PORSCHE Australia’s decision to display the company’s Mission E concept in Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct is about much more than providing some additional eye candy for one of the city’s more vibrant spots.
The Mission E, first unveiled at the Frankfurt show of 2015, is the precursor to the forthcoming Taycan (pronounced tie-carn) electric sports car, due in Australia in 2020, and for which Porsche Australia is currently taking ‘expressions of interest’, backed by a refundable $2500 deposit - despite the lack of guidance regarding price or standard spec.
However, the Mission E concept’s arrival provides a few more snippets of info as to how Porsche is preparing to transition itself into a manufacturer of not just internal-combustion vehicles and hybrids, but of high-performance battery-electric models, starting with the Taycan.
A fast-charging network (developed with at least one other OEM brand) along the east coast of the country, and parts of WA, is pivotal to the roll-out plan.
Porsche is yet to announce its charge-provider partner, but Inga Appel, Porsche’s Head of Product and Smart Mobility, claims that the network will set new precedents for charging speed and convenience: “Our chargers will be located in service stations along the main highway route between Adelaide and Brisbane, as well as in Porsche dealerships, so the network will offer the convenience customers are used to, with no need to leave the highway.”
As for speed, Porsche says its set-up will be framed around an 800-volt, 350kW system that can deliver 80 percent of a full charge to the Taycan in just 20 minutes. The company is claiming its new model has a range of 500km (measured on the European standard), so the inference is that 20 minutes charging time should be sufficient for more than 350km. Further, Porsche talks about ‘pit stop’ style charging where a range of 100km can be zapped into the battery in just four minutes.
As for what else we know about the Taycan, it seems set to redefine the performance parameters of any EV short of ultra-exotics from the likes of Rimac, and blow newcomers like the Jaguar I-Pace into the shrubbery. Despite a hefty kerb weight of 2150kg, Porsche is claiming the 440kW Taycan will accelerate from 0-100km/h in under 3.5sec, and to 200km/h in under 12sec.
Porsche gave us an insight into how the road-going Taycan could also spawn a crossover model when it showed the Cross Turismo concept at Geneva this year; as for the real deal, the hot tip is the production Taycan will drop at next year’s Geneva show in March.
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