- porsche is about to turn the 718 into a fully electric sports car that will go on sale in the u.s. in 2025.
- there will be a lot more overlap with the 911, but since the cars will have fundamentally different propulsion technologies, porsche is not concerned about cannibalization.
- more powerful versions of this future 718 will have a front motor, making the electric 718 the first all-wheel-drive version of the nameplate.
a few months ago, we speculated on porsche's plans to turn the 718 into a fully electric car. now we have gathered additional material from different sources within and outside the company. not only did we get confirmation that it will be a full battery-electric vehicle, we also gathered that it will be fundamentally detached from the 911—which, we learned, will retain its combustion engine beyond 2030 and may not even become hybridized.
the 718 will continue to be sold in both boxster and cayman form. and while the last word has not been spoken, it is almost 100 percent certain that the boxster will retain its fabric top instead of moving to a fixed-roof solution. its body style will remain relatively close to the current models, but it will feature porsche's new "electric front" with wider headlights, just like on the taycan.
the next 718's design has just been previewed by the mission r concept car at the munich iaa auto show. without the wild aero, and scaled down in its aggressive demeanor, the mission r gives a good idea of what a production 718 cayman could look like.
we haven't seen the interior yet, but we are assured it will be the brand's most futuristic yet, more forward-looking than the taycan and a massive leap from the conservatively styled current 718 cockpit. in designing the user interface, porsche is keeping the customer base in mind: in china, the most important market, the average age of a 718 buyer is just 31. we are told, "this will be the most modern porsche."
sports-car fans have been concerned that an electric 718 could become excessively heavy; a taycan, after all, comes in between 4568 pounds for the entry-level model with the small battery and 5199 pounds for the turbo s cross turismo, despite its not-exactly-spacious package. the 718, on the other hand, will be almost a miracle of lightweight technology: the internal target weight is under 3650 pounds.
porsche achieves this by putting the 718 onto a newly developed sports-car platform that is said to be far more than a shortened version of the ppe platform. economies of scale will be realized with electronics and invisible components, but a lot of components related to dynamics remain unique.
power ratings are still up in the air, but we have learned that the entry-level versions, priced to significantly undercut the 911 and stay within reach of the current 718, will have a rear motor. higher-powered versions will add a front motor, making the electric 718 the first all-wheel-drive iteration of the nameplate. like the mission r concept and unlike the taycan, the next 718 will get a single-speed drive.
inadequate range is the elephant in the room for evs, and this is especially true of pleasure machines like the 718. we are told that 250 miles of range is the acceptable minimum and that "more is better." and porsche is working hard on increasing both range and charging performance.
in terms of power, the top-level versions will reach well into 911 territory. but porsche is not concerned about overlap because the choice between the electric 718 and the gasoline-powered 911 will represent fundamentally different technologies. and we expect it to remain that way, since porsche is not entertaining a scenario in which it would turn the 911 into an ev. hybrid technology is a no-go for the fully electric new 718, and it is by no means decided for future iterations on the 911, where it would incur a hefty weight penalty. as far as racing is concerned, the mission r could pave the way for a fully electric racing series, but nothing is decided yet.
the next 718, which will most likely keep its name, is slated for a market launch in 2024. it will come to the u.s. as a 2025 model, unless plans are pushed back. the current, gasoline-powered model could be sold alongside the electric one briefly. the duration of its production run will be determined by the upcoming euro 7 emissions regulation, which could wreak havoc on the further refinement of gasoline engines.