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Fully electric Porsche Boxster imminent

All-new Porsche 718 Boxster to bow in before Cayman coupe

14 Mar 2024

PORSCHE is set to unbox its first electric sports car model, the 983-generation 718 Boxster convertible, in the coming 12 months or so.


With the stage set by both the Mission R concept and the skunkworks GT4 e-Performance racer, the new fully electric sports car will be the first conventional convertible with a full EV powertrain offered by a mainstream European brand.


It is that very point of difference that Porsche GT4 e-Performance project manager, Björn Förster, says should mean that customers will see the drop-top model before the new-gen 718 Cayman coupe, despite the latter offering a more traditional sports-car body.


“Since the bigger innovation is to have an open electric sports car, if it was my company, I would go for the open version first,” he said.


Mr Förster, who has been touring the world over the past 18 months with the GT4 e-Performance electric racing car, was in Australia with said machine to showcase the brand’s focus on not just electric ‘street cars’, but also electric racing cars.


The GT4 e-Performance has dual motors, up to 800kW of power, and a 900-volt architecture to recharge from five to 80 per cent in 15 minutes (on 350kW DC charging) and Mr Förster insisted that some of the technology will make it to a production model.


 “We started way earlier on the GT4 e-Performance and we’ve already been touring the market for almost 18 months, and the electric Boxster is coming soon.”


There are no concrete details on what the production 718 Boxster will be offered with in terms of powertrain tech’ and battery specs, but reports suggest that it could be offered with rear- and all-wheel drive powertrains, and – as is expected of EVs these days – heaps of power and performance.


“It’s quite easy to be faster than a 911 with an electric car – as long as the 911 is not electric. But I think we want to hold on to that as long as possible,” said Mr Förster.


“We don’t build cars to make them slower. The current Cayman GT4 is faster than a 911… We will never make an electric car slower just to have the right hierarchy.”


As for the architecture of the new EV-only 718 models in the 983 generation, it is expected that they will follow the same trajectory as the new-gen Macan electric – as in, petrol models will persist alongside it, while the EV will be offered on a new platform specific to EV versions.


Furthermore, you can expect the new 718 models to house their battery systems behind the rear seats.


“It makes the balance way better, and also the inertia of the car will be better, the agility of the car will be better,” he said.


“Here we have a weight distribution of 52 per cent on the front axle, 48 percent at the rear. Which is nearly 50:50, but not perfect. The perfect Porsche has 58 per cent in the rear. We’re playing around with that for the production car.”


As is Porsche tradition, the entry-grade electric 718 Boxster will debut first, followed by a number of other variants including the potential for GT models. Further down the track, Mr Förster said there will be a Cayman coupe and an electric racer with some of the lessons learned from the prototype car to flow into that car.


As such, he said there’s not much chance buyers who are looking for a racing-spec version of the Boxster or Cayman will get that for several years to come, suggesting a timeline of “late in the decade” for a production EV racer.


“At the moment, we will surely not build up a race car on the base model. The base model will be introduced first,” he said.


“So it will need some time for a more performance-oriented version of the 983 (aka new-gen 718 models) will come, and then we will be on the same timeline as the Cayman, maybe.”


The production models may also make use of a 900-volt architecture, allowing them to recharge in as little as 15 minutes at a full-speed 350kW charging station using a Type 2 CCS combination plug.


The GT4 e-Performance model takes an existing version of the 718 Cayman and frankensteins a Porsche Taycan sedan’s battery bank across three positions in the body – under the bonnet, in the passenger foot well, and down behind the seats.

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