Electrifying the SUV at Geneva: Porsche’s new Mission E Cross Turismo
911 GT3 RS also debuts at Geneva
Porsche’s surprise reveal at the 88th Geneva Motor Show speaks to the carmaker’s future. The company began with a sports car 70 years ago, the 356 Roadster, Car No. 1 from Zuffenhausen. The changing nature of what a performance car can be is summarized by Porsche’s new concept, the Mission E Cross Turismo.
Building on the Mission E sports car platform unveiled at a previous Paris Motor Show, the Mission E Cross Turismo expands that concept to include a large SUV body. Looking like a futuristic version of the Cayenne, which in many ways it is, the Cross Turismo brings to the road expected high performance combined with the off-road prowess of an SUV.
The Cayenne is already remarkable in being highly competent on the rack track, as well as being very capable off-road. It is able to accelerate and brake quickly, and tackle corners with agility surprising for a heavy SUV. It can crawl in mud and rocks with the best of them.
The Mission E Cross Turismo is probably not designed to be a hard-core offroad vehicle, but it does carry features meant for the proverbial active lifestyle. It has a raised ground clearance and all-whel drive on demand, allowing for use off the pavement.
The Mission E Cross Turismo has a roomy interior thanks to the minimal space taken up by mechanical bits on a pure electric vehicle. There’s even an exterior mounting system for bicycles and surfboards. Interior electronics include large displays, multiple touchscreens, and eye tracking control for the instruments.
Porsche 911 cues include the headlamp and fender shape. Mission E Cross Turismo adds its own styling such as vertical air curtains, LED headlamps with the Porsche quad LED daytime running lights. Wheel arches and door sills are equipped with ding-resistant cladding. The roofline tapers rearward, similar to the handsome Panamera Sport Turismo wagon. A roof spoiler, and full-length LED light strip give it a Porsche family look from the rear. The Porsche logo is highlighted with a circuit path graphic, and the letter E pulsates while the car is charging. The concept rides on 20-inch offroad tires.
The Mission E Cross Turismo earns its Porsche performance credentials with a dual electric motors, with a combined 600hp. Accleration to 100kph is less than 3.5 seconds, and to 200kph is under 12 seconds. Continuous power level allows multiple launch-type acceleration with no loss in performance. All-wheel drive helps with stability.
Like the Mission E, the Cross Turismo uses an 800-volt system to allow fast charging, to a range of 400km in just 15 minutes. Like many smartphones, it can be charged without having to plug in, using an induction system.
Porsche has certainly not forgotten its sports cars. The company is celebrating its 70th anniversary with the most powerful road-legal sports car with a naturally aspirated engine. This is the 911 GT3 RS, packing 520hp from its 4.0-liter flat-six engine. The RS is a faster version of the GT3, going to 100kph in just 3.2 seconds, 0.1 second quicker than the previous 911 GT3 RS. Top speed is 312 kph.
The 911 GT3 RS, decked out in bright green in Geneva, is unmistakable, with the wide body topped with a large fixed wing. The sports car features revised aerodynamics and a chassis tweaked for lightness. Front trunk lid and fenders are carbon fiber, and the roof is magnesium. Front and rear fascia are made of lightweight polyurethane. NACA ducts in the front trunk lid feed cool air to the brakes without increasing drag. The size of the front spoiler lip has been increased to increase downforce, together with the larger side skirts. The large rear wing works with the rear underbody diffuser. The result is a car with twice the downforce of the “regular” 911 GT3 at 198kph.
Inside, the RS gets full bucket seats with carbon fiber backrests, lightweight rear window and rear side windows. Door panels are also lightened with door opening loops, reduced sound insulation. There’s fun for only two now, as the rear seat has been removed as well. The steering wheel is trimmed in Alcantara.
The 4.0-liter engine gains 20hp over both the previous GT3 RS and the current 911 GT3. Engine enhancements include plasma-coated cylinder liners, central oil suply through the crankshaft, and larger connecting rods. This allows the flat-six to rev to 9000 rpm. Exhaust components are made of titanium. The engine is mated to a retuned seven-speed PDK gearbox.
The Weissach package, fitted by the Porsche motorsport department, cuts weight further with the use of more carbon components, and magnesium wheels. Curb weight is pared down to 1430kg.