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PORSCHE has brought its Mission E Concept to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time, with the Australian public given a taste of the brand’s forthcoming battery-electric sportscar, the Taycan, as part of its Porsche Future Lab pop-up.

Speaking to GoAutoNews Premium this week at the launch of Porsche Future Lab at Exchange Place in Barangaroo in Sydney, Porsche Cars Australia (PCA) director of marketing and motorsport Toni Andreevski explained the reasoning behind the brand pop-up and its strategic positioning.

“(We want) greater awareness for the Concept and to show people it’s real and coming in 2020,” he said. “Doing it here, at Barangaroo in Sydney, is a good location. It sort of fits the demographic of the car itself: a bit of a younger target market for Porsche.

“Some people might not even realise that Porsche is developing an electric car. There are no more motor shows that exist in Australia, and this is kind of the next best thing: put it in an environment where you can touch a lot of people that come to work and grab a coffee.”

When asked if visitors may be confused by the distinction between the Mission E Concept and the yet-to-be-revealed Taycan production car due in 2020, Mr Andreevski stressed that while PCA was limited in its options, the chance to display the former could not be turned down due to customer interest.

“We obviously haven’t shown the production car yet, so the best we have is to show the Concept,” he said. “I think, for us, it’s a good opportunity to get the car out, to see it in real life, to get a sense of its proportion.

“We’ve actually got really interested customers, or would-be customers, who are going to come down not only from Sydney, but dealerships. So, we’re running events over the next two weeks.

“We’ve even got people coming up from Melbourne. For example, one of our dealers is going to bring a group of 20 that have put an expression of interest on the car. They can come and see it in real life.”

Porsche Future Lab opened on October 8 and will operate during business hours for two weeks. It will then head to Mexico for a similar activation.

Mr Andreevski said that the general public has been receptive to its non-traditional format.

“The initial reaction is quite positive,” he said. “For us, it was very important as a brand activation that it was open, so there’s no doors, it’s not closed.

“We deliberately stayed away from a typical shop front sort of environment to make it as open and appealing as possible.

“It’s important that the brand, while we’re a very exclusive brand, that we’re open to people to come and have a look and understand what we’re doing.

“It’s only part of the purpose of the activation; it’s obviously also a brand (activity) to get people to understand what Porsche is,” he said.

“We’re running Porsche Tracks, so there’s a number of different videos that they can watch, as well as use the augmented reality around the Mission E Concept and understand how the technology works with the electric car.

“Also, we have this connection between the past and the future with the design corner. So, for us, it’s not just about the electric car; it’s an overall expression of what Porsche really is today and in the future.”

The design corner features a wall that members of the public can use to sketch the 1962 Porsche 356 on display alongside the Mission E Concept, with each drawing becoming an entry into the competition where a Porsche Sport Driving School program is the top prize.

The 356 in question belongs to a Porsche customer, not PCA, and was driven to Sydney from Brisbane by its owner.

By Justin Hilliard