UK keeps Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman sales, as EU regs block mid-engined duo this summer

Published: 26 March 2024 Updated: 26 March 2024

► EU laws spell end of mid-engined Porsches
► Cayman/Boxster twins to end European sale
► UK and ROW keep combustion sports cars

Here’s a rare Brexit dividend: the UK will continue to sell Porsche’s entry-level sports cars, even as the mid-engined 718 Boxster and Cayman are withdrawn from European sale this summer.

Stringent new cybersecurity regulations agreed by the EU and United Nations have brought an earlier end to the 718 duo than was anticipated. Most models are on run-out on the Continent and being removed from sale in mainland Europe by 1 July 2024, although a quirk of legislation means that high-performance derivatives are unaffected.

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS and Spyder RS are not affected, as they fall under small-series type approval.

Mid-engined Porsches live on – for the UK and US, at least…

Porsche Great Britain has confirmed to CAR magazine that it will still be selling every which flavour of 718 for the foreseeable future, as will most markets outside the EU. ‘We will continue to sell all 718 Boxster and Cayman models in the UK, as long as they are built by the factory’ a spokesman told us. ‘We sell a few thousand in the UK each year.’

Even though the 718 range sells in relatively low numbers (it’s the lowest-volume Porsche model line globally), it has an important role to anchor Porsche as a sports brand. Stuttgart’s mid-engined model series have represented the lowest rung on the sports car ladder for nearly three decades and have proved a hit with critics and customers alike. 

Boxster has been mid-engined entry point to Porsche range for nearly three decades

News of the 718’s European demise was quietly announced late in 2023, but its sales status in the UK is now assured – at least so long as demand in the rest of the world warrants continued production. Sales of the duo actually rose in 2023 by +13%, to 20,518 – less than half the 911’s 50,146 volume worldwide.

Why are the Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman being withdrawn from European sale?

Europe has adopted new global regulations agreeing common security standards in the automotive Cyber Security Management System (CSMS), which is designed to keep cars safe and unhackable. 

The digital architecture of the Porsche 718 twins is around a decade old and Stuttgart cannot justify upgrading its innards so late in the car’s life. The recent annual shareholders’ meeting confirmed ‘plans to offer the 718 Boxster and Cayman models as BEVs [battery electric vehicles] by mid-decade,’ pointing to a 2025 launch for the Porsche electric sports cars.

The same laws have already seen combustion versions of the Porsche Macan discontinued on the Continent.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words