Mission R is a new, all-electric concept racecar. But what mission is it trying to accomplish? In this case, the clue is in the name. ‘R’ is for racing. And the Mission R is here to set out Porsche’s vision for the future of customer motorsport
A new vision for motorsport
Since its foundation, Porsche has been synonymous with motorsport. Libraries are filled with the cars and characters from over seven decades dedicated to the track. To the roar of engines, the squeal of tyres, the drama of the race itself – that timeless, intoxicating mix. What’s gone before will always be important, but motorsport has always embraced change – and that's something we’ve always been enthusiastic about. We are always looking to lead the charge. To be one step ahead. When it comes to the future Porsche racing experience, we are excited to unveil our new vision for customer motorsport. A new, all-electric concept racecar that aims to dramatically alter how both driver and spectator will interact.
R is for revealing
The Mission R concept study is an all-electric racecar for the future of customer motorsport. A vision of what could be. The future will always be somewhat of a mystery. But our engineers have never been ones to wait for it to come to them. After all, there’s a fundamental truth in motorsport – if you’re not leading, you’re following.
The Mission R isn’t about creating the fastest racecar, but the best car to race. It’s about creating new ways for fans and driver to interact. In our digitally integrated world, how they experience motorsport is changing too. That’s why the Mission R concept study is built to let the outside in. One look at the exterior is revealing. Its transparent canopy isn’t mere exhibitionism, a brazen display of its interior and exoskeleton. It’s multipurpose. Transparency means visibility, both for the driver and the fan. One advantage for the driver is greater awareness of their surroundings, especially in extreme situations. Another advantage, this time for the fans, is that this allows for more dynamic filming of races in the future. No more static camera angles. The action can be followed by a drone. And all with both car and driver fully visible throughout.
The theme carries through to the interior. The driver should always be the most important character in any motorsport story. And the more invested fans are in characters, the more invested they will be in the race overall. This is achieved by a number of internal cameras providing different viewing perspectives, including a helmet cam, a movable camera on the A-pillar and another on the dashboard filming backwards. In a race, this would allow a fan to jump from car to car and experience the race from the perspective they like best. Using those same cameras, drivers can become creators themselves. The ‘Livestream’ button will allow them to stream their races to fans directly, just like gamers would do it on platforms like Twitch. It’s a move that has the potential to help them grow and curate their own audience – one that can then follow them throughout their career.
We see you. We feel you
But the full racing experience is more than what you see. It’s what you feel behind the wheel. To give fans a truer sense of what’s going on inside the cockpit, the steering wheel of the Mission R comes equipped with biometric sensors that give fans a direct connection to their driver. The sheer physicality of racing should never be lost. A sudden swerve as one car avoids a potential collision isn’t just seen in real time. It can be truly felt, demonstrated by a spike in the driver’s already accelerated heart rate. This change will create empathy between driver and fan, enhancing the driver’s story, and reshape the future Porsche racing experience.
Throughout motorsport history, it’s these stories that have made people fall in love with legendary drivers, ones whose tales fill the boards and forums of the vast Porsche community. The customer motorsport of the future is a chance to create even deeper immersion, for a richer racing experience for both driver and fan. The Mission R concept study provides us the equipment to make that happen.
Blurring the lines between the real and the virtual
It will come as no surprise that the inspiration for many of the features dreamt up for the Mission R have come from the contemporary gaming scene. The driving seat, for example, takes its cues from racing sim set-ups. But that’s just the beginning. In recent years the popularity of platforms like Twitch and Esports events have exploded. When combined with the incredible realism rendered by modern technologies, the appeal of Esports becomes impossible to ignore. For the future Porsche racing experience, the hard line between what’s real and what’s digital may no longer be useful.
For starters, racecars like the Mission R concept study will exist in both worlds. Drivable on the varied racetracks of the future both physically and virtually. But as a next step, what if we look at Esports and motorsports as one world instead of two separate spaces? If someone has a dream to be a racing driver, is it so hard to imagine that they could start in Esports, earning experience and an audience then transfer those skills through to club sport and eventually onto the professional motorsport scene? After all, in Formula E and other competitions drivers already spend more time in simulators than on the track.
Stronger together: the future Porsche racing experience
With the Mission R concept study, it comes down to this – we are all fans of racing, both Esport enthusiasts and motorsport lovers alike. Rather than dividing that territory and fighting for space, our focus for the future Porsche racing experience should be on learning from each other. To get closer, not put distance between us. A unified approach to help create a better experience for fans and drivers alike. The best of both worlds.
The Mission R story has only just begun – more will be revealed in due course. But we can’t help being incredibly excited about sharing our vision of the future of customer motorsport with you.