Porsche Macan Electric 2023 launch confirmed! Enters advanced testing stage

The upcoming electric SUV is being extensively tested in both physical and virtual worlds.

Is an automobile brand even serious about an electric lineup if there’s no best-selling model on it? Maybe not, but Porsche seems to be very much into it as the German automaker is currently testing electric prototypes of its Macan SUV. Porsche has started road testing the all-electric Macan after initial testing and developing it on the grounds of the Porsche Development Center in Weissach.

The electric Macan will be Porsche’s first EV to be built on VW Group’s new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture that’s based on the Taycan’s existing J1 platform. The (PPE) electric architecture has a similar 800-volt architecture as the Taycan electric sedan and will be used on a range of future Audi and Porsche products.

The German automaker claims it will have significantly more range than the current EV platform. In terms of design, prototypes look mostly similar in size and shape to the current crossover. However, the headlights on the EVs seem slimmer and with all certainty, the nose grille is a closed unit unlike the ventilated traditional one found on ICE Mecan.

Porche said the electric SUV will cover some 1.8 million test miles worldwide in varying conditions before making it to final production. And these physical prototypes are based on the data already gained from countless previous test kilometers driven in a virtual space.

Porsche has 20 digital prototypes for the purpose of simulation in a number of development categories, such as aerodynamics, energy management, operation and acoustics, etc. Instead of real vehicles, the engineers use digital prototypes – computational models that replicate the properties, systems and power units of a vehicle to a high degree of accuracy.

“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,” explains Andreas Huber, manager for digital prototypes at Porsche. This allows previously undiscovered design conflicts to be swiftly identified and resolved. The carmaker informed that digital development and testing is not only to save time and costs but also to preserve resources and enhance sustainability.

The electric Macan physical prototypes are regularly being adapted based on the virtual refinement process. And by the same token, the findings from road testing are fed directly into digital development. “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 Member of the Executive Board Michael Steiner.

The virtual simulations are also being used in the development of a completely new display and operating concept for the next generation of Macan. Porsche is using what is known as a seat box to recreate the driver’s environment through which the display and operating concept can be brought to life in an early development phase in conjunction with the digital prototype.

“Simulation allows us to assess displays, operating procedures and the changing influences during a journey from the driver’s point of view,” explains Fabian Klausmann of the Driver Experience development department.

The Mecan electric SUV will be sold alongside the new updated internal combustion engine (ICE) powered Macan that’ll arrive later this year. Porsche hasn’t announced what the electric model will be called or when the ICE model will go away. So petrol heads can relax for now. The Macan is currently available as base, S, Turbo, and GTS models powered by turbo four-cylinder or turbo V-6 engines.

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Himanshu Harsh

My love for automobiles is what fuels my writing. You can catch me twisting synth knobs when I'm not drooling over cars.

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