Update: ‘TopElectricSUV says’ section added.
Porsche Macan EV Design
The first Porsche Macan EV prototypes wear heavy camouflage and carry plenty of disguises to delude onlookers until it’s showtime. The silhouette cannot be masked and so we have a fair idea of the body style and the overall shape of the upcoming Porsche electric car.
The first-gen Porsche Macan, which broke cover in 2013, is a modern-day SUV with a gently sloping roofline. While it will continue alongside the next-gen model until Porsche’s main markets are ready for full-scale EV adoption, the Porsche Macan electric will be an SUV-coupe with a hunchback. The SUV-coupe body style would help in differentiation and achieve better aerodynamics. In addition to a sloping roofline, expect an active spoiler edge on the trunk to improve the airflow for enhanced range.
You can see many of the details mentioned above in the spy video (embedded below) CarSpyMedia captured during winter testing in early 2022. On August 18, 2022, Auto Express published new spy pictures that were captured at the Nurburgring and show slightly revised headlights, lower grille, and side air intakes. These pictures didn’t preview the final design either, though.
Video Source: YouTube/CarSpyMedia
As Porsche is designing the next-gen Macan as an EV from the outset, it is at liberty to make some principle changes to the design that can significantly improve aerodynamics and energy efficiency. For example, it can keep the nose lower. Julian Baumann, Director Sales and Marketing Product Line SUV, Porsche, has told Autocar that the body structure is different from the first-gen Macan and that the Taycan team is working on the aerodynamics.
Porsche is one of the few brands well-known for holding on to its traditions. However, with the EV era calling for radical changes, it has acknowledged the need to break the rules in some aspects. Consider the adoption of a fully digital instrument cluster in the Porsche Taycan, for instance. Similarly, it may introduce a virtual mirror option, a feature that potential customers would expect to see on the ‘everyday’ alternative from the VW Group portfolio – the Audi e-tron Sportback. Sleek virtual mirrors can further reduce aerodynamic drag and add to the range in the race to catch Tesla. The Macan EV would have a rotary gear selector instead of a traditional gearshift lever.
The interior of the Porsche Macan EV should be clean, driver-focused, and highly digital, something Porsche is gradually adopting as it transitions to the EV era, as we noted above. Expect a minimalist and classy design for the dashboard, a curved, fully digital instrument cluster, a large touchscreen infotainment system, and a passenger-side display in the Macan EV.
Spy pictures (via insideevs.de) have revealed a curved instrument cluster. It looks the same as that of the Porsche Taycan, and if that’s indeed the case, it should measure 16.8 inches. Like in the Taycan, Porsche has avoided using a cowl to give that area a slim and contemporary appearance that is comparable to high-end smartphones and tablets. The instrument cluster could feature a real glass and a vapor-deposited, polarizing filter to ensure good visibility even in sunny conditions.
The center console should be a floating piece connected to the dashboard and housing a large touchscreen for the climate control system and comfort functions. This touchscreen could also repeat some of the infotainment system functions, such as navigation and music.
New infotainment system
The Porsche Macan Electric will feature an all-new infotainment system running on Google’s Android Automotive operating system. CARIAD, Volkswagen Group’s software arm, is developing a new vehicle software architecture based on the open-source version of Android Automotive OS. Using the license-free version means that, unlike Volvo Car Group, the German conglomerate won’t include Google’s Play Store in the infotainment system. The company will offer a third-party app store instead.
In 2023, CARIAD will release the premium software stack 1.2 with launches of the electric Porsche Macan and the Audi Q6 e-tron. It will bring a completely new experience to Audi and Porsche vehicles. This platform will feature a new unified infotainment platform based on Android Automotive and the third-party app store, providing you of the access to your favorite entertainment and messaging apps. With 1.2, the first vehicles will be ready to migrate to the all-new Volkswagen Automotive Cloud.Dirk Hilgenberg, CEO, CARIAD (Volkswagen Group New Auto strategy)
The all-new infotainment system should be more advanced than Porsche’s own PCM 6.0 unit. Wireless Apple CarPlay support, wired Android Auto support, natural language understanding for the Voice Pilot voice assistant, and OTA updates are the main new features of the PCM 6.0 infotainment system. Porsche says that the navigation system works faster and displays information more clearly. Moreover, the company has built Apple Music and Apple Podcasts into the PCM, which means more convenient access to more than 75 million songs ad-free and millions of free podcasts. In the future, it plans to offer an adaptive sound function that adjusts to driving style. The E³ 1.2 software should take the experience a notch above.
As Handelsblatt reported on June 7, 2022, CARIAD is facing difficulties that directly affect the launch timeline of the Macan electric vehicle. Various software programs of CARIAD are facing severe delays and have compatibility issues. The quality of these programs is not up to the mark either, as per the report. Amidst finger-pointing and blame among the executives, Volkswagen Group’s Supervisory Board has decided to intervene. In July 2022, Dr. Herbert Diess, former CEO, Volkswagen Group, would present a concept of the solution to the Supervisory Board, the report adds.
Oliver Blume, the CEO of Porsche and also Volkswagen Group, spoke about the improvements planned for future Porsche electric cars at the Porsche Annual Press Conference 2021 held in March 2021. He suggested that future Porsche EVs will have more advanced battery packs that give a longer range and offer charging at even higher power than the current 350 kW (Taycan/Taycan Cross Turismo). He said:
For the pure e-vehicles, it (advancements in the future) will be about advanced batteries with high energy and power density in the future with quicker charging and longer ranges. The e-motors and power electronics will be even more powerful and efficient in the future. Porsche today is worldwide leading in quick-charging. We also see further development potential in this area.Oliver Blume, CEO, Porsche and Volkswagen Group
In his presentation, Blume said that the company would focus on what strengthens and differentiates it. “It is about five criteria(s): distinctive design, the Porsche-typical performance, and our high aspiration for quality,” Blume said. “But also sporty traveling by quick-charging and the driver experience play an important role.” These characteristics would be amply clear on the incoming Porsche Macan Electric.
By the time the all-electric Macan is launched, it will have covered some three million test kilometers worldwide in varying conditions. The prototypes are able to incorporate the experience gained from countless previous test kilometers – driven in a virtual space, Porsche said on May 10, 2021.
The Porsche Macan Electric will ride on the brand-new dedicated EV platform for luxury models called Premium Platform Electric (PPE) or PPE-Architektur in German. Porsche and Audi are jointly developing this platform, and at least three Audi models are planned on it, including the Macan’s technical cousin called the Audi Q6 e-tron and the Audi A6 e-tron. Unlike other VW Group brands, Porsche isn’t converting existing ICE platforms for EVs. “There’s always some compromise in weight, package, and other dimensions,” says Michael Steiner, the company’s Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development, according to Autocar‘s report dated May 9, 2022.
PPE is developed exclusively for premium EVs. It is similar to MEB, short for Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten in German, but allows better outputs and new technologies and thus higher performance levels.
Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Executive Board Finance and IT, Porsche, has told Autocar that utilizing the PPE platform instead of developing a new in-house platform provides 30% cost savings.
Porsche Macan EV Range
If there’s feedback Porsche has taken seriously from the Taycan customers, it’s the lack of confidence-inspiring range. Steiner has told journalists that the Macan Electric range will be “significantly more” than the Taycan range, as per a report from cnet.com.
The Porsche Macan Electric range will exceed the Porsche Taycan range, which is up to 504 km or 313 miles (WLTP), depending on the configuration. So, the targeted maximum figure could be around 550 km or 341.7 miles (WLTP). Steiner suggested that two battery pack options are likely to be offered, and at least the bigger unit is likely to be available in the USA and Canada. From Audi’s annual report for 2020, we know that Volkswagen Group targets a range of over 600 km (WLTP) with the PPE platform that will debut in the Porsche Macan Electric.
Citing Baumann, the report from Autocar mentioned above says that the battery pack of the Porsche Macan EV weighs 600 kg (1,323 lbs). The capacity could be well above 100 kWh, and according to a report from Automobilwoche, Porsche will source the battery packs of the Macan EV from Draxlmaier. The German automotive supplier currently makes the battery packs of the Taycan at its 100,000 sq. ft. local factory in Sachsenheim, near Stuttgart, which it opened in 2019.
One electric motor in the rear is standard in PPE models. As an option, it is possible to offer a second electric motor at the front axle (PSM or ASM), effectively unlocking an eAWD layout. The maximum system voltage is double that of MEB – 800 volts, enabling a significantly higher charging capacity of 350 kW.
While the Porsche Macan Electric won’t match the Taycan in performance parameters, it would be quicker than the gasoline-powered version. Initially, we expect a top-end Turbo variant offering more than 500 horsepower, and a year later, a Turbo S variant with more than 600 horsepower on tap could join the range. For reference, the first-gen Porsche Macan maxes out at 434 horsepower (Turbo variant).
Steiner stated that testing was on to make the Macan EV the sportiest model in its segment with “repeatable best-in-class performance figures,” according to the Autocar report we referred to in the ‘Platform’ section of this article.
Exclusive charging stations
Porsche has a tie-up with Ionity but is setting up exclusive charging stations that cater to only Porsche customers. The exclusive Porsche charging station network supplements the Ionity outlets and offers consumers a unique experience as they plug in their premium Porsche electric sports cars and SUVs.
By 2025, the number Ionity sites is planned to increase to 1,000. The perspective is to increase availability to more than 7,000 charging points. In addition, we plan to develop our own Porsche charging infrastructure. The high-power charging locations exclusively for Porsche customers are to supplement the Ionity network.Oliver Blume, CEO, Porsche and Volkswagen Group (Porsche Annual Press Conference 2022 on March 18, 2022)
Porsche plans to setup its charging stations along main traffic routes and highways in Europe. With up to 12 charging points at each charging station, the plugs will offer a charging power of at least 350 kW. The first location is coming up in Germany around the end of 2022. The company hasn’t confirmed, but it should expand the charging network to the U.S. and Canada in 2023, just in time for the Porsche Macan EV launch.
We will set up these sites along main traffic routes and motorways in Europe. The plan is to have up to 12 charging points per station offering charging power of 350 kW and more and we plan to open the first station in Southern Germany at the turn of the year.Oliver Blume, CEO, Porsche and Volkswagen Group (Porsche Annual Press Conference 2022 on March 18, 2022)
Production of the Porsche Macan EV will be held at the Porsche Leipzig plant in Germany. On September 14, 2020, Porsche announced that preparations for manufacturing the next Porsche electric car have begun. On July 18, 2022, Automobilwoche reported that the Leipzig plant should be ready to manufacture the Macan EV in mid-2023.
On August 20, 2022, Porsche celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Porsche Leipzig plant and said that a new body shop has been built for the Macan Electric at the facility. On August 21, 2022, Automobilwoche reported Albrecht Reimold stating that the company will continue making the current, gas-powered Macan alongside the next-gen, electric Macan for around two years. Reimold is the Executive Board Member for Production and Logistics at Porsche and the Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche Leipzig.
Reimold has said that Porsche makes more than 80,000 units of the current Macan annually. It is planning the same level of volume for next-gen Macan (EV) in the long term. It will start building the electric model in 2023, the German publication reported.
Porsche had announced in May 2021 that the all-electric Macan would be on the roads in 2023. At the company’s 2022 Capital Markets Day event on July 18, 2022, Blume revealed that the latest plan is to conduct the Macan Electric launch in 2024, Automobilwoche reported the same day. In other words, the Macan Electric launch is officially facing a delay of about one year.
The issues at CARIAD are holding back the Macan EV project. Automobilwoche says that Porsche originally planned to use the E3 2.0 software, but now it has decided to employ the E3 1.2 software. However, even the less advanced version is proving to be a challenge.
Discussing Volkswagen Group’s Q1 2022 results and the company’s outlook for the future on May 4, 2022 (via YouTube), Dr. Diess said that E3 1.2 development is “hugely complex.” It is and will continue to be a challenge within the next months, the former Volkswagen Group CEO said.
It’s (E3 1.2 is) more complex than 1.1 was, far more complex, but I can tell you that the teams are really focused on the launches and we are confident that we can launch the cars as planned next years.Dr. Herbert Diess, former CEO, Volkswagen Group (Investor and Analyst Conference Call Q1 2022 on May 4, 2022)
Porsche electrification goals
In 2021, almost 40% of Porsche’s global sales came from electrified vehicles (PHEVs and BEVs). Sales of the Taycan more than doubled from 2020 to 41,296 units and overtook 911 even though it set a new record (with 38,464 units). The electric sedan lost the lead in H1 2022, with 18,877 units sold while the 911 saw 21,616 deliveries. Porsche has set an ambitious goal of converting more than 80% of its sales to EVs by 2030.
In 2025, around half of all new Porsches sold should be electrified – i.e., fully electric or plug-in hybrids. In 2030, the share of all new vehicles with a fully electric drive should be more than 80%. For the all-electric Macan, preparations are currently underway. To this end, we want to hybridize the 911 in the form of a very sporty variant as we know it from motorsport.Oliver Blume, CEO, Porsche and Volkswagen Group (Porsche Annual Press Conference 2022 on March 18, 2022)
The Macan is one of Porsche’s most popular models worldwide (#2 in H1 2022). The first-ever Macan EV could be a big hit in China and the USA, the company’s two largest single markets worldwide, and even in European countries. Even though it’s battling software issues currently and thus facing a delay in launch, when it’s ready and finally goes on sale in 2024, the Macan EV could start selling in six-digit figures annually and cause a huge growth spurt in Porsche’s business. For customers, the Macan EV would be a fresh, higher quality, and comfortably conventional alternative to the Tesla Model Y. Customers buy the Macan over Audi’s Q5 for its better performance (in addition to quality), and the PPE architecture goes hand in glove with that requirement.
Porsche Macan Electric FAQs
What is the Porsche Macan Electric release date?
The new electric Porsche Macan will launch in 2024. Expect it in the U.S. market the same year.
What are the Porsche Macan EV rivals?
What will be the Porsche Macan EV price?
The Porsche Macan electric will likely cost around $80,000 onwards in the United States.
Featured image: Porsche