Porsche has a real hit on its hands with the current iteration of the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, particularly in GTS guise. It’s a phenomenal car, and that four-liter flat six really enhances the experience. As indicated by the Mission R concept, however, this generation may be Porsche’s last powered by gasoline. According to a report by Germany’s Automobilwoche, Porsche has already begun rebuilding the factory where they get bolted together in preparation to electrify them.
That’s right, Porsche is pushing nearly 600 million dollars of renovations into the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen factory where the 718 twins are built.
The current EV factory, the one that builds the Taycan, is also in Zuffenhausen, and took four years and several billion to build. The decision was made back then that the factory for the company’s first EV would have to be in Stuttgart, despite the fact that clearing the land in the busy downtown area would be costly and time consuming, because Taycan was incredibly important to the brand. And that decision, it seems, was absolutely integral to its success.
A similar thought was made when Boxster production was moved from Finland to Stuttgart. It was important for Porsche that Boxster and Cayman be seen as “real Porsche models” whatever that means. And thus the expense and time and effort were worth it. So, it seems, is this factory expansion. Half a billion euros is no small scratch, and EV-ifying the Boxster and Cayman need to be seen as a true Porsche product.
Porsche has stated in the past that it wants a third of its sales to be EV by 2025, which is right around the corner, and two-thirds by 2030. Obviously the lion’s share of that will come from the introduction of the electric Macan, but if we see continued Taycan growth, plus 718 and Macan electrified, then one third seems totally doable.
We hope to see the electric 718 variants debut on an all-new chassis later this year, with production beginning in 2023. If they’re half as cool as the Mission R concept, then we’ll have a lot to look forward to from the brand next year. I know I’ve been looking forward to an affordable two-seat EV sports car for years, and with some hope, this will be the one we need and deserve.
If you’re looking forward to an electric 911, then you better settle in for a long wait because Porsche isn’t going to be messing with its most iconic model, at least not until everything else in the lineup gets electrified first. This means that the company will be developing its production lines to build internal combustion models alongside electric models, so hopefully the eventual full transition to electric power will prove graceful and unproblematic.