say it ain't so

Are the Porsche Boxster and Cayman Going to Turn Into Electric Cars?

September 19, 2019 Cars By
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There’s no disputing the remarkable nature of the Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster. The mid-engined coupe and roadster are delights to drive, offering Goldilocks power, nigh-on perfect ride/handling balance and intuitive, delightfull sharp steering — a combination sure to paint a smile on the face of anyone who’s ever found delight in hurling a car down a winding road. The 718 twins could well be described as the current pinnacle of four-wheeled internal-combustion motoring; indeed, we’ve even named it Gear Patrol‘s choice for the best sports car you can buy as part of our Just Get This guide.

So you can imagine our collective shock to hear that the next-generation versions might ditch gasoline altogether and become electric cars.

That seemingly-heretical idea comes from Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of the board for Porsche, who dropped a heavy-handed hint to that effect to a Top Gear journalist at the launch of the Porsche Taycan.

“The 718 just fits EV, doesn’t it?” Meschke said, according to TG. “The next generation of these cars would be a good time to go all-electric.”

Need a minute to process that? Well, no worries — you’ll likely have far more time than that to come to grips with this. According to Top Gear, the Cayman and Boxster’s move from fossil juice to electrons won’t happen until the VW Group’s new PPE platform — designed specifically for premium EVs — is ready to go. That platform, which Porsche is developing with Audi, will be the foundation for the all-electric replacement for the Macan crossover, which won’t go on sale until 2022. Considering that move has been officially confirmed and this one is still just a rumor, it seems likely that the 718’s powertrain transition will come after the Macan’s.

And even then, you may still have a little time to snag a new gas-powered Boxster or Cayman. The current-gen Macan will stay on sale for a little while alongside the electric next-gen version, so it’s eminently possible new internal-combustion 718s will still be in showrooms as far down the road as, say, 2025.

Still, in less than a decade, we may be at a point where mid-engined Porsches are a thing of the past and the most affordable cars in the company’s showrooms are pure EVs. Someone cue up the Dylan, because the times they are a-changin’.

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Will Sabel Courtney

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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