Porsche is sinking $567m (€500m) into its Zuffenhausen factory to transform it into an EV plant that will build the next generation of purely electric 718 Boxster and Cayman sports cars.
The automaker has ambitious targets for EV sales that would mean one third of all Porsches sold by 2025, and two thirds by 2030, featuring electric power. The upcoming Macan EV, which will be built at Leipzig, will obviously help Porsche meet those targets, but it will need help from the firm’s sports cars.
The Mission R concept revealed at Munich last fall was billed as a futuristic motorsport model, but peel away the extravagant downforce add ons, slick tires and stripped-out, track-ready interior, and you’ve got a good idea of where the Boxster and Cayman are heading.
Believed to be based around the same VW-Group PPE platform that will underpin the Macan EV, the 718 twins will only be available with electric power, unlike the 911, which sources say will stick with combustion engines until at least the end of the decade. German website Automobilwoche says the Zuffenhausen production plant will be sufficiently flexible to allow 718s and 911s to be built on the same line.
The title claims the the 718 EVs will begin production in 2023, the same year the Macan EV will begin rolling off the line in Leipzig. But it says Porsche’s plans to overhaul the Zuffenhausen plant were delayed by a year due to a combination of technical complications and “lengthy coordination with other Volkswagen brands.”
Car & Driver says that the 718 EV will be available with either a single motor driving the rear wheels, or with a motor at either end and all-wheel drive, as seen on the Mission R. The concept featured a 429 hp (435 PS) motor in the nose and a 644 hp (653 PS) unit driving the rear axle that delivered a combined 603 hp (611 PS) in standard mode, and 1073 hp (1088 PS) in qualifying mode.
While it’s unclear how close to those figures, or the Mission R concept’s impressively low 3307 lbs (1,500 kg) curb weight, the real 718 will get, we can be sure it’ll share the same 800 v charging technology that Porsche claimed could fill a battery from 5-80 percent in 15 minutes.