New Porsche Mission R concept review

We hit the track in the new all-electric Porsche Mission R racer

Verdict

If this is motorsport’s pure-electric future, maybe that change won’t be as unappealing as the sceptics would have you believe. Plus it serves as the basis of a tantalising electric Porsche road car of the future.

The last time Porsche built a Mission-badged concept car – the Mission E – it became the Taycan, which this year will be the biggest-selling Porsche in the UK. So when the firm recently announced the wild-looking Mission R concept racing car, it immediately came under very close scrutiny.

The 718 Boxster and Cayman models will be the first of Porsche’s sports cars to go fully electric. While it’s unconfirmed for now, it looks likely this will happen with their next generations, and the Mission R potentially gives us a glimpse of what the new cars could look like – if you remove the huge wings and other racing elements.

This car is also a suggestion from Porsche Motorsport about how a future EV racer for a one-make series like its successful 911 Carrera Cup championship might look, feel, sound and drive. And driving it is exactly what we’ve had the chance to do.

The Mission R is wide and surprisingly short, with huge slick tyres and its massive wing dominating how it looks. A full safety briefing warns us about the hazards when a 900V EV with up to 1,073bhp in “Qualifying mode” has a meltdown, and while we won’t be experiencing its normal 671bhp power output in “Race” today (perhaps more like 400bhp), in a circa-1,500kg car that should still make for very lively performance.

Climbing through the bars of the roll cage and strapping into the racing seat, the track ahead is visible through a narrow rectangle of a windscreen. The car is silent when switched on, but as soon as we’re under way it’s a riot of screaming gears and electric motors, making ear plugs vital.

It’s a different style of soundtrack to what we’re used to hearing from competition machinery – and indeed anything electric – but from the inside at least, it’s still full of presence and aggression.

The brakes have no ABS, but are hugely powerful, while only small movements on the steering wheel are required to access the incredible amount of grip. It’s a very physical, surprisingly emotive (given the lack of an engine) and involving experience.

Model:Porsche Mission R Concept
Battery/motor:82kWh, dual electric motors
Power:1,073bhp
Transmission:Single-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-62mph:2.5 seconds
Top speed:180mph (est.)
Range:TBC

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