Porsche unveiled a four-seat sports car that accelerates faster than the 911 and charges in just 15 minutes, challenging Tesla Motors Inc. to keep pace.
The Mission E concept reaches 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour in 3.5 seconds, beating the 4.2 seconds for the new generation of the 911. The 600-horsepower electric car has a range of more than 500 kilometers and can recharge the battery to 80 percent capacity in about 15 minutes, Matthias Mueller, head of the Volkswagen AG unit, said at the International Auto Show in Frankfurt. Tesla’s Supercharger needs about 30 minutes to recharge the Model S to about 270 miles of range.
Porsche and sister unit Audi are among the elite car brands shifting into battery-powered models as Tesla develops into a viable competitor. Deliveries of the U.S. electric-car maker’s second vehicle, the Model X crossover, will start later this month, and a more affordable auto is also on its way. The company run by billionaire Elon Musk received glowing reviews for the acceleration and handling of the Model S, a blow to traditional high-end brands.
Porsche’s electric car, which is due to reach the market within five years, will be “better than a Tesla,” Mueller said in an interview on Tuesday.
“We respect all competitors, also Tesla, and that is the reason why we have taken a close look at the Model S as well as at every BMW, Mercedes or something else,” said Mueller. Tesla “did a very good job, especially in terms of connectivity. Some things about the car itself could be better, but OK. That is our competition.”
The Mission E concept uses an 800-volt electric system, double the voltage of other vehicles. That helps reduce charging times and lowers weight, Porsche said. To assist in operating the vehicle, the car features eye-tracking and gesture-control functions, which include holograms that allow the driver to grab apps out of the air, according to the carmaker.
While the new electric vehicle would be Porsche’s seventh model line, the Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer isn’t abandoning its roots. At the Frankfurt auto show, Porsche introduced a new generation of the 911 sports car. The model features bi-turbo engines that generate at least 370 horsepower.
Porsche plans to sell more than 200,000 vehicles for the first time this year, driven by demand for the $52,600 Macan compact SUV. Tesla targets 50,000 to 55,000 deliveries in 2015.