With the development of their inaugural fully electric car project now behind them, Porsche can now start looking at other ways to leverage their fresh EV tech. It’s so far been a terribly kept secret that the Macan, their smallest SUV and most popular model, is ripe for the switch away from internal combustion.
Many reports and even some industry hints pointed at the same, but most recently confirmation has come from Julian Baumann, director of the Zuffenhausen automaker’s SUV arm, that the next-generation Macan will indeed sport an electric powertrain and is due to arrive in 2021.
The nod came during an interview with Autocar, and also revealed that the Taycan’s electric vehicle platform and propulsion tech will be carried over into this next-gen Macan, the canonical successor to the present-day version, with some necessary modifications in tow.
In higher-end variants, this translates to a dual-motor setup for over 500kW and 1,000Nm of torque spread over all four wheels, likely delivering a sub-3.0 second 0-100km/h acceleration time while maintaining daily drivability and comfort levels.
While the Taycan’s J1 platform is more or less reserved for Porsche and Audi’s needs, the new Premium Platform Electric architecture being readied by the Volkswagen Group for broader application uses many of its innovations. And among the first models to deploy it will be the next-gen Macan.
However, while the EV model will clearly be the tip of the spear, the existing combustion-powered Macan will continue to be sold alongside it to ease the transition process as shifting to an exclusively all-electric range would be too jarring. Naturally, the SUV will receive numerous updates to keep it competitive against rivals.
The duality of having an electric Macan and a legacy version alongside it is a little strange, especially for a company as seemingly logical as Porsche. However, this could be waved away as the same approach used currently between the Panamera and Taycan, two cars of broadly similar size, shape, and ability, chiefly differentiated by their approach to propulsion.
Like the Taycan, Porsche still seems intent on badging higher performance variants of the upcoming electric Macan as 'Turbo' and 'Turbo S', much to this writer’s confusion. It’s possible that a Macan Turbo is a nameplate that will exist in both the EV and combustion-powered Macans during this planned transition period.
It is slated for an approximate 2 years while the market warms to a fully electric range and the infrastructure for EVs continues to expand. However, this will also vary between regions as the EV adoption continues to be rather slow outside North America, western Europe and certain Asian countries such as Japan and China.