Back in February, Porsche announced the next generation of the Porsche Macan crossover—its best-selling vehicle—would go full-electric, abandoning combustion engines completely. New details reveal that instead of a electric conversion hack job, the new Macan will share more with the Porsche Taycan—including its dumb ‘Turbo’ and ‘Turbo S’ designations.
Porsche’s director of SUVs, Julian Baumann, revealed new details about the upcoming electric Macan to Autocar, announcing that it will be built on Audi and Porsche’s shared PPE architecture—an electric vehicle platform derived from the Taycan’s J1 platform that’s designed to be scaled to fit both cars and crossovers.
Porsche claims using the PPE architecture will save it 30 percent of the cost of developing its own completely new architecture.
Despite the models’ differing roles, Baumann said: “There are no real differences in the challenges of developing the Taycan and Macan. The current Macan is not so aerodynamic and we’re working hard on this. It’s the Taycan team working on it. With the Taycan, we haven’t given anything up to get the aerodynamic performance and I’m confident it will be the same for the Macan. The 600kg battery isn’t beneficial to dynamics, but the low centre of gravity is an advantage.”
Being a purpose-built all-electric model, there’s no need to package a conventional powertrain up front, allowing for a lower nose, Baumann added.
“The design of the electric Macan is the next step, but it will be immediately recognisable,” he said, despite it having “no common body structure” with today’s Macan.
Going electric should also be beneficial for the Macan’s performance, considering the current base car’s turbocharged four-cylinder only produces 248 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, which should see some significant improvement with a switch to batteries and motors. From Autocar:
Despite the performance potential of the PPE architecture, which delivers sub-3.0sec 0-62mph with the Taycan, the Macan EV will not be a coupé SUV. Baumann said: “We need to keep the everyday usability. It’s usually the main vehicle in the household.”The electric version will provide four-wheel drive, using a motor to drive each axle. The most powerful version will potentially be able to offer around 700bhp and 750lb ft. The electric Macan will be offered with a variety of power outputs beneath this level, but the two most powerful versions will be badged Turbo and Turbo S, as with the Taycan.
But Porsche isn’t ditching the combustion-engine Macan completely. They’re aware enough to imagine it will take some adjusting to convince buyers to go for an all-electric model, even if its the most affordable, accessible and popular model the company offers.
Porsche will keep selling the “old” combustion-engine Macan for a couple years after the electric model is introduced, just to prevent any major shock to its cash cow. Considering the current Macan has already received a facelift, it’s unclear if the model will undergo anymore bodywork updates now that it has to stretch out past the introduction of its newer, electric twin in 2021.
It’s quite a surprising risk for Porsche to take its best-selling model and push it to be electric only, but the automaker’s goal is that 30-40 percent of the cars it sells will be electric within five years, and this is a very straightforward way of attempting to achieve that.