This is our first official look at the next-generation, all-electric Porsche Macan SUV. The company says it has completed behind-closed-doors development, and the newcomer is now bound for real-world, on-road assessment.
The electric Macan will launch in 2023 using a new all-electric platform called Premium Platform Electric (PPE), and Porsche research and development boss Dr. Michael Steiner has teased some of the technical targets his engineers are aiming to achieve.
“The all-electric Macan will be the sportiest model in its segment”, says Steiner. “Like the Taycan, the all-electric Macan, with its 800-volt architecture, will offer typical Porsche E-Performance.” No figures have been revealed, but Porsche says the Macan EV will offer a long range and “reproducible” high performance.
Porsche has undertaken significant digital development of the new model, using accurate computer simulation techniques to identify weaknesses in the model’s design. Porsche says this has allowed it to identify and resolve issues with the car virtually, before physical prototypes take to the road. For instance, the firm has developed a new display and operating concept in the interior, without actually building a real world prototype of the cockpit.
These new images, our spy shots and a teaser of a clay model provide some indication as to how the pure-electric Macan will look. Unlike the current model, the second-generation SUV will feature a smoother front bumper and slim headlamps – both of which appear to have been influenced by the Taycan. Previous spy shots also suggest that the SUV could adopt a more coupe-like silhouette.
The new all-electric Macan will be joined by a new petrol powered version too, which will be revealed later in 2021, offering buyers the choice of four- or six-cylinder power. Though unconfirmed It’s likely to be a heavy facelift for the model on sale now.
The electric Macan will be the first Volkswagen Group car based on the new PPE underpinnings. Technical specifications are limited aside from confirmation it will share the same 800V/350kW charging capability as the Taycan. This suggests the Macan will have an equally long range – and, given the extra space under the SUV’s floor for batteries, the line-up could easily feature a 500-kilometre-plus variants.
Like the Taycan, we’re expecting the Macan will be offered with a few different power outputs, as well as both short- and long-range battery packs. Porsche will also probably provide buyers with a choice of either rear- or four-wheel-drive, with the latter being achieved with the addition of an electric motor on the front axle.
Since its introduction in 2014, the Macan has been a huge success for Porsche – the company shifted almost 100,000 in the 2019 fiscal year, though it has fallen behind the Cayenne in the brand’s most recent delivery figures. That success hasn’t deterred the company from radically overhauling the mid-size SUV after only its first iteration.
Dr Steiner, Porsche’s executive board member for R&D told Automotive Daily in 2020: “It is an obligation for us, at Porsche, to think about and work on sporty answers to electric cars.
“The electric Macan will be based on a new electric platform, not a derivative. It was developed jointly with Audi, and is called the PPE. Knowing that there is not a lot of speed in the transition from ICE to electric, we are preparing to have both paths running in parallel.
“For a few years, the internal-combustion-engined Macan of today will be sold in parallel with the new fully electric car,” he told us. “And it depends on the market demand all around the world how long we will have both.”
Dr Steiner also mentioned how the Macan’s new underpinnings could open up the possibility of many more electric variants. He said: “PPE is totally different from the Taycan’s [J1 platform]. That was designed for cars sitting low, the PPE for the Macan is designed for high-floor cars, so there could be [electric] derivatives in the range of SUVs.”