[UPDATE] A new post on Instagram published by Porsche hints the concept is motorsport-related. That doesn't necessarily exclude an electric 718.
Porsche has announced plans to attend the upcoming IAA show – which beginning with 2021 is moving from Frankfurt to Munich – to introduce a "future-oriented concept study." The adjacent teaser image strongly suggests we are dealing with an EV as the four-point LED headlights are similar to those of the Mission E concept and the Taycan production car that followed.
The headlight shape might make you think of the 996-gen 911's "fried egg" lights with the orange accent in the bottom-left corner, but we actually don't think the IAA-bound showcar is related to Zuffenhausen's rear-engined machine. Porsche has made it crystal clear a fully electric 911 won't arrive this decade, so it would be way too premature to preview a zero-emissions version that won't hit the streets until 2030 at the earliest.
Ok, but what is it then? Well, we're also ruling out the Macan EV as the clay model "accidentally" leaked by Porsche showed a different headlight design. A closer look at the image shows the concept car appears to have a fairly short front section since the black area at the top is seemingly the base of the windshield where the wipers are located. That rules out a Porsche equivalent of the Audi A6 E-Tron since the PPE-based electric concept had a long nose akin to a car powered by a combustion engine.
That brings us to the 718. As some of you will recall, Michael Steiner, Porsche's executive board member for R&D, told Car and Driver about the firm's intentions of developing a 718 electric concept car. Is this it? Having ruled out the 911, Macan, and a Porsche-ified A6 E-Tron, there are reasons to believe Porsche will be previewing a Boxster/Cayman EV.
If our assumption is correct, it can only mean Porsche has made up its mind and the next generation of its baby sports car will be fitted with an all-electric powertrain. Michael Steiner told Car and Driver the company wants the 718 to follow the same path taken by the Mission E concept, which evolved to a production model four years later. It means there's going to be a long wait for the next-gen Boxster/Cayman sans a combustion engine.
Meanwhile, the best version of the gasoline-fueled 718 has yet to come. We're obviously talking about the Cayman GT4 RS, which has been spied repeatedly and should debut before the end of 2021. It's unclear whether it will share the spotlight with the potential electric concept at IAA Munich, but its eagerly anticipated reveal should be right around the corner.
Porsche says it will unveil the new concept car on September 6.