offer variants of the EV that will sit in its catalog below the Panamera. Expected to be launched in 2019, the car will herald a new era of battery-powered cars.

Prototype versions of the Porsche EV are currently being built at Porsche's research and development center in Stuttgart, Germany. These vehicles will begin further development and testing this summer.

The various model variants of the Mission E will have different levels of power and, for the benefit of owners, over-the-air update capability. For example, when you have 400hp, it could be possible to upgrade to 450 hp.

The Mission E will offer Level 4 autonomous-driving technology, which allows for self-driving in nearly all situations. Crucially though, Porsche says it will not let technology overtake the driving experience buyers expect.

"There are situations in traffic jams where you will be able to read a newspaper, but our customers take pleasure from driving, and this will remain," said CEO Oliver Blume.

Some of the original Mission E details released back in 2015 have not changed. Porsche claimed a range of 311 miles with an 80 percent recharge time of just 15 minutes. This has not changed. The Mission E concept had a claimed 590bhp with a 0-60 mph sprint time of 3.5 seconds.

What is new is the development, with Volkswagen, of three new EV platforms, one of which will underpin the Mission E. Both this car and sister company Audi's E-tron Quattro SUV concept will be powered by similar lithium-ion battery technology. The Mission E will stick with the 800-volt charging system originally announced.

Also under development at the Volkswagen Group is the MEB electric platform, which is planned to underpin a production version of VW's electric I.D. hatchback concept.