Porsche made a bold announcement recently regarding its entry-level SUV, the Macan. The next-gen Porsche Macan will feature an electric drivetrain, dropping internal combustion from its range of engines entirely.
Nowadays, any automobile is cleared for production once the manufacturer has researched and surveyed the target customer base. Recent reveals such as the Audi e-Tron, Mercedes-Benz EQC, and Jaguar I-Pace have spurred a lot of manufacturers around the globe to enter the segment in double time.
Porsche is quite far ahead in its electrification strategy, part of parent firm Volkswagen’s ambitious Roadmap E project. Its first electric car, the Taycan super saloon, is nearing its global debut and hasÂ already been snapped on racetracks, snowy trails, and backroads around Europe. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo will follow up Taycan.
This still leaves Porsche with a void in its electrified lineup: an SUV. The Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar cars mentioned earlier are all SUVs (or crossovers, if you will). Porsche could electrify the Cayenne, but such a project would put a considerable strain on the company’s time and resources. Switching a car from its existing IC architecture to electric involves a massive redesign of chassis, components, and ancillary systems, not to mention the interiors as well.
This quandary can be bypassed if Porsche were to possess a modular electric car platform capable of underpinning a compact SUV. Since Porsche and Audi are part of the same holding company, they can share platforms, and even jointly develop one. Indeed, PPE (Premium Platform Electric), the Porsche Taycan’s underpinnings is a result of Audi and Porsche’s collaboration. However, it is only meant for low-riding performance electric cars.
Porsche is likely to leverage the Audi e-Tron SUV’s platform for its own development of an electric SUV. And the Macan fits the bill perfectly with its compact dimensions and dimensional similarity with the e-Tron. Porsche recently outfitted its Leipzig facility to seamlessly handle production of both electric and conventional vehicles on a single assembly line.
â€śElectromobility and Porsche go together perfectly; not just because they share a high-efficiency approach, but especially because of their sporty character,â€ť comments Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Board of Management of Porsche AG. â€śBy 2022 we will be investing more than six billion euros in electric mobility, and by 2025, 50 per cent of all new Porsche vehicles could have an electric drive system.
“Nevertheless, over the next ten years we will focus on a drive mix consisting of even further optimised petrol engines, plug-in hybrid models, and purely electrically operated sports cars. Our aim is to take a pioneering role in technology, and for this reason, we will continue to consistently align the company with the mobility of the future.â€ť
A ray of hope we can glean from Blume’s comments is that Porsche is not ditching petrol engines entirely in its pursuit of electrification. This is sure to mean that some blistering conventional, hybrid, as well as purely electric cars are on their way, assailing the world from Stuttgart over the coming decade.
Look for the Porsche Macan EV to bow sometime in late 2020 as a 2021 model.