Porsche’s mid-size Macan SUV is the company’s best-selling
vehicle, with 90,000 finding homes in 2018. So the news that the next
generation, due in the early 2020s, will be electric-only serves to illustrate
how serious Porsche is about zero-emissions technology.
A release date for the new Porsche Macan is to be confirmed,
but production should begin at the Leipzig plant a couple of years after the
launch of the Taycan, due in late 2019. By 2022 Porsche will be investing more
than six billion euros into EV technology, and that by 2025, 50% of the
vehicles in its range could have an electric drive system of some sort.
So far Porsche hasn’t released any imagery of the new electric Macan – but designing an electric version of their best-selling model isn’t simply a question of swapping a petrol engine for an electric motor. The new EV Macan will be based on the Premium Platform Electric architecture which Porsche is developing in tandem with Audi.
Electric motors take up less space than internal combustion engines, and the heaviest component of an EV, the battery, is usually located low down, so the omens are good for a spacious SUV with a low centre of gravity and sensational performance. As with the Taycan, the expectation is that the new Macan will bear an evolutionary resemblance to the highly successful model it will replace.
The EV Macan will be the third all-electric Porsche after the Taycan and the Taycan Sport Turismo, so we can expect a similar package based around an 800 Volt system powering two electric motors for all-wheel drive traction and performance. In the Taycan, the combined output of the two motors is equivalent to around 600PS, giving 0-62mph in around 3.5 seconds. The Macan, being an SUV, may well be a little larger and heavier than the Taycan but we could confidently assume it will still easily hit the benchmark in less than four seconds.
Range is an unknown too (the Taycan’s range is expected to be over 310 miles) but of equal importance is the speed of recharging. Porsche is investing heavily in the Ionity joint venture to build 400 high-power charging stations with a capacity of 350kW per charging point across Europe by the end of 2019. This could enable to Macan EV to replenish its batteries with up to 250 miles extra range within a few minutes, close to the speed with which a petrol tank can be refilled.
The imminent arrival of the new Taycan and Taycan Sport Turismo, the first all-electric models in the Porsche range, will give us an insight into the sensational performance and appeal of Porsche zero-emissions motoring. The next generation Macan represents a logical next step and the technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Meanwhile it’s less than a year since the latest generation Macan was launched, so there’s lots to enjoy in the current range.