Porsche Macan Electric 2024: close-up on its PPE platform

When it goes on sale in the first half of 2024, the Porsche Macan Electric will have been a long time coming. It comes more than four years after the Taycan, Porsche’s first electric model. It won’t be by far the first five-seat electric crossover on the market. But the German performance car brand promises it will be the sportiest.

The battery-electric Macan will be the first vehicle to use VW Group’s new electric car architecture for premium brands. Known as PPE (for Premium Platform Electric), it will underpin future electric vehicles from Audi and Bentley. It joins the MEB consumer platform already in production, for the Volkswagen ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron among others. PPE supersedes Porsche’s J1 platform (Taycan, Audi e-tron GT) and Audi’s MLB-Evo (e-tron, e-tron SportBack).

PPE: from SUVs to sports sedans

Unlike the J1, the EPI is designed to offer varied wheelbase, track and ground clearance dimensions. This allows it to accommodate a variety of vehicles, both passenger cars and SUVs, from three quite varied brands. Indeed, while Porsche’s first PPE vehicle is the Macan electric SUV, Audi’s counterpart is expected to be the A6 E-Tron midsize sedan, for which a concept emerged 18 months ago, as well as a wagon. A6 E-Tron Before that we probably won’t see in North America.

The more than a year delay in the launch of PPE vehicles – from 2022 originally to 2023 and now to 2024 – does not reflect development issues with the battery or the rest of the electric powertrain. In July, Bloomberg reported that Volkswagen Group’s replacement of its CEO was due to delays in model launches at Audi, Bentley and Porsche caused by software issues. Each automaker has taken on the challenge of designing and launching entirely new electrical architectures for the 2020s that enable over-the-air updates, higher levels of connectivity and infotainment, and centralized control of all vehicle functions . But the VW Group’s delays in doing so cost CEO Herbert Diess his job.

Porsche EPI chassis prototype –

Porsche EPI chassis prototype -

Porsche EPI chassis prototype –

Porsche EPI chassis prototype -

Porsche EPI chassis prototype –

PPE was designed for “high volume” vehicles that will pay off, at least in the context of Porsche and Audi. The Macan Electric must sell in large numbers if Porsche is to meet its goal of more than 80% of its battery electric vehicle deliveries by 2030. The Taycan has been a sales success, with 100,000 sales over three years. But with prices largely in the six-figures, it can’t deliver anywhere near the numbers of the gas-powered Macan, currently being built at the rate of 80,000 a year. Over time, sales of the electric Macan must also reach this volume.

Many Porsches for Audi?

The new PPE platform was a joint effort by Porsche and Audi, but based on technical information released on Monday, it appears to have a lot of Porsche in it. Discussions with the engineers of the two brands over the past few years have suggested a certain combativeness between the two brands, rivals within the sprawling VW group, on features and technical solutions.

The PPE battery operates at 800 volts, like the Taycan, and can recharge at 270kW and above. Porsche quotes fast DC charge times of 25 minutes for a recharge of 5-80% battery capacity; as always, this assumes ideal conditions, including battery temperature and ambient temperature, as well as a charging station capable of reliably supplying the necessary power.

PPE platform for the VW group, developed by Porsche/Audi

PPE platform for the VW group, developed by Porsche/Audi

The Macan Electric’s battery uses prismatic cells arranged in 12 modules to produce a usable battery capacity of 98kWh in a pack with a total capacity of “about 100kWh” (slightly larger than the Performance Battery’s 93.4kWh). More of the Taycan). Porsche believes the capacity offers an appropriate compromise between additional weight and optimal recharging to minimize travel time. Porsche did not discuss target range ratings for the electric Macan, but a Macan executive confidently said it would be “much more than the Taycan.”

In all-wheel-drive form, the rear engine is more powerful than the front engine, as in the Taycan. Porsche has revamped the magnets of its permanently excited synchronous electric motors (PSM), which deliver higher power and torque densities. The combined output of the two engines, at least “initially”, is estimated at 450 kW (603 hp) and 740 lb-ft or more of torque.

“Bank charging” to use 150 kW DC stations

For trips in which 800-volt charging is not available, Porsche has moved beyond the Taycan’s optional DC-DC converter, which required buyers to pay an additional $460 to be able to quickly charge at over 50kW at 150 kw more common. CC stations. The PPE architecture uses what Porsche has called “bank charging” to split the 800 volt battery into a pair of virtual parallel 400 volt packs that can be charged simultaneously at a 150 kw station. If necessary, the car will equalize the state of charge of the two halves before charging begins.

This is actually the reverse of how GM’s battery engineers provided an 800-volt charge on its 400-volt GMC Hummer EV. There, a series/parallel switch connects two stacked 400 volt packs. For PPE vehicles, the switch works in reverse to split one 800 volt pack into two 400 volt batteries. And it eliminates the need for that extra DC-DC converter.

PPE platform for the VW group, developed by Porsche/Audi

PPE platform for the VW group, developed by Porsche/Audi

For the Macan Electric, the front suspension uses double wishbones, while the multi-link rear suspension follows sports car best practices. Wheels up to 22 inches will be used, along with performance tires. Dominik Hartmann of Porsche, head of chassis development for the Macan, said the variation between the front and rear wheels will be more pronounced than in today’s Macan.

Porsche returns to rear engine

The most interesting feature of the rear drive system is that it sits across not in the centerline of the wheels but slightly behind them. This not only allows gearing, but a more dominant ride feel out back. The Macan Electric’s weight distribution will be around 48 percent front and 52 percent rear, a far cry from the typical front-drive crossover utility. This rear drive unit is attached directly to the body.

No reporter has directly asked if the rear-engine heritage of the iconic Porsche 911 played into this decision, but at a minimum, it’s hard to escape the parallel.

PPE platform for the VW group, developed by Porsche/Audi

PPE platform for the VW group, developed by Porsche/Audi

The more powerful versions of the Macan Electric will have a fully variable rear differential and a so-called “Performance rear axle” with an electronically controlled rear differential lock. A final technology for improved efficiency is the use of silicon carbide rather than silicon in the rear axle power inverter. This reduces electrical losses and provides power switching at higher frequencies.

‘Ludmilla’ on display

Along with holograms of its 3D renderings of the powertrain, one vehicle was shown to reporters during a media preview last week at the Porsche Experience Center in Franciacorta, Italy’s Lombardy region.

Porsche EPI chassis prototype -

Porsche EPI chassis prototype –

Nicknamed “Ludmilla”, it was an early prototype chassis, assembled even before vehicle identification numbers were issued for development vehicles. To distinguish the various chassis test mules, all painted black, the engineers named them, invariably using women’s names. Porsche said it has already built 141 Macan Electric development vehicles.

In North America, the current Macan and the new Macan Electric will be sold side-by-side for at least a year and possibly longer.


Porsche provided the airfare, accommodation and meals to enable Green Car Reports to bring this report to you in first person.

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