Nearly all European luxury brands have announced plans to become fully electric in about a decade or so. That’s an obvious move for large sedans and SUVs, but what does it mean for sports cars? Earlier this year, Porsche announced major changes for the iconic Cayman and Boxster 2-seater models, which will ditch their mid-mounted “flat” engines in favor of batteries.
The Boxster became Porsche’s cheapest model when it came out in 1996 and is credited with saving the company. The current 718 series, which includes the Cayman coupe, dates back to 2016, and it’s believed that the EV revolution for both of them will now be delayed until 2026. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it, the 30th-anniversary revolution?
At the beginning of the year, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume let everybody know that the flat-4 and flat-6 would be gone by 2025, replaced by electric power. But that’s a tall order given the current economic conditions and how the war in Ukraine plus the Felicity Ace incident affected Porsche. This is why the website Kolesa believes the actual production debut of the Boxster EV will come in 2026.
Porsche is not the type of company to go back on its word, but the current 718 series could just end in 2025 and the EV mobilization could just take a few more months. Also, German vehicles usually arrive in the States with a delay unless they’re made locally, like Mercedes or BMW SUVs.
The Stuttgart automaker is aiming for 50% EV sales by 2025 and 80% by 2030. We know that the Macan EV will hit the market in 2023, but the Cayenne and Panamera also have large chunks of overall Porsche sales. That’s not the point here, but it just shows how big of a hurdle the company is facing.
EVs are known for being fast in a straight line because of the insane power they’re allowed to deliver. However, they’re also heavy and not that fun on a race track, at least not the production ones. Porsche takes great pride in bringing driver enjoyment to the electric car market, and there are many innovations on the way.
The Cayman and Boxster EVs will have something called “e-core”, a battery layout that allows for a low seating position. Oliver Blume hinted that an all-new platform will be developed specifically for these cars, but some modules will come from other cars.
This tech has been somewhat previewed by the Mission R concept, which many believe to be a preview. The fully drivable track-tuned EV was based on the existing mid-engined platform but had batteries installed between the driver and rear axle.
It’s not yet clear how much power these two-seaters will offer. German automakers are known for making incremental changes, and I think the Boxster got about 15-20 hp at every update. But the Mission R is no indication of the future. Its dual motors produced an incredible 1,073 hp, and I don’t think the world is ready for a Bugatti Veyron-beating Boxster yet.
The Mission R’s front axle motor alone had 429 hp, which went placed at the back of the next-gen sports cars would still be impressive, considering a base 718 has about 296 hp and a GTS makes 394 hp. If we’re to believe Porsche will use existing modules, the least powerful EV motor they have currently gives the base Taycan just over 400 hp.
“This is not only driven by technology,” he added. “Often, the main direction comes from what we expect the market would favor, and then we try to develop the technology in that direction.”
There are two major rivals on the horizon for the Porsche mid-battery EVs. The big one is Tesla’s Roadster which made truly insane promises. For around $200,000, it’s supposed to offer 600 miles of range, 0 to 60 in 1.9 seconds, and a top speed of over 250 mph. The other interesting sports EV is the Polestar 6 Roadster, set to launch in 2026.