Porsche’s radical plan for an all-electric future

Porsche’s radical plan for an all-electric future No more combustion sports cars in just 10 years? An all electric Porsche range in 10-years time? You read it here first.

You might want to grab a seat for this. Sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin. Just 10 years from now it’s possible Porsche will have sold its last combustion sports car. At which point you’ll only be able to buy pure-electric models from Porsche. Yes, including the 911. That’s by no means a certainty. It’s just one of several scenarios Porsche is preparing for. But it might just be Porsche’s favoured plan.

718 Cayman/Boxster all EV

718 Cayman/Boxster all EV

What we know for sure is that Porsche keeps on accelerating its plans to electrify its full range of cars. Back in February, we reported on Porsche’s decision to double its investment in electromobility to six billion euros by 2022. Now the full impact of that move is beginning to emerge. Broadly, Porsche intends that more than 85 per cent of its sales will be battery-electric vehicles (BEV) by 2028.

That Porsche is launching its first BEV model next year, in the form of the Taycan four-door coupe, is also public knowledge. Porsche has further indicated it’ll release a jacked up Cross Turismo variant of the Taycan shortly after. More recently in October, Porsche’s finance director Lutz Meschke confirmed the launch of a battery-powered SUV model by 2022 at the latest. But the real kicker was his comment regarding Porsche’s entry-level sports cars.

“The Boxster and Cayman could be suitable for electrification,” he said. This is where the real intrigue begins. Seasoned Porsche aficionados will have noticed the absence of so-called spy shots in circulation of any next-generation Boxster and Cayman development cars. The 911 is about to be replaced by the new Type-992 iteration and Porsche’s established protocol is to release the closely-related Cayster models around nine months later. By this stage in the product cycle, in other words, the web would normally be full of next-gen Boxsters and Caymans running around the Nürburgring, across deserts and up mountains, covered in tape and bits of plastic. But there’s been nothing.

That, so the story goes, is because the 718 Boxster and Cayman aren’t being replaced in the normal fashion. Instead, they’ll soldier on with just minor updates until 2023 or 2024, when an all-new replacement arrives. And that replacement will be battery powered and pure electric. Call it the Cayman E if you like, the rumours suggest it could offer upward of 500hp. A battery-electric model also creates the possibility of the first all-wheel-drive Cayman.

More complicated is the 911’s forward roadmap. The upcoming 992 is what you might call a conventional refresh model. It’s based on the existing 991 and 981 platform, just as the 997 was based on the platform shared by the 996 and 986. So, it’s not an all new model. But it has been heavily enough revised to include support for a hybrid model. Porsche has indicated that won’t arrive with the first iteration of the 992, but will be part of the refresh 992.2 model line, which should arrive around 2023.

What happens next is where things get really interesting. Porsche is thought to be working on parallel destinies for the 911 and at this stage is planning for both another combustion-engined 911 model after the 992 and also a BEV variant. Exactly what happens will hinge, most likely, on the development of better batteries. Porsche doesn’t think today’s batteries are suitable for the packaging of a 2+2 911, but are acceptable for a mid-engine car like the Boxster and Cayman line. However, if solid state batteries deliver on their theoretical promise, they may offer sufficient power density to make a BEV 911 viable. If that happens soon enough, there may be no need to develop a combustion 911 to follow the 992. And that’s the aforementioned scenario where Porsche has ceased to make combustion sports cars in 10 years. Some sources suggest Porsche may hedge its bets and offer several models in both combustion and BEV formats during this transitional phase. That includes everything from future iterations of the Macan, Cayenne and Panamera to the iconic 911. But the overarching moral of the story is that Porsche sees its future competitive advantage as being a maker of advanced BEV vehicles. It’s both betting big on and embracing battery electric propulsion. So it increasingly looks like it’s not a question of if Porsche’s cars will all go electric, but when.

The future is bright, the future is electric. Depending on your point of view that is either a good thing, or ripping the heart and soul out of a Porsche. Whatever, the future isn’t going to go away and all electro Porsches are on the way and the Cayman/Boxster, could well be the first all-electric Porsche sports cars, as early as 2023/2024.

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