New Porsche Macan EV previewed in design model

Porsche is getting ready to launch its next pivotal new model: the next generation, all-electric Macan, first revealed by Autocar in October 2018. 

After spyshots circulated last month, Porsche has now previewed the model by showing off a clay design model. It’s visible in the background of a recently released ‘Porsche Unseen’ gallery, previewing recent concept cars that never saw the light of day.  The images of the Macan have now been deleted, however. 

Although not an extensive view of the new Macan, the clay model clearly shows a familiar evolution of today’s SUV. Slimmed-down headlights are visible, alongside the lack of any physical grille bar a lower intake. The roofline also appears to be lower and more coupe-like than today’s car. There’s no view of the rear, unfortunately. 

Speaking to Autocar at last year’s Frankfurt motor show, Porsche’s director of SUVs, Julian Baumann, confirmed that the existing, internal combustion-engined Macan will remain on sale alongside the new Macan during a transitional phase. The offering will broadly mirror that offered by the Taycan/Panamera duo.

The electric Macan will arrive in 2021 and initially be a high-performance model in the mould of the Taycan, carrying the same Turbo badging to identify it as the top-of-the-range version. The current Macan will be offered alongside it partly because “some customers are not ready for EVs,” said Baumann. “So there will be two different cars.”

Substantially different, in fact: the electric Macan will be based on an evolved version of the platform used for the new Taycan.

It will be based on the Volkswagen Group’s new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture, developed from the Taycan’s J1 platform to allow the physical flexibility required when low-slung GTs and high-riding SUVs share the same hardware.

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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, though Porsche will want to keep some performance distance between it and the Taycan. 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.

Besides offering excellent on-road handling, the high degree of precision provided by electronic control of the motors and the wheels should enable the Macan EV to be very effective off road.

Meschke, meanwhile, predicts that Porsche may make the current lithium ion batteries 20-25% more efficient but “the next big step is solidstate” batteries, which for the same output as today’s could be half the weight. However, these are “five to seven years from industrialisation”.