Tesla’s Model S may very well go down as one of the most important and impactful cars in history. Not only did it enjoy a seemingly endless number of accolades and awards, it single-handedly kickstarted the EV revolution into high gear. Though EVs have been around for literally decades, the success Tesla enjoyed with the Model S ultimately prompted traditional automakers like Ford and BMW to take EV development much more seriously.
Porsche in particular has been heavily influenced by Tesla’s success. Back in 2015, the luxury automaker announced the Mission E, a fully electric car with some pretty impressive specs. With a base price of $85,000, Porsche last month said that the entry-level Mission E will sport 310 miles of range and a 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds. And if all goes according to plan, the Mission E will be available for purchase by 2019.
While some auto executives seem to relish thrashing Tesla at every turn, Porsche, in stark contrast, has been more complimentary and respectful of the company’s ongoing success. If anything, Porsche’s respect for Tesla underscores the automaker’s fierce determination and motivation to compete in the EV space.
Recently, Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellmer went so far as to say that Tesla vehicles have likely drawn away users who may have otherwise purchased a Porsche.
“We have lots of respect for Tesla – and, yes, I’m sure there are some Porsche customers, that in terms of connectivity, digital stuff in the car and electric battery in the vehicles, didn’t find the car that they wanted with Porsche so they bought somewhere else,” Zellmer said in an interview on CNBC this week.
While the Mission E looks to be solid competition for the Model S, it will be interesting to see how Porsche reacts to Tesla’s revamped Roadster, a seemingly futuristic car with an incredibly sleek design and an insane 0-60 MPH time of just 1.9 seconds. Notably, Porsche was working on a hybrid version of its iconic Porsche 911 for some time, only to cancel the project earlier this year.