Electrifying the Macan

Porsche’s popular compact SUV, the Macan, is set to become the performance vehicle manufacturer’s second dedicated electric model, showcasing an all new EV platform

It’s not often a carmaker takes an unmistakably successful model and completely rethinks it from the ground up after only one generation.

But that is exactly what Porsche is poised to do, with a radical overhaul of its Macan compact SUV taking place ahead of the model’s second-generation update, due to be unveiled in around 18 months’ time.

The biggest change? The next Porsche Macan is going electric. 

Key to the development of the next Macan as a dedicated electric vehicle is all-new electrical architecture underneath the car, known as Premium Platform Electric (PPE). 

Developed by Porsche in partnership with Audi, PPE is expected to eventually underpin all high-riding Volkswagen Group models, meaning that any brands under the VW umbrella will have the ability to build and launch electric versions of their household name models. The PPE platform is also a different electric platform than what was developed for the Taycan electric sports car, which arrived late last year. 

For Porsche, the Macan EV will build on the statement piece that is the Taycan – the first purely electrically driven sports car from Porsche – taking the same electric mobility message into an ever-popular segment of the new car market; that of the compact SUV. 

So recently did the current Macan arrive within Porsche’s general model line-up though, that the German manufacturer has said it will take the unusual measure of ensuring the current petrol-powered Macan continues to be sold alongside the all-new dedicated electric Macan when the latter goes on sale. 

As a result, don’t expect the electric Macan to look drastically different from the current car. 

The Macan EV’s overall shape and silhouette are unlikely to change much from the car on sale in New Zealand today. But certain design elements that debuted on the Taycan will likely be adopted, such as the blanked-off front-end detailing, identifying the Macan EV as an electric model.  

The Macan EV will likely feature more storage space inside as well, given that eliminating the petrol engine and relying instead on axle-mounted motors and a low-slung battery pack allows for extra cargo volume throughout the car’s cabin. 

Porsche has stated it will be investing more than six billion euros in electric mobility by the time the Macan EV arrives. By 2025 it anticipates 50% of the Porsche model range will be fitted with electric drive system options. That’s not to say ongoing research and development will only be attributed to electric mobility; on the contrary the manufacturer says it will continue to focus on pure petrol and plug-in hybrid models as well. 

In the near future, the Macan and the forthcoming Macan EV will also be joined by a variation on the Taycan: the Taycan Cross Turismo. This will take the electric underpinnings of the recently released sportscar but adapt them into an estate car body style, essentially giving Porsche both it’s third dedicated electric model and its first ever performance station wagon. 

Porsche will manufacture the next generation Macan at the company’s Leipzig factory, which has also been home to Cayenne SUV production since 2002. Porsche has invested billions of euro in the Leipzig factory in order that it be continually developed to become one of the most advanced and sustainable production facilities in the automotive industry. 

When the factory started operations in February 2014, 40,000 units per year of the Macan SUV were planned; today it produces more than 90,000 units annually for global markets. Further expansion has also made it possible for the Panamera to now be fully manufactured in Leipzig also. 

Words by Cameron Officer

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