Porsche used September's Munich auto show to present a concept of an electric race car that could potentially form the basis of a zero-emission one-make race series around the middle of the decade.
However, the automaker was also keen to point out that the concept, dubbed the Mission R, was about the size of a 718 Cayman—a car Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said in 2018 was a candidate for going the electric route.
Citing multiple sources, Car and Driver reported on Wednesday that the green light has been given and that an electric 718 based on the Mission R concept is most likely coming in 2024 as a 2025 model.
Porsche Mission R concept
According to the sources, the electric 718 will continue to be offered in Cayman coupe and Boxster convertible body styles, with the latter almost certain to keep a soft-top roof.
Dual-motor all-wheel drive will also reportedly be available, though rear-wheel drive should be standard. In the Mission R concept, there was a dual-motor system delivering 670 hp in race mode and as much as 1,073 hp for brief qualifying runs.
Even at that lower limit, the electric 718 will be stepping on the toes of the 911 when it comes to performance, especially if Porsche achieves anything close to a rumored 3,650 pound targeted maximum curb weight. To differentiate the two cars, the 911 will retain internal-combustion power for as long as regulations allow.
Porsche Mission R concept
As for range, Car and Driver's sources point to 250 miles being a minimum. In the Mission R concept, there was an 80-kilowatt-hour battery.
A dedicated EV platform is almost certain. This means the electric 718 could be the first recipient of the SPE (Sports car Platform Electric) modular EV platform mentioned at a Volkswagen Group investor presentation held in 2018.
Interestingly, Porsche is believed to be planning an internal-combustion engine option for the next 718 to briefly sell alongside the electric version, though based on an updated version of the current car's platform—just like it is doing with the Macan line. This would explain the recent sighting of a 718 Cayman test mule running internal-combustion power (shown below). The gas-powered model is expected to come first, perhaps as early as a 2024 model, with the electric version to follow a year later. According to Car and Driver's sources, plans for a hybrid 718 Cayman have been dropped.
2024 Porsche 718 Cayman test mule spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
The accelerated growth in demand for EVs in the premium sector has caught many automakers by surprise, including Porsche. Only recently the automaker was predicting that half its lineup would be electrified (hybrids and EVs) by 2025, but now it's openly stating that half the lineup will likely be made up of cars running solely on electricity by that date. Further out, Porsche predicts that only the 911 will have an internal-combustion engine by the time 2030 rolls around.
Note, Porsche rolled out an electric Boxster prototype as early as 2011. Called the Boxster E, the prototype was developed purely for research purposes and came with a 29-kilowatt-hour battery and a single electric motor good for 240 hp.