Porsche is working on a major renovation of its Zuffenhausen factory in Germany to accommodate production of the upcoming 718 electric sports car and powertrains for the Macan EV. The company will invest over 250 million Euro overhauling the facility, where its two-door sports cars and the Porsche Taycan are currently built.
The electric replacement for the 718 Boxster has been spotted in testing since November 2022, but the Stuttgart automaker has yet to commit to a release date for the platform. We’ve also yet to see a hardtop version (aka the Cayman) out in the wild. Porsche has encountered significant delays in expanding its electrified portfolio, with the Macan EV pushed back multiple times — allegedly due to software issues in the larger VAG electric portfolio.
The Macan EV won’t actually be built at Zuffenhausen, but its electric motors will. The 718 Boxster (and, presumably, Cayman) electric will roll off the same assembly line as the 911, along with ICE variants of the 718 family. Porsche has yet to commit to phaseout dates for any of its ICE vehicles, and has said it plans to produce some volume of ICE 911 sports cars as long as customers want them and emissions regulations allow. While the electric 718 will replace the ICE versions of the sports car eventually, it seems likely there will be a significant overlap period during which both versions are produced (as it appears there will be with Macan).
Additional upgrades include replacing the factory line’s traditional conveyor belt assembly line with automated rolling lift vehicles (AGVs), giving more flexibility and adaptability to the plant’s layout while increasing efficiency. Porsche is also adding more quality checkpoints and upgrading some of its existing quality areas, such as its acoustic test platform, to better suit the unique needs of electric cars.
You can read more about the news from Porsche here.
Porsche is making clear that it’s taking concrete steps to start building electric Boxsters and Macans — but we still don’t have a firm release date for either. The press release today does reaffirm Porsche’s commitment to launching Macan EV in 2024, but there’s no indication of when in the year or where, so, no real news to report on that front.
While we’ve had glowing things to say about Taycan from day one, it remains the sole EV in the company’s portfolio over three years since its launch. Porsche’s reputation for an obsession with quality and customer experience is well-earned, and Taycan has largely been seen as a “safe” way for the company to test electrification without putting its more storied (read: profitable) models’ reputations on the line. But the longer customers go without an electric Macan, in particular, the more time Porsche’s rivals have to make a case to customers that they shouldn’t bother waiting.
In that light, today’s news very much feels like a “please be patient with us” kind of announcement. It’s certainly good to know that Porsche is getting ready for electrification in a more meaningful way, but we still know far less about its plans than we’d like.
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