Will the Mission E be the world's first must-have EV?
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Tesla has clearly gained experience in testing the worldwide appetite for luxury, six-figure EVs, having sold its 100,000th vehicle in just three years and six months. But it remains to be seen if automakers can truly manufacture the ultimate green driving machine. Audi has shown its R8 e-tron but acknowledged that it will be produced in only limited quantities. On the other end of the spectrum, vehicles like the Chevy Bolt and BMW i8 are being produced for mass consumption, but will they satisfy the enthusiast who is looking for more than a commuter car? Tesla's Model S has certainly raised eyebrows and collected accolades with "ludicrous" level straight-line performance, but how well will the vehicle stand up to long-term ownership for enthusiasts?
Porsche has dismissed any notions of autonomous driving in its vehicles, suggesting that it will try to stay close to its high-performance roots. This would seem to suggest that despite all the forecasted performance cred of the Mission E – 582 horsepower, 0–60 in 3.5 seconds, and a 310-mile range – potential buyers may not be getting the latest and greatest in gee-whiz-bang autonomous technology. And while Porsche has offered that future iterations of its 911 and 718 may in fact use hybrid-assisted drivetrains, the execution of a true, mass-produced, all-electric sports sedan remains to be seen.
One thing is for certain, unlike start-ups like Tesla, the larger, more established manufacturers have larger budgets and more time to invest in R&D. Consumers have raised expectations from the more mature automakers in terms of reliability and the overall finish of their products. The arrival of the Mission E production car may introduce us to electric sports sedans that emphasize performance over efficiency while still eliminating its carbon footprint.
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