A first look at the next-generation all-electric Macan in camouflage. After initial testing at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach, the new compact SUV prototypes are now heading outside Porsche premises for the first time. The new combustion-engined Macan models will be also offered alongside the all-electric Macan in the future.
The digital development and testing not only saves time and costs, it also preserves resources, so it enhances sustainability. 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. There are 20 digital prototypes for the purpose of simulation in a number of development categories, such as aerodynamics, energy management, operation and acoustics. “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 Dr Andreas Huber, manager for digital prototypes at Porsche. This allows previously undiscovered design conflicts to be swiftly identified and resolved.
The aerodynamics specialists are among the first engineers to work with a digital prototype. “We started with a flow-around model when the project first started about four years ago,” reports Dr Thomas Wiegand, Director of aerodynamics development. Low aerodynamic drag is fundamental to the all-electric Macan with a view to ensuring a long range. Even minor flow enhancements can make a huge difference. The engineers are currently using simulations to fine-tune details such as the cooling air ducts. The calculations not only take into account different arrangements of the components, they also reflect real-life temperature differences.
Development goal: to be the sportiest model in the segment
The first physical prototypes of the all-electric Macan were built based on the data obtained from the simulations – in some cases elaborately by hand or using special tools. These are then regularly adapted based on the virtual refinement process.
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 demanding test programme for the all-electric Macan, carried out under the extremes of climatic and topographical conditions, includes disciplines such as the charging and conditioning of the high-voltage battery, which has to meet very rigorous standards. “Like the Taycan, the all-electric Macan, with its 800-volt architecture, will offer typical Porsche E-Performance,” promises Steiner, citing development goals such as long-distance range, high-performance fast charging and reproducible best-in-class performance figures: “The all-electric Macan will be the sportiest model in its segment.”
Another new Macan with a combustion engine
The market launch of the all-electric Macan – the first Porsche to be built on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) – is planned for 2023. Porsche is positioning itself flexibly for the transition to pure electromobility. “In Europe, demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, but the pace of change varies considerably across the world. That’s why we’re going to launch another conventionally powered successor to the current Macan in the course of 2021,” says Michael Steiner. The new combustion-engined Macan models will be offered alongside the all-electric Macan in the future. Until then, however, it still has millions of test kilometres to cover – both in real life and virtually.
*Data determined in accordance with the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) as required by law. You can find more information on WLTP at www.porsche.com/wltp . For Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) range and Equivalent All Electric Range (EAER) figures are determined with the battery fully charged, using a combination of both battery power and fuel.
Values are provided for comparison only. To the extent that fuel and energy consumption or CO₂ values are given as ranges, these do not relate to a single, individual car and do not constitute part of the offer. Optional features and accessories can change relevant vehicle parameters such as weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics which may result in a change in fuel or energy consumption and CO₂ values. Vehicle loading, topography, weather and traffic conditions, as well as individual driving styles, can all affect the actual fuel consumption, energy consumption, electrical range, and CO₂ emissions of a car.
** Important information about the all-electric Porsche models can be found here