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We Drive Porsche’s Mission R Electric Concept Race Car



ElectricCars are supposed to be silent, but this one isn’t. This EV is very loud. Mission RA 1073-hp, one-of-one concept/racer offers a glimpse at the future of customer sports-car racing. This niche is not normally served by Porsche 911s. The Porsche 911 is the most popular 911 in this niche. Mission RWhile it may not sound like any race car that we have ever driven, the same advice applies. Wear earplugs. It sounds from the inside like you are next to a washing-machine with a bad bearing that kills itself in a spin cycle. The two straight-cut reductions gears (one rear and one front) transmit power to the mechanical limited-slip differentials.

The thing will scream when you hit the brakes. As with every EV, it is loud. Mission RThe two electric motors in the car’s engine work together to convert speed into electricity via regenerative brake. Your eardrums become irritated by the noise generated by the motors fighting against inertia. Because of this aggressive regen, friction brakes are only barely stressed. Porsche doesn’t even fit dedicated brake ducts. A full 60 percent of the braking in front is done by the motor, and all the rear braking is handled by the motor—Porsche suggests starting with the battery charged to 85 percent so that regen is always available. Because there is no ABS, the brake pedal feels like a race car and is easy to control.

Properly slowed Mission RThe yoke makes a quick turn and the head turns in an instant. It goes in, then it tucks under the bend. The straightaway is suddenly calling and it’s time for the battery to charge the motors. These motors will push the horizon into the background and cause neck strain. This could lead to a humorous conversation with your physical therapist. The 1073 horsepower can be used in Qualifying mode but not in RacePeak power of the mode we ran in is 671 horses. Porsche claims it can travel more than 186 mph but the prototype is limited to 62 MPH to protect its top speed. Porsche’s$10 million investment The Mission RThe track maxes out at some points, but the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles (PECLA), has a tight enough course to ensure that we don’t miss out on anything. It takes less than 2.5 seconds to accelerate from a standstill to 62 mph.

The lack of gearshifts is another odd aspect of the experience. You can see how the 911 Turbo S is shifting up and down as you chase it around the track. Mission RIt is a direct drive setup. You don’t have to reach for a paddle or a wooden shift knob, there is no tachometer, shift lights, or monitor the engine’s torque. You can feel the power of the motors no matter how fast you drive, an almost inexorable rush of power. Porsche cools motor windings with oil to ensure they don’t lose their power. Fluid baths are part of the battery cooling strategy. Porsche promises that it will keep the battery cool. Mission RA 30-minute track session is possible with the 82-kWh battery.

Based very loosely on a production car—the floorpan is lifted from the current 982 Cayman—the roughly 3300-pound racer is 170.3 inches long, a couple of inches shorter than a Cayman. This car is 46.9 inches high, and it’s designed to kill. Mission RIt looks like a Le Mans prototype that was left in the dryer for too long. The inside features a 3D printed race seat and some switchgear. The light is allowed through the transparent polycarbonate roof panels. The exterior is compact and simple, with the exception of the loud drivetrain. Mission RIt is very easy to drive. The handling characteristics aren’t difficult, the 40/60 front to rear balance isn’t easily upset, and race slicks hold on tight.

If the pits have fast-charging hookups, the onboard charger can consume 350 kilowatts. This allows the 900-volt battery’s output to reach five to eighty percent in just 15 minutes. The connection is located at the back, and the battery is transversely behind you.

The following are proofs of concept: Mission R works. It’s quick and fun. This shows us what electrification is like on a track. It makes a lot of noises that aren’t pleasant to the ears, and you can hear it making gear whine from outside. Mechanical music is a flat-six that can outplay an electric motor. WeImagine the reaction of fans of piston aircraft when roaring engines invaded their airspace. WeWe’re just at the start of a similar shift. However, early jets sounded a lot like real loud blowtorches rather than dying appliances.

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