Porsche Boxster, Cayman replacement to keep mid-engine setup for low center of gravity and crash safety

In their transition to fully electric powertrains, the next generation Porsche Boxsters and Caymans will adopt an electric platform battery configuration designed similar to the powertrains of mid-engined cars, Coach reports. Dubbed “e-core,” this layout aims to position its center of gravity and seating positions as low as possible for its sports car design specifications.

For the recently unveiled Mission R concept car, Porsche used a revised 718 Cayman chassis for the study of the electric racer, although any such production version is different, the automaker said.

“When we [fully] electrify a model, we will not postpone the heat engine platform because there are too many compromises. When we look at future sports cars, we would develop our own platform but connected to some modules from other cars, but the platform will be unique, ”said Porsche CEO Oliver Blume.

While the Porsche Mission R concept was built on a revised 718 Cayman chassis, any production EV sports car will use a single platform.

The decision to use the relatively unusual layout of EVs – compared to the skateboard platform commonly found in EVs such as Tesla – was driven by the need to make the car as low as possible to reduce drag. aerodynamic, because the skateboard platform locates its batteries below. occupants and therefore will not be able to sit as low, Porsche technical chief Michael Steiner said.

“There is no platform that is unaffected by electrification, but the only platform in our portfolio that might not change much would be for mid-engined cars like the Boxster and Cayman,” Steiner said. . Porsche started with electrifying prototypes with this mid-engined setup 10 years ago, because the space freed up by the engine and transmission could be used for the battery, he added.

Porsche researched the mid-engine layout for EV models for safety reasons, Steiner said Coach. Indeed, with the current technology of electric vehicles, the automaker wanted to place the batteries in the central collision structure of the vehicle.

This platform layout could potentially be used in cars of other brands in the wider Volkswagen Group, such as Lamborghini and Audi, given that both brands have mid-engined models that could go in the purely electric steering. with this sports car layout.

In terms of customer acceptance, Steiner said they would be receptive to a model offering similar performance to the 718 range, “but that requires weight reduction,” he said. “If you drive and push a real sports car on the race track, you will always feel this way [weight]. You might not notice it on the highway, but a real sports car has to perform well on the racetrack, ”explained the technical manager.

Further from the Volkswagen Group, the upcoming SSP platform mixes elements of the MEB platform with the PPE platform co-developed by Porsche and Audi, and which will use a skateboard configuration where its batteries are positioned under the vehicle. .

The automotive group is also developing a unified design for battery cells, Coach wrote, which the automaker said could be used in over 80% of its electric vehicle model lineup. That leaves a still significant proportion of EV models that could use a different design and battery layout, the magazine noted.

GALLERY: Porsche Mission R

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