What’s next for the Porsche 718?

The next Boxster and Cayman will be electric, but Porsche is promising they’ll share their driving DNA with the current car.

The brand has confirmed the current models, now based on a six year-old platform, will be replaced by an electric equivalent in 2024 or 2025 – exactly when will be determined by emissions regulations.

Don’t expect the mid-engined balance and old-fashioned driver focus present in the current models to be thrown out when the next-generation car rolls around.

“The most important thing is controlling the weight of an electric car, engineering emotion from the car,” Frank-Steffen Walliser, vice-president responsible for the Porsche 911 and 718 model lines, told CarExpert.

Porsche wants to engineer that emotion by creating a “nimble, relatively small car” with “nice proportions”, according to Mr Walliser. Acceleration and outright performance won’t necessarily be the focus.

“Having a sporty car, it’s not only [about] really good acceleration. It’s handling, it’s feedback, it’s the sound of the car. All these things come together to create a sports car,” he said. “Output is not always the right figure to judge really the capability of the car.”

With that in mind, there’s no guarantee the next 718 will feature a dual-motor powertrain and all-wheel drive. The current model is rear-wheel drive only.

Mr Walliser described all-wheel drive as “interesting”, but pointed to weight, packaging, and weight distribution as reasons a dual-motor setup might not be right for a compact electric sports car. At the moment, it’s a “clear maybe”.

Although the Mission R motorsports concept (above) offers some hints about what to expect, it’s not clear which parts of the race-inspired show car will carry over to production.

It’s powered by a 320kW front and 480kW rear motor, pumping out a constant 500kW combined in race mode. Flicked into Qualifying mode, the powertrain pumps out a whopping 800kW. Don’t expect to see those numbers on production models.

Porsche has committed to keeping the petrol Macan alive alongside the electric model confirmed for 2023, but says there will be limited crossover between its compact petrol and electric sports cars.

“The phase where you offer [petrol and electric] in parallel will not be as long as the strategic planning for the Macan. It will be way shorter,” Mr Walliser told CarExpert.

As for what’s left in the current-generation 718? The new GT4 RS has only just launched, and represents the current performance peak… but there’s potentially more to come from the internal-combustion Cayman and Boxster before 2024.

Exactly what that will look like will depend on how sales of the Cayman and Boxster play out over the next few years, but Mr Walliser confirmed low-volume halo cars and higher-volume, lower-performance specials are on the table.

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