Most dedicated EV platforms use a so-called “skateboard” layout, where the batteries make up much of the floorpan. This makes sense as it keeps the heaviest part of the EV low and out of the way, contributing to a low center of gravity and excellent interior room. It’s what Porsche uses for the Taycan, though the German company is taking a different approach for its upcoming 718 EV.
Speaking to Autocar, Porsche chairman Oliver Blume and R&D chief Michael Steiner outlined the basics of the upcoming electric 718 Boxster and Cayman. They explained that to maintain the distinctive handling balance of the current gas-powered 718 models, Porsche will develop a platform where the batteries will sit right around where the engine and transmission live in today’s models. This will also allow Porsche to make a shorter, lower-drag car.
“With a typical two-door sports car, you see the car is really low because to reduce drag you want the silhouette as low and flat as possible,” Steiner told Autocar. “To do that you should have the driver sitting as low as possible, and if you do that there is no space for a battery below the seat of the driver.”
“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 centre of gravity-wise, it’s more or less a copy of a mid-engine design.”
The 718 will be the first Porsche sports car to go all-electric. Likely previewed by the Mission R concept (seen above) revealed at the IAA show in Munich last month, the electric 718 should arrive sometime in the middle of this decade. The Mission R is an all-wheel-drive car, with motors at each axle, but it’s possible that Porsche could offer a single-motor rear-drive version of the 718 as well.
Porsche won’t be the only company to use a “mid-battery” design. The upcoming Lotus Evija hypercar uses such a layout, and future electric sports cars from the brand will use a similar design.
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