Unveiled in September, the Mission R concept is Porsche’s best guess at what the future of racing will look like when EVs are the norm. And from the driver’s seat, the future looks pretty good.
Driven by Top Gear’s Ollie Marriage, the car gets put through its paces around a race track and does so impressively. Although the suspension isn’t quite motorsport polished yet, it has ample grip to handle the amount of power it’s putting down—although Porsche says it can churn out 1,073 hp (1,088 PS/800 kW) a previous review from what appeared to be a similar event suggested that it was limited to just 450-ish hp (456 PS/335 kW).
More interesting, I think, is the conversation around how Porsche is thinking about ensuring that the Mission R can race for as long as current race cars. Marriage says that a 911 GT3 Cup Car is the benchmark for this EV, so it needs to be able to race flat out for 30-40 minutes before refueling, or recharging in this car.
To achieve that it, naturally, has 350kW charging, which allows it to recharge very quickly. What’s more impressive is its regenerative braking. Although that’s the norm on EVs, the Mission R‘s system can recharge the battery at 800kW, which is almost as fast as it can discharge, meaning that you get a stunning amount of power back under braking.
That serves a dual purpose. Marriage says that the brakes stop you about as well as you’d expect a race car to slow you down (although they’re a little numb), but since you’re using a lot of regen, the discs don’t heat up, so there’s less heat management for the driver to do and it can use smaller, lighter brakes.
It all makes for a lovely driving experience, says Marriage.
“It’s got such punch and traction. And the balance of the motors, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to do anything scary. It feels so planted and stable,” says Marriage. “Can you just imagine what a gaggle of these would look like as an F1 support race? I think that’d be terrific!”