With production rumored to begin next year, Porsche has been on the road to building a new all-electric Macan for a long time by now. This attempt at a world-beating EV crossover is Porsche firing across the bow of the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Jointly developed with Volkswagen, the new Macan will ride on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), and has the potential to be the best selling Porsche of all time. It’s an ambitious project from Porsche as it is said the Macan electric will offer at least 300 miles of EPA-rated range, and will have the capacity to charge quickly with the same 270 kW onboard charger as the Taycan. Also like the Taycan, the Macan will be offered with two different battery sizes to offer customers choices between range/weight and price.
On Monday Porsche said it was ready to begin on-road testing of the new Macan. It has already spent likely several thousand miles of testing and development on the private proving grounds around the Porsche Development Center in Weissach, but now, wrapped in camouflage, the CUVs will take to the streets. Porsche calls this step “one of the most important milestones in the development process.” By the time it reaches the public in 2023, the Macan EV will have covered around 1.8 million miles of testing.
Interestingly, Porsche is also incorporating thousands of hours of digital development and testing, which saves resources, time and costs. Rather than driving real prototypes in meat space, engineers can test and develop computational models to accurately replicate on-road issues. Porsche has twenty such digital prototypes used to simulate development of the real car, working on aerodynamics, energy management, and interior acoustics.
“We regularly collate the data from the various departments and use it to build up a complete, virtual vehicle that is as detailed as possible,” explains Dr Andreas Huber, Manager for digital prototypes at Porsche.
“We started with a flow-around model when the project first started about four years ago,” reports Dr Thomas Wiegand, Director of aerodynamics development. “The digital world is indispensable to the development of the all-electric Macan.”
As with any new Porsche, the goal with the electric Macan is to be the sportiest model in the segment. Based on the fact that Tesla already has a Model Y Performance, and Ford is currently releasing the Mustang Mach-E GT, there will be some serious competition in this space, and that’s before we get to newcomers from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and half a dozen others. If the Taycan is any indication of how serious Porsche takes its EV driving experience, then the new Macan EV will be extremely good from the off.
Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development, specifically called out developmental goals of the Macan EV as being daily-useable range, high performance fast charging, and repeatable best-in-class performance figures. If that includes metrics such as 0-60 times, the Macan EV will have to top the Model Y Performance, which can knock down a 3.5-second sprint. The upcoming Mach-E GT is said to be able to do exactly the same time. Of course, acceleration isn’t the only metric of a good EV, and Porsche understands that better than anyone. I’d be surprised if Porsche built a new Macan that couldn’t best the current Macan in every way. Heck, the new electric Macan will probably need to set a pretty solid Nürburgring lap time for Porsche to be satisfied.
In an interesting move, Porsche will continue to offer an updated version of its current Macan for at least a few years to come, selling it alongside the new electric version. The Macan Classic is getting a facelift this year to continue its trend as the best selling Porsche of all time. You’ll have a choice between electric and conventional internal combustion Macans, but they won’t be riding on the same platform.