Did Porsche Mission R concept quietly preview 718 Boxster, Cayman EVs?

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Porsche traveled to the 2021 Munich auto show to unveil a race car-like concept named Mission R. On the surface, it illustrates one way to take electric technology to the track. In application, it's reportedly a thinly-veiled preview of the 718 Boxster and Cayman duo's electric replacements.

Citing anonymous sources, Car & Driver wrote that the Mission R (pictured) illustrates what the next 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman could look like. Porsche reportedly added the track-inspired body kit to mask the production car's design, but the wider headlights (a styling cue shared with the Taycan) are among the features that could make the leap from the show floor to the showroom floor. While the concept's interior is race-ready, complete with a roll cage and a single seat, the production car's will be significantly toned down ⁠— and very high-tech.

The range will again include a coupe and a convertible, and the latter will retain its power-folding soft top, according to the same report. Using a power-folding hard top would add weight while creating an unwanted degree of overlap between the Boxster and the Cayman. Going electric will add weight as well, but Porsche will mitigate bloating by building the 718s on a purpose-designed platform. Some bits (like the electronics) will be shared with PPE-based cars, but the architecture will largely be developed for low-slung sports cars. As a result, C/D claims the project's target weight is under 3,650 pounds. For context, the current Boxster tips the scale at 3,021 pounds.

If the report is accurate, what remains to be seen is what effect an Audi A4-like weight will have on the 718's famously nimble handling. Interestingly, one advantage of going electric is that Porsche will be able to offer several powertrain configurations. Base models will ship with a rear-mounted electric motor, but some variants will receive a second motor mounted over the front axle for through-the-road all-wheel-drive, a first in the Boxster's long history. Driving range will check in at over 250 miles, though Porsche hopes to improve that figure.

It'll take a few years for the Mission R to transition into the next 718. Sales are tentatively scheduled to start for the 2025 model year. The current-generation 718s may be sold alongside their electric replacements for a brief period, a strategy Porsche has confirmed it's adopting for the Macan, but the looming Euro 7 regulations set to come into effect by the end of 2025 will likely kill them by making gasoline-powered cars prohibitively expensive. That's assuming that the rumor is true, and that plans don't change in the meantime.

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