Porsche is developing an electric 718 sports car for launch around 2023, CAR reported last week.
According to the British publication, the current 718 Boxster and Cayman will soldier on until 2023, perhaps with an update, and then a redesigned 718 will be introduced boasting hybrid and battery-electric options. The latter is said to be coming with as much as 400 horsepower.
2020 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder
The report follows comments made by Porsche CEO Oliver Blume in 2018 that an electric 718 was possible but the opposite was true for the 911.
He also said in March that any electric Porsche would have to be based on a dedicated EV platform, indicating that 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.
Dr. Oliver Blume
This means the hybrid 718 will likely be based on an upgraded version of the current 718's platform. Porsche is expected to follow a similar strategy with its electric Macan, by selling the zero-emission version alongside the existing internal-combustion model.
The hybrid technology will likely be borrowed from the setup being developed for hybrid versions of the new 992-generation 911. Essentially, an electric motor-generator is integrated with the transmission. Both mild- and plug-in hybrid setups could be on the table. In the case of the former, the motor-generator would only aid the engine whereas in the latter the motor-generator would be able to power the wheels alone for short distances thanks to a bigger battery being fitted.
Porsche Boxster E electric prototype
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.
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 could be electrified (hybrids and EVs) by 2025, but now it's openly stating that half the lineup could be made up of cars running solely on electricity by that date.