This is good news!
If you've ever had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of even a base model Porsche 718, whether that be a Cayman or a Boxster, you'll likely understand why the mid-engine sports car is a revelation to those who have only ever loved the rear-engine 911. It handles beautifully and feels completely natural in its responses to your inputs, which is part of why owners are so in love with it. Exploiting the balance of the mid-engine layout to the max will be the upcoming GT4 RS, but thereafter, we've been told to expect a fully electric powertrain inspired by the Mission R concept. Fortunately, this won't affect the way the 718 handles, according to the UK's Autocar.
According to the report, the electric 718 will boast a unique battery arrangement called the 'e-core' layout, and this may be used on future Lamborghini and Audi models too. With as low a center of gravity and a seating position as possible, the new platform should offer remarkable handling characteristics, but although Porsche wants the electric cars to feel just as good as the existing ones, no parts of the current platform will be carried over.
"When we electrify a model, we won't do a carry-over of the combustion engine [platform] because there are too many compromises," says company CEO Oliver Blume. "When we are looking to future sports cars, we would develop its own platform but connected with some modules coming from other cars. But the platform will be unique."
Technical chief Michael Steiner explains that the typical skateboard layout of conventional EVs doesn't offer the sort of handling characteristics that Porsche is after: "It's the same reason why a lot of super-sports cars today have a mid-engine design, with the engine behind the driver. With today's battery cell technology, the batteries are the biggest and heaviest part of the car - and this could be true for the next decade or so - so we developed what we call the e-core battery design. Packaging-wise and center of gravity-wise, it's more or less a copy of a mid-engine design."
This design will help with weight distribution and balance, and with current platforms unable to provide the driving feel that Porsche is after, it will continue to develop unique platforms just as it did with the Taycan, with these all to be designed from scratch.
We look forward to evaluating the fruits of Porsche's efforts when the production cars finally arrive, but that's still a few years off.