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Things are getting pretty serious in the electric car space, with the big German players now taking the fight straight to Tesla. Perhaps the most telling blow so far was delivered by Porsche with the unveiling of the Mission E, its first all-electric four-seater sports car.
Unlike most of the announcements to have come out of Frankfurt so far, Porsche’s is all about the numbers: four doors and four single seats, more than 600 hp (440 kW) system power and over 500 km driving range. All-wheel drive and all-wheel steering, zero to 100 km/h acceleration in under 3.5 seconds and a charging time of around 15 minutes to reach an 80% charge of electrical energy.
According to the German car-maker, the Mission E will also include the first 800-volt drive system.
Outside of the performance figures, there’s also plenty to get excited about on the tech front. The instruments, for instance, are operated by eye-tracking and gesture control, with some working via holograms.
According to Porsche, the holograms work, largely because the dashboard is divided into two three-dimensionally structuring layers. The upper layer integrates the driver’s display, and between the levels there is a holographic display that extends far into the passenger’s side. It shows individually selectable apps, which are stacked in virtual space and arranged by priority with a three-dimensional effect.
The driver – or passenger – can use these apps to touch-free control primary functions such as media, navigation, climate control, contacts and vehicle. The desired symbol is activated by gestures that are detected by sensors. A grasping gesture means select, while pulling means control. The driver or passenger can also use a touch display on the centre console to control secondary functions such as detailed information menus.
Perhaps the most noticeable feature of the Mission E however is one that’s missing: there are no side mirrors. That’s something that Tesla’s already tried out with its Model X concept, but Porsche appears to have refined the concept a little.
The lower corners of the windscreen show the images of the outside cameras that are mounted in the front wings. According to Porsche, this means that the driver gets a better view of images and the surroundings, and safety information can also be actively displayed there.