Camouflaged prototypes of the all-electric Macan have now left the factory for the first time after initial test drives at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach. Porsche also announced that the e-Macan will be launched in 2023.
As before, Porsche makes no statements in the press release about the start of production of the electric Macan, which as reported will be built in Leipzig, but it is likely to be in the course of 2022. Production of the Audi Q6 e-tron electric SUV, which is also based on the PPE, is also scheduled to start next year at Audi’s main plant in Ingolstadt.
For the electric Macan, Porsche has primarily relied on virtual test drives in the development process to date. “Testing in a real-life environment is now getting underway – one of the most important milestones in the development process,” says Chief Development Officer Michael Steiner. With digital testing, Porsche says it not only wants to save time and money, but also protect the environment – fewer prototypes have to be built and fewer kilometres driven.
According to Porsche, there are 20 digital prototypes for simulations in the various development categories such as aerodynamics, energy management, operation or acoustics. The aerodynamicists have been working on the digital model for four years in order to reduce air resistance in favour of range. Cooling also plays an important role in the airflow over and through the vehicle; not only is the temperature window of the electric motor components different compared to the combustion engine (20° to 70°, instead of 90° to 120 degrees Celsius), but also the distribution in the car. Whereas with the combustion engine the temperature peaks occur while driving, with the electric car rapid charging while stationary is one of the situations in which the cooling must be optimally regulated.
The first prototypes were then built on the basis of the digitally acquired data. “Endurance testing on closed-off testing facilities and public roads in real-life conditions is still indispensable to ensure that the vehicle structure, operational stability and reliability of hardware, software and all functions meet our high quality standards,” says Steiner.
Porsche had already built a new body shop for production in Leipzig last year. During the summer break, the final assembly line was also adapted for the production of electric cars. In October, the supplier Dräxlmaier also celebrated the topping-out ceremony for the battery assembly in Leipzig. As with the Taycan in Zuffenhausen, the supplier assembles the batteries near the plant and delivers them to the assembly line.
Before the all-electric Macan is launched, Porsche will present another successor model to the current Macan with a conventional drive later this year – presumably an extensive facelift of the current model series. The new Macan models with combustion engine are to be offered in parallel to the all-electric Macan in the future. “In Europe, demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, but the pace of change varies considerably across the world,” says Steiner.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.