Everything points to Porsche positioning the Mission E, its first all-electric, to compete against Tesla’s Model S, but now CEO Oliver Blume claims that it is not the case.
The executive said that ‘Tesla is not a benchmark for us’ even though Porsche was spotted benchmarking the Mission E against the Model S just a few months ago.
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Blume made the comment during the German Automaker’s annual press conference last week (via Forbes).
While the CEO insisted that the new electric car is not meant to challenge the Tesla Model S, “benchmark” was a poor choice of word since his team was literally spotted benchmarking the vehicle against Tesla’s sedan.
Last year, Porsche acquired a fleet of Tesla vehicles, both Model S and Model X, that was spotted being used as part of the Mission E test mule program.
Spy shots showed test mules driving around with a convoy of Tesla vehicles in Germany – pictured above and video below:
Porsche says that they are aiming for the vehicle to have “over 310 miles of range” (500 km) on a single charge, but they announced that based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is much more forgiving than the EPA rating and doesn’t really reflect real-world range. It’s should still have a more than decent range of more than 250 miles.
They haven’t announced a new range since moving to the more accurate WLTP standard.
With the latest Model S variants, Tesla’s flagship sedan now starts with a range of 259 miles and goes up to 335 miles.
Porsche is also rumored to be aiming to offer different range options with different battery packs, it’s not clear if 250 miles is the base or top option – hopefully, it’s the minimum.
The German automaker is also aiming for a 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 3.5 seconds. Normally, that referrers to the top performance version, which for Tesla’s Model S is 2.5 seconds while the base version, which is now the Model S 75D, accelerates to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
Where Porsche says it will beat the Model S is with the ability to maintain high speeds for long period of times, something that the Model S has trouble doing without overheating its powertrain and significantly increasing energy consumption.
Earlier this month, a Porsche executive said that the Mission E will be able to go long distances at high speed, like traveling on the German autobahn, or to complete a few laps on the race track.
We often poke fun at the media for calling every new electric car a ‘Tesla killer’ and while we certainly wouldn’t call Porsche’s upcoming Mission E a ‘Tesla killer’, the German premium automaker is undoubtedly going after Tesla with the vehicle.
And that’s a good thing.
The Model S is the car to beat when it comes to performance luxury sedans – electric or not.
Porsche would be stupid not to benchmark the Mission E against the Model S in an attempt to surpass it.
Ultimately, it will create some good competition to push the technology to new levels. If Porsche succeeds in maintaining higher speeds without overheating and implementing its 350 kW charging system in the Mission E, it will force Tesla, and other electric automakers, to improve their products.
With this said, maybe Porsche plans to distance itself from Tesla and try to market the vehicle to gearheads, which would also be a good thing for electric vehicle adoption, but I somehow doubt that after Porsche complained about Tesla stealing away customers from them.
But I think the Mission E might be the first all-electric vehicle to push Tesla to improve and catch up instead of leading – though that’s a premature statement since the vehicle is not expected to hit the market until late next year and Tesla could certainly improve on the Model S by then.