► New 2022 Porsche Macan spy photos
► There's a pure EV under development
► Engineering chief and CEO spill details
The next Porsche Macan due in 2022 will be something of a one-stop shop for fans of different propulsion technologies: you'll be able to choose one as a full electric SUV, or with petrol and hybrid power.
It's a reflection that Porsche simply isn't ready yet to put all its eggs in one basket. So for now it's hedging its bets, with different powertrains for different markets around the globe.
An expensive option for the manufacturer, perhaps, but one that'll benefit us customers, as we are given ever wider choice of options. Porsche confirmed the all-electric Macan in February 2019 and said it will be built at its Leipzig factory in eastern Germany.
New 2022 Porsche Macan: our first spy photos
These pictures were taken from the Arctic wilds of Scandinavia, as Porsche engineers start testing real mules for the first time.
They're engineering prototypes hiding under the current Macan bodyshell, give or take a bit of hacking around here and there (note how the front air intakes are blanked off). The all-electric version will use 800-volt technology, but this prototype is petrol-powered, according to our cameraman.
The Macan has actually been around since 2014 and the next generation will make more of a stylistic leap forwards, we're told. A recent facelift has kept the Macan at the top of its game - it remains one of the best mid-sized SUVs to drive.
Porsche Macan: our latest review
Why Porsche is developing an all-electric Macan
Engineering chief Dr Michael Steiner (below) told CAR magazine: 'We have started to develop the electrified Macan and it will be based on a new platform - it’s not a derivative of an existing one. It’s been jointly developed with Audi: PPE, standing for Premium Platform Electric.
'With the Macan for some years there will be an ICE [internal combustion engine] Macan, in parallel with a fully electric car. Depending on market demand, we will offer them in parallel.'
This platform talk is important, as it reveals a branch in Porsche's architecture planning. Zuffenhausen intends to offer low-floor and high-riding EVs, which will power a future family of sportier models (Taycan GT, possible electric sports cars) and more practical Porsches (like the Macan and other SUVs).
'PPE is totally different from the Taycan,' Steiner added. 'Taycan was designed for cars sitting low on the road. PPE will be used by Macan and other high-floor cars - there could be further derivatives in the SUV range. It is totally new. The Macan will go all the way up to Turbo and Turbo S levels of performance.'
Will we be able to buy an electric Macan in the UK?
It is not yet clear which markets will take which powertrains, according to the R&D boss. He said it was likely that less developed EV markets, such as Russia and the USA, could continue to take petrol powered Macans, whereas Europe and China could switch to pure electric models.
It puts Porsche in a tricky position, as it must invest in both technologies, a point not lost on CEO Oliver Blume. We asked him when the platform strategies would converge.
‘Not for a few years,' he told CAR magazine. 'We are watching very closely around the world. Different regions of the world are developing at different speeds.
'We are well prepared with the product strategy, petrol engines/hybrids and electric mobility. In 10 years, I don’t know [how that will have changed]. We make analysis every year, how the markets are developing, then we take our decisions for the product strategy year-by-year.'
By mid-decade, Porsche predicts that half of all its cars will be pure electric. Those high-revving four- and six-cylinder engines of yore are under pressure like never before...
Red our full interview with Oliver Blume