Porsche Mission E concept electric carEnlarge Photo
Porsche's most ardent fans no longer complain about the expansion of the German sports-car maker's lineup into sedans and, even worse, sport-utility vehicles.
The large Panamera sedan and the Cayenne and Macan SUVs are not only some of Porsche's more popular models, but fund its development of the fabled 911 rear-engine sport coupe and the Boxster and Cayman mid-engine convertible and coupe.
Just as the smaller Macan utility vehicle slotted under the larger Cayenne SUV, Porsche has long said it was considering a smaller and more affordable sedan to sit below the Panamera.
DON'T MISS: 2018 Porsche Mission E: 600-HP Electric Sport Sedan Concept Targets Tesla (Sep 2015)
That more affordable sedan (in Porsche terms, anyway) even has a widely accepted code name: Pajun, short for "Panamera Junior."
The unveiling of the stunning Mission E all-electric sedan at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show muddied the waters. While it looks like a coupe, the Mission E is actually a very low sedan with four doors and a fastback roof.
Was it a third sedan, or a variation of the Pajun that was expected to offer conventional and plug-in hybrid models?
Porsche Mission E concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Now we have the answer: the Mission E is the Pajun.
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume told the Australian outlet Drive that the Mission E will “retain a four-door sedan layout” and—perhaps equally significant—be priced to compete in a “segment below the Panamera.”
That likely puts it somewhere in the $50,000 to $80,000 range; the U.S. versions of the Panamera now start at roughly $85,000 for a "base" rear-wheel-drive model with a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine.
That pricing probably puts the upcoming Porsche Mission E up against the top end of the upcoming Tesla Model 3 lineup—and against the Lucid Air, should that car make it into production, at a starting price of $60,000.
Porsche Mission E Concept - 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show live photosEnlarge Photo
The Mission E will offer a variety of power outputs, Blume said, making it a range of cars rather than just a single model. That follows Porsche's practice for its various models, as well as the lineup of Tesla Model S and Model X offerings.
The company has previously said that it is targeting a range of more than 300 miles, and an output of 600 horsepower, for the initial version of the production Mission E.
Blume also said that Porsche will implement over-the-air updates during the car's lifespan, with some updates potentially able to unlock greater performance.
Sounds a bit like a lesson taken from a certain Silicon Valley electric-car maker, perhaps?
The car should also feature a high-power 800-volt DC fast-charging system that will enable 80 percent of the battery to be charged in just 15 minutes.
The production version of the Mission E will sit on a Porsche-developed electric car platform called the J1.
Audi e-tron Quattro concept - 2016 Consumer Electronics ShowEnlarge Photo
Despite VW Group efforts to spread electric-car development across multiple brands, the Mission E underpinnings are entirely separate from those to be used for the Audi e-tron electric crossover, known as the C-BEV.
Both of those are different from the smaller MEB platform being developed by Volkswagen for compact electric cars; the MEB architecture is also expected to be used for a compact Audi battery-electric model as well.
The Mission E is expected to go on sale in its initial markets during 2019.