Mission X, Porsche’s latest concept study is a dramatic-looking two-seater hypercar with Le Mans-style doors that open upwards to the front, and driven by a high-performance, efficient electric powertrain.
The Mission X premiered this year, on 8 June, the eve of the ‘75 Years of Porsche Sports Cars’ exhibition opening at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. On 8 June 1948, the 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster became the first automobile bearing the name Porsche to receive its general operating permit, marking the birth of the sports car brand.
Measuring approximately 4.5 metres long and two metres wide, the Mission X concept study is a relatively compact hypercar. With a wheelbase of 2.73 metres, it has the dimensions of the Carrera GT and 918 Spyder. For aerodynamic purposes, the concept car has mixed-size tyres, with 20-inch wheels at the front and 21-inch wheels at the rear.
The Mission X’s sculpted form and muscular lines demonstrate that hypercars don’t necessarily have to look aggressive. The low-slung bodywork, which is less than 1.2 metres tall, is finished in Rocket Metallic – an elegant paint colour specially designed for the concept study.
Design elements in a carbon-weave finish are found below the beltline. These components are varnished in a satin finish and are therefore slightly coloured, but their material structure remains recognisable. The wheels of the concept study feature elaborate details: the rear axle is fitted with almost transparent aero blades, which are designed like turbines for better cooling of the brakes.
A lightweight glass dome with an exoskeleton made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic extends over both occupants. The Le Mans-style doors are attached to the A-pillar and the roof; they open forwards and upwards. This type of door was previously used on the legendary Porsche 917 racing car.
The vertical base form of the headlights was inspired by historic racing cars such as the Porsche 906 and 908 and drawn well down towards the road. A high-tech support structure frames the LED light modules and presents the exposed narrow elements of daytime running lights and indicators. When activated, the light opens up like an eye blinking open.
A full-length light unit that appears to float characterises the rear of the Mission X. Transparent, illuminated Porsche lettering is a standout feature. The sculptural rear light emerges, as if suspended in the air, from a modern support structure and extends across the entire width of the vehicle in four segments. While charging, the ‘E’ of the Porsche lettering pulsates, adding a sense of mystery.
The modernised Porsche crest makes its debut on the Mission X. Brushed precious metal, a three-dimensional honeycomb structure, a refreshed heraldic beast and a more subtle gold colour are the differences between the modernised Porsche crest and its immediate forerunner. With its cleaner and more state-of-the-art execution, the refined crest communicates the character of Porsche. On Mission X, it is found on the bonnet, steering wheel and on the wheel centres in monochrome form.
The driver-focused design of the car’s interior can be seen in the asymmetry of the layout and its colour concept. The two seats are coloured differently. Apart from the leather pads in Andalusia Brown, the driver’s seat is Kalahari Grey and forms a single unit of colour with the centre console and the dashboard. The passenger seat is in the contrasting Andalusia Brown shade.
Beyond the CFRP seat shells, and their six-point seatbelts integrated into the monocoque, further motorsport parallels include the open-top steering wheel, which has mode switches and shift paddles. There are multiple cameras on board. Recording starts as soon as the driver presses the Record button on the multi-purpose controller.
Another highlight is found on the passenger side, where there is a bayonet system embedded in the instrument panel to which a stopwatch module can be attached. For the Mission X, Porsche Design has created a special stopwatch module with an analogue and digital display. The clocks are designed for both racetrack and rally use and can display the lap times or vital data of the driver, among other information.
Whenever a car brand presents a concept car, the inevitable questions that follow are: what is its purpose and will it go into production?
According to Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board, “The Porsche Mission X is a technology beacon for the sports car of the future. It picks up the torch of iconic sports cars of decades past. Like the 959, the Carrera GT and the 918 Spyder before it, the Mission X provides critical impetus for the evolutionary development of future vehicle concepts.” On the question of whether the concept study would get the go-ahead, no one at Porsche has categorically rejected the idea.