Porsche to reinvest in Zuffenhausen plant

VW’s sports car subsidiary Porsche wants to invest around 500 million euros in its main plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. The money is to be used to convert the production lines of the 718 series with Boxster and Cayman for the production of the purely electric successor generation.

The news was reported by the German publication Automobilwoche, writing with reference to company circles. According to the report, the “main plant is to be made future-proof”. After the four-seater Taycan, the two two-seater sports cars would be the second purely electric Porsche series to be built in Zuffenhausen. The 911 is also still coming off the production line at the main plant, but a purely electric drive is not yet in sight here.

Like the upcoming electric Macan, the two-seaters are to be based on the PPE platform developed jointly with Audi. Possible performance data for the sports cars are not yet mentioned, however. The range is supposed to be around 400 kilometres – sporty driving performance continues to have a higher priority for Porsche than high ranges. However, the partner for the battery assembly is new: while the packs for the Taycan and Macan are each assembled by Dräxlmaier and delivered to Porsche ready for installation, in this case the Stuttgart-based company obtains the packs from Valmet – the Finnish company is currently setting up a battery assembly in Kirchardt near Heilbronn, Germany.

Series production of the 718 successor – there is no word on whether the number 718 introduced for the 982 model generation in 2016 will be retained – is scheduled to start in 2023. That’s probably later than planned, as the report says the project has been delayed by a year. Porsche managers told the portal that the reasons were “internally the technological complexity of the project as well as lengthy coordination with other Volkswagen brands”.

Rumours of a purely electric successor generation to the Boxster/Cayman duo have been around for a while, with the latest talk of a market launch in 2024. In fact, Porsche had built its first 800-volt prototypes on the basis of the Boxster, but discarded a production version in view of the insufficient range of the battery technology at the time.

As Automobilwoche writes with reference to Michael Steiner, member of the board of directors for development, Porsche plans to achieve more than one third of its sales with purely electric vehicles in 2025. By 2030, this figure should be two-thirds. According to earlier statements by Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, the entire Porsche portfolio will gradually be offered in purely electric form – with the exception of the 911.

Incidentally, the 911 also has a major influence on the 718 project: both model series are assembled together on one line in Zuffenhausen, which is why production must be designed flexibly rather than purely electrically. However, this would be the first step towards a purely electric 911 one day.

With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.

automobilwoche.de (in German)


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