Porsche is planning to build a battery-electric SUV and an all-electric sports coupe based on the Boxster/Cayman platform, and finally a Taycan Targa, all slated for launch by 2022.
At an event in Germany last week, Finance Director for Porsche Lutz Meschke revealed the plan for the electric SUV and sports car. “You can expect an SUV BEV [battery-electric vehicle] by 2022 at the latest,” he said, declining to elaborate on his statement. He also said that “the Boxster and Cayman could be suitable for electrification”. Ex-VAG CEO Matthias Müller (previously Porsche’s boss) had pushed every brand in VAG’s portfolio towards electrification, and Porsche is no exception.
Lutz Meschke used the term “big SUV” while referring to the aforementioned product under development, which could mean it is a Cayenne-sized car. The Cayenne, however, is just a year old and not due for replacement until at least 2024. To get the SUV on the roads faster, Porsche will likely work over the Macan which shares its underpinnings with the Audi Q5, and is due for a new generation in 2021. There are at least three other possibilities as to the path Porsche could take: a variant based on the new Audi e-Tron, a re-engineered Cayenne, or an all-new Porsche electric SUV developed from scratch.
The Taycan is the first all-electric product scheduled to hit the streets by 2019. There is also a surprise Porsche has in the wings in the form of the Taycan Targa which will go on sale by 2021. Details are scarce, but the Taycan Targa will most likely feature a large glazed opening sliding down to the rear hatch area. It employs the highly flexible J1 underpinning that can also accommodate a family of products spun off from the Taycan like the Cross Turismo concept Porsche had come out with recently.
The next product under development is an electric coupe based on the Boxster, loosely related to the Boxster E prototype Porsche had displayed way back in 2011 as a rival for the Tesla Roadster. During its development, engineers had learned a few key things relating to the weight of the new drivetrain and batteries affecting the car’s driving dynamics around corners. One of the engineers told Autocar last year that “fully electrified sports cars would work well for longitudinal acceleration, but the weight disadvantage is in the handling”. It will be interesting to see how the company manages to balance the weight of the electric propulsion componentry and the driving dynamics Porsche cars are renowned for.