Porsche Prepares a Hot Electric SUV to Tackle Tesla

The Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo, a low-slung white SUV, on Porsche's show stand at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2018.

Porsche's latest show car is a ferociously quick all-electric crossover SUV -- and it could be headed to production.

Porsche executives hint that the Mission E Cross Turismo, revealed at this week's Geneva International Motor Show, could become the brand's second Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) challenger, following the production version of the Mission E sports sedan due next year. Here's what we know about it.

Porsche's Mission E Cross Turismo is an all-electric high-performance crossover SUV. Porsche executives hint that it could be headed for production. Image source: Porsche.

What it is: An all-electric high-performance luxury crossover

As you'd expect from the name, the Mission E Cross Turismo is based on the architecture Porsche has developed for the Mission E, the electric four-door fastback it's expected to put into production in 2019 . It's a low-slung crossover SUV that's about the same length as Porsche's Cayenne SUV -- 4950 millimeters (194.9 inches).

Like the Mission E, the Cross Turismo is a dual-motor all-wheel-drive design that uses Porsche's 800-volt electric architecture , which will allow very fast recharging as well as plug-free induction charging. Porsche didn't give detailed range estimates for the Cross Turismo, but it did say it could be recharged to "around 250 miles" of range in just over 15 minutes.

Porsche said the Cross Turismo's motors together generate over 600 horsepower, enough to accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) in less than 3.5 seconds, and to 200 kilometers per hour (124 mph) in under 12 seconds. (And in what is surely intended as a jab at Tesla's battery-eating Ludicrous Mode, Porsche promises that the Cross Turismo will be able to make multiple fast-acceleration runs in quick succession without any loss of performance.)

Will Porsche build it? Signs say yes

An Automotive Newsreport , citing sources within Porsche, said that a production version of the Cross Turismo could appear in about 2021, two years after the start of Mission E production. The thinking is that the timing will allow Porsche's new electric-vehicle factory in Zuffenhausen to fill the initial rush of orders for the Mission E. Porsche would then launch the new model just as Mission E orders begin to subside, in order to keep the new factory running at full speed.

It's hard to say how a production version of the Cross Turismo will stack up against rivals three years from now. But on paper at least, the vehicle looks like a formidable offering. If it were available today, it would have no trouble stealing sales from Tesla's Model X as well as from traditional internal-combustion rivals.

But it won't come cheap: Don't be surprised if the Cross Turismo's starting price is similar to that of Tesla's top-of-the-line Model X P100D, which starts at $140,000.

VW's electrification push is for real

The Cross Turismo is more evidence that Porsche's commitment to zero-emissions drivetrains is a serious one. Porsche's corporate parent, Volkswagen AG (NASDAQOTH: VLKAY) , has promised "over 30" all-electric vehicles by 2025, across its brand portfolio. They'll range from a VW-Golf-like I.D. hatchback to high-end offerings from VW subsidiaries Audi , Bentley Motors -- and Porsche.

Audi is up first, with a battery-electric midsize SUV (likely to be called the "e-tron") due by the end of this year. Porsche's Mission E will follow in 2019, along with a second Audi crossover -- setting the stage, in all likelihood, for the Mission E Cross Turismo's arrival two years later. Investors in VW -- and in Tesla -- should take note.

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John Rosevear has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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