718 Porsche Boxster, Cayman Will Go Electric in Early 2020s, Hybrids Possible: Report
A Porsche executive has reportedly admitted there to be an electric 718 prototype running around with a hybrid also in the works.
Porsche's entry-level 718 sports car twins, the Boxster and Cayman, will reportedly go electric in the early 2020s, but it won't yet mean a phaseout of their combustion-powered twins.
These electric 718s will be built on the Porsche PPE platform, claims Autocar, adding that Porsche chose to re-platform the electric 718s because the current chassis can't accommodate batteries large enough to meet Porsche's goal of 186 miles (300 kilometers) of range. PPE is Porsche's new electric-only architecture and will be used for the Taycan sedan as well as its high-riding Cross Turismo derivative, the electric Macan crossover, and even an Audi product, the E-Tron GT.
Electric, PPE-based Boxsters and Caymans are said to be coming by 2022, but this won't necessarily mean the current generation of cars will be retired by then. Porsche is reportedly considering a hybridization program for the current Boxster and Cayman, which would see the models sold in both mild and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) formats alongside the PPE-based electric models, akin to similar plans rumored for the Macan.
Hybrid drivetrains for these models would reportedly be based on a solution developed for the upcoming 992-generation 911 hybrid, and involve sliding a disc-shaped 48-volt electric motor between the 718's flat-four and a modified dual-clutch transmission. On the mild hybrid 718s, this motor would provide increased performance and efficiency but no electric-only driving mode, whereas the PHEV would have a battery large enough to drive on electric power for short trips.
Porsche chairman Oliver Blume allegedly confirmed the existence of electric 718 prototypes and a program that's building hybrid versions of the sports cars.
"We have prototypes of the 718 running in electric now, and a hybrid prototype is being built," Blume reportedly told Autocar. "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."
Porsche has insisted that the iconic 911 will never be made into an electric-only model if it has its way, though Porsche hasn't counted out "electrified" hybrid models. Gasoline hardliners can take comfort in knowing that a hybrid 911 is still some time out and won't be launched until Porsche thinks it's good enough.