Porsche Unveils 'Tesla Killer' Concept

Porsche - H 2015
Courtesy of Porsche

The 600 hp all-electric Mission E could become the first direct competitor to Tesla's Model S.

Porsche unveiled its long-rumored electric sports sedan concept ahead of the International Motor Show in Frankfurt Monday.

Porsche claims the 600 hp, all-wheel drive Mission E will go from zero to 60 in less than 3.5 seconds, have a range of 312 miles and charge to 80 percent power in 15 minutes.

The Mission E is one of several long-range luxury electric cars and SUVs in development that when introduced, will provide the first real competition to Tesla's Model S sedan and Model X SUV.

German carmakers, accustomed to holding the technological and status high ground unchallenged, were badly rattled by Tesla's left-field success with the Model S, introduced in 2012. The Model S quickly became the Hollywood status car du jour, driven by everyone from Steven Spielberg to Don Cheadle.

Mercedes recently revealed it is developing an all-new electric car with a 300-mile range, which may be introduced at Frankfurt this week. BMW is reportedly developing a new model for its electric "i" division that would compete with the Model S. And Audi unveiled its electric etron Quattro concept at Frankfurt Monday. The SUV would compete directly with the Model X.

While facing competition from far larger and better-funded companies, Tesla for the moment has time on its side. The soonest the Porsche and Audi electrics will reach the market is 2018. By then, Tesla's Model X — which finally debuts Sept. 29 after years of delays — will be in full production and Tesla's $35,000 Model 3, a bid to build an affordable electric sedan, will be in the wings. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has pledged to build 500,000 cars annually by 2020.

The Frankfurt Auto Show runs from Sept. 17 to 27.