The fate of Porsche's affordable sports car will be decided very soon.
Earlier this year, Porsche introduced the new Taycan base model. Slotting below the 4S and Turbo models, the new entry-level Taycan starts at $79,900, making it $24,900 cheaper than the 4S and $71,000 cheaper than the Turbo. But Porsche wants to add an even more affordable electric sports car to its lineup.
For years, the German automaker has been considering developing an all-electric version of the 718 Cayman and Boxster, and, according to Auto Express, a decision about the Cayman's future will be made in a matter of months. Back in 2019, Porsche boss Oliver Blume said a decision will be made "in the next 12 months." A decision has still not been made, but Blume confirmed to the publication the Cayman's fate will be decided before the summer.
While the current 718 Cayman is powered by a 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine producing 394 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque in the GTS model, the next-generation model may only be offered with an electric powertrain, but Porsche is waiting for battery technology to evolve before making a decision. "There is an opportunity that we will do the 718 electric but we are still in a concept period, where we haven't decided yet. To go electric now we need future battery evolution," said Blume.
"We will wait a couple of months more before we decide which concept we will use. But I think there is a positive potential to do this, and when we do the 718 electric it should be driven like a 911 and all the other sports cars."
If it gets the green light, the first-ever electric Cayman is expected to use a dual-motor setup producing a combined 400 horsepower. While Porsche is embracing electrification with the Taycan, the upcoming electric Macan, and hybrid versions of the Cayenne and Panamera, the CEO confirmed that Porsche will continue to offer traditional combustion engines for the foreseeable future.
"I think we need both [ICE and EV] for the next years. Therefore, we have flexibility in our product range to continue with the 911 on combustion engines, to continue with other cars on combustion engines, to produce hybrids with higher electric-only ranges, to introduce hybrids on the 911; there are still a lot of options for combustion engines."
In the long term, however, switching to electrification is Porsche's priority and Blume is confident new models like an electric Cayman will convince customers to switch to EVs. "I think drivers who have already driven electric cars are very convinced," he said. "I think we can convince the community as well, especially as we did it with the Taycan. We have much more ideas for our future electric cars. Our future electric cars are 100 percent Porsche."
With sales of affordable sports cars shrinking, we're just glad the Porsche Boxster and Cayman are returning for a new generation. Since the current cars launched in 2016, the next-generation models are expected to arrive in 2023.