Porsche just released new pictures of its upcoming fully electric Macan sports utility vehicle, a high-performance sports car under the Volkswagen Group, which previously said it plans to go all-electric in the coming years.
The first official images of the next Macan SUV are mostly of a prototype being used for testing by Porsche engineers. The vehicle retains some of the profile of the current model but is covered with camouflage and a Safari-spec LED roof bar. The roof bar is presumably there to help engineers test the vehicle around the clock.
Porsche previously said the new upcoming fully-electric Macan, which it expects to release in 2023, will be using its new Premium Platform Electric architecture. Porsche is developing the platform with its corporate sibling, Audi.
The next #porsche Macan (due 2023) will be electric only. The SUV, which is the brand's biggest seller worldwide, will be built on an 800V 'PPE' platform developed with Audi. It's currently undergoing endurance testing with camouflage. Battery spec TBA. Roof lights, anyone? pic.twitter.com/mFZMbY2MlO — ️Electrifying.com (@ElectrifyingCom) May 11, 2021
If the upcoming Porsche Macan will be using the same platform, experts said its drivetrain could be similar to Audi's recently unveiled PPE-derived electric vehicles, the 2023 Audi A6 e-Tron. Audi's electric sedan features an electric drivetrain with an output of 469 horsepower and 800 foot-pounds of torque.
Ars Technica said it was told by Porsche via an email that the company plans to build 20 separate digital prototypes. Each prototype will be given to different departments for simulation purposes. The first prototype was given to the aerodynamics department, which came up with the car's overall shape.
"We regularly collate the data from the various departments and use it to build up a complete, virtual vehicle that is as detailed as possible," Porsche's manager for digital prototypes, Dr. Andreas Huber, said.
While most companies are fully shifting to electric, Porsche is reportedly not yet ready to give up gasoline just yet. Porsche said it plans to release a version of the Macan model with a conventional gasoline engine before the launch of the fully-electric version.
"In Europe, demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, but the pace of change varies considerably across the world. That's why we're going to launch another conventionally powered successor to the current Macan in the course of 2021," Porsche said.
Porsche initially launched the Macan in 2016. The crossover SUV quickly became one of the brand's best-selling products. The company released a mid-life refresh in 2019.