Keen drivers everywhere are lamenting the imminent demise of the internal combustion engine, arguing electric motors are not a good fit for a sports car. However, now that Porsche has confirmed that it is indeed working on an all-electric 718, maybe they should not worry so much about this given that one of the best names in the business is on the case (of creating an engaging, exciting electric sports car).
Porsche just announced, during its annual conference, that the next-gen 718 (formerly known as the Cayman and Boxster) will only be sold with an electric powertrain. The automaker also announced the new electric sports car will debut in 2025, as well as the fact that the next 911 will be a non-plug-in hybrid.
The decision to make the 718 fully-electric might be a bit surprising from the automaker that has stated it wants to develop synthetic fuels to keep selling ICE sports cars even after most gas-burning vehicles will have been phased out. However, the 911 will be more of a halo vehicle, one that’s also bearing the burden of tradition much more so than the 718, so the there is more room to play with the latter’s formula.
And given how remarkably good a job Porsche did with the Taycan, which still handles like a sports car, even though it’s still a heavy three-box EV that also has to be a good practical proposition. With the 718, Porsche will be able to put even more emphasis on making fun and engaging, which it has to be given that a raspy exhaust and shifting gears will not be part of the package.
Speaking of shifting gears, Toyota has patented a design for integrating a manual transmission (with clutch) into a future sporty EV. It’s all a bit contrived, at least that’s the impression left after looking over the patent drawings, but the fact that Toyota is putting in the effort to even consider this, let alone patent it, is proof that it is important for certain drivers, important enough that Toyota just might do it.
Furthermore, the Porsche Taycan does have a gearbox, albeit only a two-speed unit only for the rear axle, but it does show the automaker is not one to follow the pack and give up on gears. The two-speed transmission (created by ZF for Porsche and Audi) has drawn some criticism for being unnecessary complication, but Porsche engineers did have their reasons for including it (better acceleration off the line and better efficiency at speed).