► The next generation of McCann switches to electricity
► Various types of gasoline will continue to be offered
► Head of Engineering and CEO leak details
The next generation of Porsche’s Macan will be the last to be powered by an internal combustion engine. Final gasoline-powered models will roll off the production line in 2024 – although the company has confirmed that the electric Macan will go on sale in 2023.
Porsche’s decision to sell an electric version of the new Macan alongside ICE-powered models shows that the brand is not ready to throw its full weight behind all-electric. The company recognizes that electrification is not yet for everyone, so it will allocate McCann electric sales to markets that are more willing to accept it.
This is an expensive move for Porsche as a manufacturer – but it will benefit us as customers, as we offer a wider choice of powertrains. Porsche confirmed the all-electric Macan in February 2019, and said it would be built at its plant in Leipzig, eastern Germany.
Over the past few years, Porsche has been feeding information about the Macan electric car – and these tales have been collected by our spy photographers, who now regularly capture prototypes undergoing development tests.
The cars in our spy shots are still dressed in camouflage, but you can see some similarities between the new SUV and the Taycan, as Porsche defines the design language for its EV range. The headlights resemble the shape of the Taycan, and the car’s clean surface shows that the company’s engineers have adopted the same focus on aerodynamics.
Andreas Huber, director of digital prototyping at Porsche, tells us that his team has been out of Macan aerodynamics in the virtual world for about five years. He said the electric model’s low drag is “essential, with the goal of ensuring low range.”
Why is Porsche interested in the all-electric Macan?
It’s just a good job. All the major sports car brands have jumped on the cart — and it looks like the cart is going straight to the bank. Even Lotus, the company best known for its focus on simple, lightweight engineering, decided that electric SUVs made financial sense. The 132 SUV will debut in 2022 – and Porsche wants a piece of the pie.
Naturally, Porsche did not specify its intentions so curtly. Instead, the company’s head of engineering, Dr. Michael Steiner, covered some of the details of the McCann’s electric underpinnings, saying: ‘We’ve started developing the electrified McCann and it will be based on a new platform – it’s not derived from an existing platform. Developed jointly with Audi: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which is an acronym for Premium Platform Electric.
The new chassis continues the collaboration between Porsche and Audi on electric vehicles, as the platform will also be used to support the new Audi Q6 e-tron, which is due to be launched later this year. It’s very different from the J1 platform under the Taycan and e-tron GT twins, too.
This platform talk is significant, as it reveals a branch in Porsche engineering planning. Zuffenhausen intends to offer low-floor, high-ride electric cars, which will power a future family of sports models (the Taycan GT, the potential electric sports car) and more practical Porsche cars (like the Macan and other SUVs).
“Personal protective equipment is completely different from the Taycan,” Steiner added. Taycan is designed for cars that are located at a lower altitude on the road. PPE will be used by McCann and other high-floor vehicles – there may be more derivatives in the SUV lineup. It is completely new. The Macan will go for the Turbo and Turbo S performance levels.
Steiner also reaffirmed Porsche’s short-term commitment to combustion power, saying: “With the Macan for several years there will be an ICE engine. [internal combustion engine] Macan parallel to an all-electric car. Depending on market demand, we will offer them in parallel.
But will I be able to buy an electric Macan in the UK?
Porsche hasn’t told us yet. The company is still deciding which markets to take which range of engines — although Steiner told us that less-developed electric vehicle markets, such as the USA, will stick to gasoline power for the time being.
It is likely that regions such as Europe and China, which have a relatively high capacity for electric vehicles (and the infrastructure to support them), will switch to an EV model soon. The UK will likely be integrated into this category, with sales likely to start as soon as 2023.
This decision puts Porsche in a difficult position, although it is forced to invest in both technologies – a point not lost on the brand’s CEO, Oliver Blume. We asked him when his company’s platform strategies would converge.
He told us: Not for a few years. We are watching closely around the world. Different regions of the world develop at different speeds.
We are well prepared for the product strategy, petrol/hybrid engines and electric mobility. 10 years later, I don’t know [how that will have changed]. We do an analysis every year, how the markets are evolving, and then make our decisions on product strategy year after year.
By 2025, Porsche expects half of its sales to come from pure electric cars, which means that the brand’s high-speed four- or six-cylinder engines will soon be in the chopping stage. So, petroleum, place your orders now while you still can.
Read our full interview with Oliver Bloom