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Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman will go electric by 2022, report says

Electrified hybrid variants might be offered alongside an EV solution, to boot.

Porsche 718 Cayman T

Porsche has not been shy about its electrification aspirations, whether that means a hybrid 911 or a battery-electric Macan. But a new report suggests that Porsche's midengine sports cars might follow a similar path in the not-too-distant future.

Porsche is working on electric variants of the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, and they are slated to debut by 2022, Autocar reports. This is an interesting development on its own, if true, but what's more intriguing is that the report also claims that other electrified powertrains are being contemplated as simultaneous offerings, citing comments from Porsche chairman Oliver Blume. Porsche did not immediately return a request for comment.

According to Autocar's report, the 718 EVs won't stand alone because of battery technology. The report alleges that an internal Porsche engineering study found the cars couldn't offer more than 186 miles of range, due to limitations in the 718's current midengine platform. Thus, a hybrid or non-hybrid variant could exist alongside the EV to calm buyers who may still suffer from range anxiety.

Building two variants of a single car on two different platforms could turn out to be a wild gamble that keeps Porsche in good favor with early adopters and late risers alike.


To make matters even weirder, those two 718 variants could ride on different platforms. Autocar's report mentions that Porsche may move an electric Boxster and Cayman pair to the automaker's PPE platform, which is for dedicated electric vehicles, while selling parallel versions on the old platform. This would allow Porsche to get the most out of adding a battery-electric 718, alleviating range anxiety for those considering the leap to battery power, while offering more traditional variants to those who aren't ready to go electric.

This mirrors what Porsche has planned for the Macan, its best-selling compact SUV. It's believed that, instead of solely offering an electric Macan as many originally reported, Porsche will actually produce a Macan EV on the PPE platform while offering electrified variants of the same SUV on the old MLB platform.

Porsche board member Detlev von Platen told me during Porsche's annual conference in March that this potential move allows different markets to move at different speeds. "[Moving to electric vehicles] has to be a very safe bet," von Platen said in a round-table interview. "Therefore, we made the strategy to have the possibility … of extending an [internal combustion engine] for the Macan and introducing, in a parallel way, the electric model. It makes more cost, but I think it's important to have this insurance policy in place." Blume's comments to Autocar mirror those sentiments, as each market will adapt to electricity differently, and if Porsche goes too hard in the EV paint, it might end up alienating other markets and buyers.