Porsche preps Zuffenhausen for electric 718 generation

Porsche has dug up some €250 million for upgrading its main plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen to build the next 718-generation, the fully electric 983-codenamed Boxster and Cayman. That will we done on the same assembly line as its current 982 siblings with a boxer engine or other two-door models like the classic 911.

This will be Porsche’s third electric model after the Taycan, as the electric Porsche Macan is scheduled to roll off the production line at the Leipzig site in 2024 as the second one. The assembly plant for the V8 combustion engines for the Panamera and Cayenne model lines at the Zuffenhausen site is converted to integrate production of the electric motors for the Macan.

Automated guided transport vehicles

Porsche has extended the production line area for its two-door sports cars at the main plant to integrate new production phases. As already in use for the two-door Taycan, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) will be used.

According to the carmaker, “the latest-generation AGVs will replace the classic assembly line with a Flexiline and thereby enable an even more variable production process – this is particularly advantageous with a view to the future mixed production of vehicles with combustion engines and electric powertrains on a single line.”

New assembly processes require newly established quality assurance stations as well. Porsche says a range of procedures were adapted to ensure optimal vehicle inspections, and, among other things, a new light tunnel was installed.

Scarce with details

So far, Porsche has been scarce in providing specs of the new 718 generation to be launched in 2025, following the delayed Macan EV launch in 2024. The new Boxster and Cayman are rumored to have a 450 horsepower single-motor for the rear-wheel drive models. Dual-motor all-wheel drive GTS variants – a first for these models – may nearly double that.

Most likely, the ICE-versions of the Boxter and Cayman will be further produced on the same line in Zuffenhausen as long as there is a market for it. That won’t be Europe, as the old 982 generation won’t comply with the new UN cybersecurity regulations for newly produced cars coming fully into effect in Europe, Japan, and South Korea from July 2024.

Cybersecurity risks

Those regulations are intended to tackle cybersecurity risks by establishing precise performance and audit requirements for car manufacturers. They were the first ever internationally harmonized and binding norms in this area.

The ongoing digitalization of in-car systems provides cars with up to 150 electronic control units and about 100 million lines of software code, four times more than a fighter jet. Experts predict that by 2030, software code could be as extensive as 300 million lines.

In the European Union, the UN regulation on cyber security is mandatory for all new vehicle types from July 2022 and becomes mandatory for all new vehicles produced from July 2024. Dr. Michael Steiner, head of R&D at Porsche, told the media the carmaker’s strategy is to overlap the production of both generations depending on the markets other than Europe.






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