The 90 kWh lithium-ion battery — bigger than the base 75 kWh batteries in Tesla’s Model S and Model X S.U.V., but smaller than their available 100 kWh options — lies flat beneath the passenger compartment, yet a high console with storage divides the seats, front and rear. Porsche says it will be good for more than 300 miles of range. I would have only 12 to try it out.
I have driven many deliriously expensive cars. Nothing is more exciting — yet terrifying — than driving a one-off concept. My first task was backing up in tight quarters, with no rearview camera and fixed mirrors that were set poorly for me. Gulp.
Fortunately, the deputies’ cruisers (they would accompany me on my test drive, since the car wasn’t licensed and met no safety regulations) brought traffic to a halt so I could glide silently onto the highway. There was no rock star reaction. Maybe the Cross Turismo looks too much like the offspring of Porsche’s Panamera sport sedan and a Macan crossover. Or maybe the annoyed motorist in the Nissan Rogue was just late for brunch.
Performance is often equated to sound, but of course the Mission E produces precious little noise. Stab the throttle and the dual-motor system sings a lower note than a Tesla. Accelerating quietly into the hills above Malibu, Mr. Weckbach, riding shotgun, smiled. “Silence,” he said, “is the new power.”
The car was electronically limited to 50 miles an hour, but I repeatedly dropped away from the lead patrol car and mashed the go pedal to assess power delivery. Despite the concept’s porky build weight and the software leash on the powertrain, it pulled hard in the soul satisfying, torquey way of electric cars. The conclusion? The concept felt heavy, but minus 1,100 pounds, the production car should be lithe and wickedly fast.