Porsche’s plans to offer its two ‘volume’ cars in electric form are not new. All the way back in 2011, the brand showed off electric versions of its 987 Boxster, called the Boxster E. Three were exhibited in Berlin, with two being rear motor only, and one sporting all-wheel drive thanks to dual motors. It was a strong performer in all-wheel drive form, too, able to compete with the petrol-powered Boxster S to 62mph with a 5.5 second sprint.
Back then the Boxster E could only manage 107 miles thanks to its 26kWh (net) battery, which took nine hours to charge. Thankfully, things have moved on somewhat.
According to various industry commentators, the reason Porsche has been hesitant to electrify its small convertible sports car is because of weight concerns. However, with the wholesale move to EV power becoming a necessity (Porsche is planning on 50 per cent of sales being EV by 2025) as well as lessons learned from the successful and dynamically astute Taycan, the next-generation Boxster being available as an EV is a certainty. We’re expecting a concept this year.
If losing petrol engines from the Boxster is too much to bear for the purists, they needn’t worry. Porsche is hoping to extend the life of its petrol engines through its pursuit of efuels – carbon-neutral fuels with the same basic chemical makeup as petrol but derived from hydrogen and CO2 created using renewable power. These should come online in 2022, with more widespread availability in 2024.
When it comes to the Macan, Porsche is further along in the development stage and prototypes are already undertaking testing with an on-sale date in 2023 being the target. It’ll be based on the PPE (Premium Performance Electric) platform which is set to underpin a host of larger, SUV-type cars – predominantly from Audi and Porsche.
It’ll use the same 800 volt electronic architecture as the Taycan but thanks to efficiency improvements, Porsche is confident of a 20-25 per cent increase in range compared to its current electric performance car. This would put the Macan in the 350 mile area of WTLP range with a long range battery pack, albeit the current expectation is that there will be two battery sizes available.
The design of the new, EV-only Macan is still broadly a mystery, with the prototype cars that have been spotted in testing being heavily camouflaged. It’s fair to assume that a blocked-off grille with intelligent aero features, as well as slimmer LED front and rear lights in a similar style to the Taycan will be present.
Porsche will continue to sell the petrol-powered version of the Macan alongside the EV for a while, albeit our understanding is that these will be run-out versions of the current model (potentially with a slight facelift) rather than a petrol version of the new-generation car.
We should find out a lot more before the end of the year, with the expectation being that the Macan EV will go on sale next year.