Porsche is planning on making electric versions of the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman.
Everyone is going electric it seems. Porsche, specifically, will dive into the electric market with their upcoming Taycan luxury grand tourer, while parent company Audi is getting set to unleash their first e-Tron upon the world. While these new cars are certain to make a big splash, Porsche is still quite aware that their bread and butter comes from the sale of less expensive models like the 718, and they’ve got plans to electrify those models too.
According to Porsche chairman Oliver Blume, the German carmaker already has working test models on the road. “We have prototypes of the 718 running in electric now, and a hybrid prototype is being built,” he told Autocar in an interview. “If you look to the next generation of those cars it is possible, although it is not yet clear whether it would be plug-in hybrid or hybrid.”
Those hybrid versions would be either a mild-hybrid or plug-in hybrid design. Mild-hybrids attach an electric motor to the crank to provide greater low-end efficiency (where a combustion engine suffers) but don’t come with a large battery to provide an all-electric range. Plug-in hybrids do have a battery and thus can be driven purely on its electric motor.
Blume said that the decision to go with hybrid versions of the 718 was made as the current chassis wouldn’t be able to fit a battery with a range greater than 186 miles without significant alterations. The current-gen Boxster and Cayman would therefore better take to being hybridized, while the next-gen can consider full electrification.
We don’t expect to see a fully electric Boxster or Cayman until around 2022.
The hybrid powertrains discussed would be developed from the next-generation of 911, featuring a smaller flat-four engine and a 48V electric motor connected to the car’s 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. This will allow Porsche’s fleet to meet stricter European emissions targets.
Porsche expects advancements in battery technology to provide significant weight savings by the time they start rolling out the purely battery-powered 718 series in 2022.