Porsche won't invest in a new generation of the Boxster and Cayman with combustion engines, nor will we see a new generation of the gas-powered Macan. That means the good folks in Zuffenhausen are ready to let three of its most popular gas cars ride into the proverbial sunset.

The 718 models were already retired in Europe due to the General Safety Regulation (GSR2) that came into effect last week. In a statement to Motor1 earlier this year, Porsche 718 spokesperson Oliver Hilger said keeping the Boxster and Cayman in Europe just was "not possible."

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS with Manthey kit

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS

"Implementation of the directive not only requires adjustments to the technical implementation, for example in the control units, but essentially also a change to processes in the development phase," Higler notes. "For example, management systems will have to be developed and certified with regard to cybersecurity. The management and documentation of cybersecurity risks are tracked, structured, and formalized over the life cycle of the vehicle. All this could not be taken into account in the development of the 718 combustion models, as none of the requirements were known or applicable at the time. It is not possible to do this 'in reverse' without further ado."

The mid-engine models will live on outside of the EU, but not for long. This week, Porsche's production manager Albrecht Reimold said the last Boxster and Cayman with gas engines will be assembled in mid-2025. The Macan (also gone in Europe due to GSR2 legislation) will stick around a bit longer in other regions. Reimold said the crossover will remain in production until 2026.

But sales show that Porsche's decision to phase out three popular gas cars is a risky bet.

<p>Porsche Boxster</p>

Porsche Boxster

In 2023, Porsche delivered 87,355 Macan SUVs to customers, while the Boxster and Cayman were shipped to 20,518 clients. Considering the German automaker sold a total of 320,221 cars last year, the 718 and Macan accounted for a little over a third, at 107,873 units.

The numbers for the first half of 2024 are nearly the same. Porsche sold 39,167 Macans while the 982-generation sports cars achieved 11,886 deliveries. With a total of 155,945 cars shipped to buyers through June, the popular crossover, coupe, and convertible models once again represented roughly a third of volume, at 51,053 units.

Model 2023 Sales 2024 Sales (To Date)
Boxster / Cayman 20,518 Units 11,886
Macan 87,355 Units 39,167

The electric Boxster and Cayman will come out in 2025. But it begs the question: Will enthusiasts warm up to the idea of not having a combustion engine? Going EV means the manual gearbox will also become a thing of the past. Regardless of how good the electric replacements are, Porsche will probably lose customers who would only otherwise buy a performance vehicle with ICE power.

Pricing could also be a problem; History has taught us that EVs are almost always more expensive than the equivalent combustion car. Killing the conventionally powered 718 will mean that buying a two-door Porsche with a gas engine is going to get significantly pricier. Right now, a base Cayman is $74,795 after destination and handling fees. The cheapest 911 starts at $122,095. It's a $47,300 difference that will likely alienate many buyers.

2022 Porsche Macan GTS

Porsche Macan GTS

Although the gas Macan is still around (for now), its electric successor is already here. Deliveries to customers are scheduled to start later this year. It makes more sense for the crossover to embrace the EV trend than the 718s, but that comes with a price hike as well. You can have Porsche's smallest crossover with a combustion engine for $64,895, whereas the entry-level electric model is $80,450. That's nearly a $16,000 gap between the two.

Since EVs are still significantly more expensive to produce, it remains to be seen whether Porsche will be able to match the profit margins of the outgoing ICE cars. It's too late now for the company to change its mind. With emissions regulations getting stricter, we wouldn't hold our breath for a new gas-only sports car. Even the Mazda Miata lost its 2.0-liter engine in Europe.

Will enthusiasts warm up to the idea of not having a combustion engine?

Could Porsche have done things differently? Well, company officials made it clear that updating the current 718s to meet regulations would have been a costly endeavor. In the case of the Macan, there are also issues regarding the availability of certain parts, according to Reimold.

While most purists probably won't care about the lack of a gas engine in the Macan, ideally, we would have gotten another generation of the ICE Boxster and Cayman. But that ship sailed long ago; The EV replacement was announced in 2022.

Porsche is sticking with its objective to have EVs account for more than 80 percent of annual shipments by 2030. To get there, the next-generation Cayenne is also going to be an EV. In addition, another large SUV coming in the next few years will be electric-only. That SUV will be positioned above the Cayenne and will likely offer three-row seating.

<p>Porsche Panamera</p>

Porsche Panamera

What about the Panamera? Taycan model line boss Kevin Giek recently told Autocar that an electric Panamera can peacefully coexist with the Taycan. He went on to say that a Panamera EV would cater to customers looking for a larger and more luxurious model while the Taycan targets those in the market for a sportier EV.

As for the legendary 911, it's not going to lose its rear-mounted engine this decade. There is a hybrid with the 2025 Carrera GTS, but a full EV won't happen before 2030. Porsche hopes synthetic fuels will give ICE a new lease on life. It's been producing eFuel from water and carbon dioxide using wind energy at a plant in Chile since late 2022.

At the beginning of the month, Reuters reported that the European People's Party, the largest lawmaker group in the European Parliament, wants to weaken the sales ban on new cars that emit CO2. The news agency obtained a draft document indicating the intention to loosen the rules pertaining to CO2 reductions.

2025 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe First Drive Review

2025 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe

According to Euronews, the European Commission has already promised to develop a legal route that would allow cars to run on synthetic fuel as long as the production process is carbon neutral. The last-minute change to the proposed legislation was done following pressure from Germany.

Regardless of how things go with the legislation, Porsche is pressing ahead with its EV agenda. Time will tell whether replacing several gas cars with electric models before the end of the decade, let alone by 2035, is the right move.

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