Porsche unveils its first hypercar: Mission X
Porsche’s ambition: To be the fastest road-legal car to lap the legendary Nurburgring track.
Porsche is on a mission alright. It’s a big year for the brand busy with multiple celebrations including a 75th anniversary lollapalooza plus a 60-year jubilee of the most iconic car to ever grace the world, the Porsche 911.
And amid all this revelry, a new spectacle emerged out of Stuttgart on June 8 this year: Mission X, Porsche’s first hypercar. It’s a date with significant resonance for the company, as it was exactly 75 years ago on June 8, 1948 that the ‘No.1’ Roadster became the first automobile bearing the name Porsche to receive its general operating permit, thus birthing the beloved German marque and paving the way for its enduring legacy celebrated today.
In some carefully crafted official wording, Porsche has not committed to whether it will indeed take this new concept car into series production, but should it decide to, Mission X (or its successor) has ambitions to be the fastest road-legal car to lap the legendary Nurburgring track – a record currently held by the Mercedes-AMG One with a blistering time of 6m 35s. Still, we’re excited.
After all, Porsche’s Mission E concept of 2015 became the all-electric Taycan in 2019, and should Mission X go into production, the track-focused electric hypercar will certainly drop more than a few jaws when it hits the roads.
Drawing inspiration from milestone models from different eras of the brand’s history, the Porsche 959 (1985), Carrera GT (2003) and 918 Spyder (2013) stand as conceptual forerunners of the Mission X, which provides a glimpse into the future evolution of the 75-year-old brand.
The automaker hasn’t revealed projected performance figures for the Mission X save that it will proffer a power-to-weight ratio of about one PS per kilogramme and produce markedly more downforce than the current 911 GT3 RS.
Its electric powertrain is based on 900-volt architecture installed centrally behind the vehicle’s seats – an ‘e-core layout’ that centres the mass in the car for excellent agility, with the ability to charge up about twice as fast as Porsche’s current frontrunner, the Taycan Turbo S.
A TWO-SEATER STUNNER
So for now, all we can do is lust after her piercing good looks.
The two-seater stunner flaunts a low-slung sculpted form with muscles and curves in all the right places. And she comes with that all-essential hypercar prerequisite: Dramatic Le Mans-style doors that swing open forwards and upwards; a style previously seen on another racing legend, the Porsche 917. We can’t quite decide if she looks elegant or aggressive; maybe a hyper hybrid of both. Either way, a little drama never hurt a hypercar design and she won’t be short of fans.
Measuring approximately 4.5m long and 2m wide, Mission X is a relatively compact hypercar with a 2.73m wheelbase equivalent to that of the Carrera GT and 918 Spyder.
A lightweight glass dome roof with an exoskeleton made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic extends over both occupants, while design elements in a carbon-weave finish are found below the beltline. All sitting on mixed-size tyres – 20-inch wheels at the front and 21-inch wheels at the rear – to give the car’s aerodynamics a boost.
The most eye-catching detail, however, is undoubtedly the striking light signatures.
Let’s start with the headlights. A reinterpretation of Porsche’s characteristic four-point graphic, they rise vertically instead; the narrow formation of LED light modules inspired by historic racing cars like the Porsche 906 and 908. When activated, the light opens up like an eye blinking open. Fully illuminated, the headlights make a very bold statement.
At the rear, a full-length light unit illuminated in bold red Porsche lettering makes for an arresting display. Meanwhile, sculptural rear light modules emerge, as if suspended in the air, from a modern support structure that extends across the entire width of the vehicle in four segments. While charging, the ‘E’ of the Porsche lettering pulsates white instead, thus adding a sense of intrigue to the multi-dimensional design.
RACING TOWARDS THE FUTURE
Inside the driver-focused cockpit, you have CFRP seat shells integrated in the monocoque and more motorsport parallels in the form of an open-top steering wheel with mode switches and shift paddles.
There are multiple cameras on board – one mounted in the roof and two in the doors next to the digital exterior mirrors – which enable you to capture spectacular film footage of and from the interior in real time. Recording starts as soon as the driver presses the ‘Record’ button on the multi-purpose controller.
Another highlight worth mentioning is the bespoke stopwatch module that can be attached to the instrument panel on the passenger side. Created by Porsche Design specifically for the Mission X, the clocks feature both analogue and digital displays designed for both racetrack and rally use, and can display the lap times or vital data of the driver, among other information.
According to Porsche, the Mission X will also be the first model to debut the new and updated Porsche crest found on the bonnet, steering wheel and wheel centres (in monochrome form).
The crest has been given a cleaner and more refined makeover, with very subtle changes to the heraldic beast in the middle and golden shade of the precious metal. The latter now brushed, no longer dimpled and closer to rose gold. The closer we inspect it, the more we like it. A lot.
It’s a badge of prestige that has become synonymous with the pursuit and fulfilment of a dream. Just as the Mission X heralds a future that does not yet exist. Until then, we’ll just as surely keep dreaming of the day we can get behind its wheel.