Porsche Planning New Platforms For Electric Macan & Boxster/Cayman Twins

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The best decision Porsche ever made was to introduce the Cayenne. It broke all the rules. Up until that point, Porsche sold only sports cars, most of them with air-cooled 4 and 6 cylinder boxer-type engines mounted at the rear. The Cayenne was clearly a family-oriented SUV with a water-cooled V8 engine mounted in the front.

The Cayenne quickly became the best selling Porsche model and was followed by the slightly smaller Macan and Porsche’s first premium 4 door sedan, the Panamera. Along the way, the company introduced more affordable alternatives to the classic 911 — a droptop version called the Boxster and a coupe version called the Cayman.

Porsche Macan EV prototypes testing in Germany. Photo courtesy of Porsche.
Porsche Macan EV prototypes testing in Germany. Photo courtesy of Porsche.

Then, in 2015, Porsche announced it was developing its first all-electric car, which it dubbed the Mission E. That car eventually went into production as the Taycan. But what of the rest of the lineup? Porsche originally thought it would just add plug-in hybrid powertrains to its existing models, but the EV revolution quickly picked up speed, surprising every CEO in the industry except Elon Musk.

Macan Electric Goes On Sale In 2023

Now, Porsche is busy putting the finishing touches on its new Premium Performance Electric (PPE) battery electric platform, which will form the basis of a battery electric version of the Macan (and various other electric cars from Volkswagen Group). The electric Macan is expected to go on sale in 2023 and will have “significantly more [range] than the Taycan,” Michael Steiner, the executive board member in charge of research and development, told the motoring press last week.

The Taycan has been criticized for having lower than expected range, with EPA numbers just over 200 miles. Several magazines have tested the Taycan and found the car has substantially more range in real-world driving. Nevertheless, Porsche is taking no chances and will make sure the electric Macan has all the range most drivers will ever need. “We learned range and range anxiety is an issue in some markets,” Steiner said.

Porsche Macan EV prototype testing in Germany. Consumer vehicle supposed to come to market in 2023. Photo courtesy of Porsche.
Porsche Macan EV prototypes in Germany. Photo courtesy of Porsche.

“The 800-volt architecture is taken from the Taycan and we’ll bring this to the PPE platform for the Macan,” according to Steiner. The Taycan offers two battery sizes, either 79.2-kWh or 93.4-kWh. The Macan will also offer customers a choice of two batteries, but not necessarily in all markets. “Technically, we are prepared for two battery sizes, but we learned … most customers look for the bigger range,” Steiner said. “Most probably we will look at least in the North American market for having one, and this would be the bigger battery.”

When the car gets here, it may or may not be called Macan. The company is introducing a refreshed version of the gasoline-powered car soon, which will continue to be sold throughout the normal lifecycle for conventional cars, which is approximately seven years. “We call it internally Macan electric,” Steiner said. “The final decision whether it will be [named] Macan in the market is not decided today. By 2030, Porsche expects 80% of the cars it sells will be battery electrics or plug-in hybrids.” The electric Macan — whatever it is called — may or may not look like its gas-powered sibling.

Digital prototype of Porsche Macan EV. Photo courtesy of Porsche.
Porsche Macan EV prototype in Germany with batteries and stuff stuffed in the back. Photo courtesy of Porsche.
Porsche Macan EV prototypes testing in Germany. Photo courtesy of Porsche.

Electric Boxster & Cayman In The Works

That means Porsche needs to bring electric powertrains to its other models. According to Car and Driver, a concept version of the battery-electric Boxster is expected soon. Porsche first began planning for an electric Boxster way back in 2011, but the weight of the batteries has always been a problem. A Porsche sports car is supposed to be lithe and agile, not an updated version of the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton designed by Ferdinand Porsche and introduced in 1898.

Very little is known about the electric Boxster, and apparently the company has yet to decide whether to actually put the car into production. But last year, it did say the car, if there is one, would be built on yet another new electric car chassis, not the PPE used by the Macan or the MEB platform used by so many ID-branded cars from Volkswagen.

Whenever an electric Boxster and Cayman appear, they will be true to the company’s sports car roots or they won’t get built at all. It is likely Volkswagen Group will want to find other uses for the separate platform being designed for those cars, just as the PPE platform for the electric Macan will also be used by Audi for one or more of its upcoming electric car offerings. The biggest challenge is fitting enough batteries inside the footprint of a two seater to give it the performance and range Porsche customers expect. If Porsche can pull that off, that will be a truly remarkable accomplishment.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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