They say the teardrop shape is considered one of the most aerodynamic profiles ever, given how it effortlessly bends the air around it to glide through with minimal drag. The tail of a teardrop plays a crucial role in this process, explaining the importance of tails in birds, planes, and boats. The Porsche Mission S by Zhe Huang brings that feature to automotive design. Created as a hyper-racing MPV, the Mission S recreates the professional racing experience for regular folk with its 911-esque proportions, supercar-esque cockpit, and unique teardrop rear that takes the term ‘boattail’ to new lengths.
Designer: Zhe Huang
The Mission S was designed as a part of Huang’s internship at studiokurbos, Shanghai. Although unaffiliated with the Porsche brand, the Mission S builds on the German marque’s automotive legacy, channeling the same energy that Porsche had when it debuted the Mission X or even the 919. This isn’t your friendly-looking Cayman or 911. It eschews the rounded-headlight curvy design language for something that’s more purpose-built for a racetrack.
The car sports a rather smooth design with flowy surfaces that come together cleanly, instead of being overrun with vents, grooves, and other dramatic details you’d see in overtly aggressive racecars from the likes of Lamborghini. The Mission S doesn’t completely surrender its curves, but rather limits the use of them to the front fenders, keeping its silhouette rather simple. A highlight of its design is its unconventional tail, which tapers off when viewed vertically, resulting in a centrally-located edge-lit taillight. “The design inspiration comes from the waterdrop in ‘Three Body’, which gives the car an extremely dynamic and pure body shape like the Porsche 908 and Porsche Vision Gran Turismo,” Huang says.
The Mission S measures 5.6m (18.3 feet) long and 2.1m (6.8 feet) wide, allowing five passengers including a professional racer to sit inside its cockpit. It stands at 1.26m (4.1 feet) tall, matching the height of the 911, while having the occupants inside sit in a more supercar-esque posture.
Embracing its futuristic demeanor, light-strips make quite an appearance in the Mission S’ design, with their presence on the front in the form of the headlights, as well as the back where the centrally located taillight is also accompanied by lights on each side.
The Mission S experience can be divided between its two variants, rather appropriately named the White and the Black versions. For the faint of heart, the White version prioritizes comfort and friendliness… but if you’re looking to put the pedal to the metal and taste the adrenaline, the Black variant offers faster speeds, a more thrilling experience, and sports a spoiler at the back to maximize downforce for that asphalt-hugging speed experience.
Quite like the Mission X which was revealed in June of this year, it seems like the Mission S concept embraces an electric drivetrain too. It doesn’t discard the venting on the front, which would be a telltale sign of an EV, but rather retains it perhaps for cooling and airflow purposes. One rather elongated door on either side gives access to the Mission S’ interiors, which seat up to 5 people in a 1+2+2 format. The car’s windshield extends all the way from the front to the back, creating a bubble-like effect that is interrupted by the car’s same-color pillars and roof but still strives to offer a panoramic view for its occupants with windows that stretch from the front to the back, and that expansive windshield.
The Mission S aims to deliver the thrill of racing to non-racers with its S trifecta – Speed, Spaciousness, and a Subversive Experience. Although currently just a fan-made concept (with no official endorsement from Porsche), it serves as a great case study for a new car format – with a 5-seater design that doesn’t sacrifice spaciousness… and that gorgeous tail that allows the car to cut through air like a sizzling hot knife through butter!