► Porsche confirms electric Macan
► Pure EV to sit alongside engine variants
► Engineering chief and CEO spill details
The new Porsche Macan will be the last to have an internal combustion engine, with the final cars anticipated to roll off production lines as soon as 2024. However, Porsche has confirmed the electric variant will be ready for 2023.
The fact that electric and ICE cars will overlap is 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 an ever wider choice of powertrains. Porsche confirmed the all-electric Macan in February 2019 and said it will be built at its Leipzig factory in eastern Germany.
Porsche has revealed details of the new electric Macan for 2023, with some images of the car testing under camouflage. Aerodynamicists have been working with digital prototype designs for around four years now, with low drag for the EV being 'fundamental, with a view to ensuring long range,' said Andreas Huber, Porsche's manager for digital prototypes.
While most of the new e-Macan is masked, you can see lights similar to the Taycan inset high into the front end, despite Porsche's arguably crude attempts at hiding them.
The existing Macan, which shared parts of its architecture with its Audi Q5 cousin, 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.
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. If that is the case, expect Porsche's new electric Macan to remain on its sales target of 2023.
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...
Read our full interview with Oliver Blume