Porsche Builds a Fully-Electric Cayman To Show Off Fast Charging, Mission E Tech

The Porsche Cayman e-volution shows the brand is getting serious about electric vehicles.

Porsche

The much-hyped Porsche Mission E will be the marque's first fully-electric production sports car when it arrives on the scene in 2019, but the company is already giving us a sneak peek at the underlying technology this week with a new, battery-powered Porsche Cayman e-volution concept car. The sparks, they are a-flying.

Even though the Mission E is shaping up to be one of the most promising offerings from a mainstream manufacturer to rival the Tesla Model S, Porsche knows it's going to have to acclimate a lot of potential customers to the idea of an electric P-Car. Swapping out the 2.7-liter flat-six in one of their most recognizable models for an electrified powertrain is a decent start. The Cayman e-volution, based on the last-gen 981 Cayman, is reportedly capable of 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds (making it faster than its gas-powered counterpart) and has a maximum range of just under 125 miles. 

More importantly, the Cayman e-volution is set up to take advantage of Porsche's new fast-charging technology, the awkwardly-named "Turbo Charging" system that Porsche aims to launch alongside the Mission E. More than anything else, it's range and charging anxiety that have help stymie the growth of electric vehicles thus far. Porsche Turbo Charging promises to solve both those problems by juicing up EVs with 320 kW at 800 volts—more powerful than Tesla's fastest supercharger, and enough to charge an EV from 0 to 80 percent in fifteen minutes.

What makes the charging system interesting is its use of a rechargeable battery, which can be topped up over time on a lower-voltage utility connection and quickly "emptied" to charge up a car. Porsche claims to be working with Audi, BMW, Daimler, and Ford to build its first network of Turbo Chargers in Europe by the end of the decade. The chargers will be compatible with other electric cars. That includes Tesla, though an adapter will be required.

Other companies have toyed with the idea of electrifying their existing models in lieu of developing new EVs, but Porsche states up front that they don't plan on putting the Cayman e-volution into production. Still, as a glimpse of the beeping, whirring future we're all dreading—not so bad.