Porsche appears to have it out for Tesla Motors. Having already shown its Mission E sedan as a potential rival for the Model S, the German automaker just spawned the Mission E Cross Turismo electric crossover concept for the Geneva Motor Show. Unveiled just a days after Jaguar’s I-Pace, it looks like Europe’s premium brands want a piece of the Model X’s reasonably small — but growing — hunk of the market.
In the United States, Tesla moved 18,028 Model X crossovers in 2016. That number climbed to 24,400 for 2017 and could be higher in 2018, thanks to increased output.
Unlike Jaguar’s I-Pace and Tesla’s Model X, the Mission E Cross Turismo is only a concept vehicle. However, Porsche has already made clear its intent to dive headfirst into the realm of battery-electric vehicles, claiming the crossover will eventually reach production.
According to the manufacturer, all Mission E vehicles will be capable of 800-volt charging that offers 248 miles of range in a scant 15 minutes — a marked improvement from Tesla’s 480-volt Supercharger systems. But Porsche doesn’t want to simply provide the hardware that allows Mission E vehicles to charge more quickly, it also wants to host the technology that feeds them. During the Cross Turismo’s presentation, president and chief executive of Porsche Cars North America Klaus Zellmer said the company wanted to equip all dealerships with 800-volt DC fast chargers.
While that’s not wildly convenient, it does provide owners who don’t mind making friends with local sales reps a place to charge their vehicle in just a few minutes. However, the bulk of a customer’s charging will take place at home, which levels the playing field quite a bit. Still, it’s nice to have the option of ultra-fast charging — especially if 800-volt taps become commonplace.
As part of its emissions cheating deal with the U.S. government, Volkswagen Group is currently building an extensive network of 150 and 320 kW fast-charging points. The majority of the ultra-high-capacity chargers are reserved for California, but the company promises 2,800 U.S. stations in total by June 2019.
The Mission E crossover uses a 440-kilowatt lithium-ion system and a pair of permanent synchronous electric motors. Porsche claims the duo will toss the Cross Turismo to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. In addition to all-wheel drive, the vehicle also makes use of all-wheel steering and has an air suspension that can provide added ground clearance at will.
While Porsche refers to the concept as a “crossover utility” vehicle, the Cross Turismo is essentially a high-riding and more production-friendly version of the Mission E sedan concept. At 194.8 inches, it is slightly longer and has wheel arch cladding and fog lamps to further differentiate itself.
Porsche adopted a minimalist design theory for the Cross Turismo’s interior. Seating only four, the space is brimming with long, clean lines and features a set of 11-inch infotainment displays — the second of which spills over into the passenger area. HVAC controls are located on a third screen located in the raised center console.
Not wanting to skimp on tech, Porsche gave the concept features like a head-up display, wireless charging dock, and digital connectivity via phone applications. There’s also a driver display that consists of three round instruments screens with eye-tracking functionality that bring the particular display the driver is focusing on to the foreground. Interestingly, Porsche made no mention of autonomous driving capabilities but did suggest the eye-tracking tech might make it to the production vehicle.
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