Porsche, like the rest of the Volkswagen family, is making a big commitment to go all-electric — and its offering a first look at its next battery model, the Macan EV.
Due to reach showrooms in 2023, the Porsche Macan EV is intended to be “the sportiest model in its segment,” said the automaker’s R&D chief Michael Steiner.
“Like the Taycan, the all-electric Macan, with its 800-volt architecture will offer typical Porsche E-Performance,” Steiner added in a statement.
A plus-one option
For those not quite ready to make the jump to battery power, the Macan EV will supplement, rather than replace, the gas-powered version of the SUV. All variants will undergo a complete makeover for 2023, and Porsche plans to reveal more later this year.
The Macan EV won’t be just an SUV-bodied version of the Taycan, Porsche’s first all-electric model. The SUV will be the first product from the Volkswagen Group to ride on the new PPE, or Premium Platform Electric, architecture developed jointly with Audi. (That brand will use the new platform for models like the all-electric version of the A6 sedan now under development.)
The PPE architecture will offer a number of advantages compared to the platform used for Taycan, according to Porsche and VW officials, as well as the MEB architecture underpinning less expensive Group products, such as the Volkswagen ID.4. Among other things, it will allow torque vectoring and a broader range of powertrain configurations.
Like Taycan, however, PPE will also run at 800 volts, twice what most of today’s BEVs operate at. This is a more expensive approach but has numerous advantages, including faster charging. The Taycan can go from a 10% to 80% “state-of-charge” in less than 30 minutes using a 350 kilowatt public charger. Macan EV is expected to come in with a similar number.
The precise time for charging, however, will depend upon the size of the SUV’s pack and the PPE platform was designed to provide space for enough batteries to deliver range in excess of 300 miles between charges. Like other VW Group products, the Macan EV is likely to offer buyers a choice of different battery pack sizes and motor configurations, depending upon the market. Only the longest-range version is likely to reach the U.S., though, according to Steiner.
Second-gen Macan gets an extensive makeover
The Macan was launched in 2014, offering Porsche buyers a smaller alternative to the brand’s original SUV, the Cayenne. While the automaker took a hit last year due to the pandemic, it sold nearly 100,000 Macans in 2019.
The new Macan line, including both the EV and conventional models, will undergo a significant makeover for the second generation. The nose will be more streamlined, with sleeker headlights and a revised bumper. The look pays subtle homage to the Taycan EV. The roofline also is expected to be more coupe-like.
There are plenty of unanswered questions, including not only price but on-sale date. The U.S. version of the Macan EV isn’t expected to reach showrooms until mid to late 2023 as a 2024 model.
There had been some expectations that Porsche would completely abandon the gas-powered version of the Macan. While electric propulsion might be the long-term direction, the automaker stressed it will take time to get there. “Demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, but the pace of change varies considerably across the world. That’s why we’re going to launch another conventionally powered evolution of the current Macan in the course of 2021,” said Steiner.
The updated gas model, he added, “will be offered alongside the all-electric Macan in the future to meet different customer demands.”