When it comes to new energy vehicles, what comes to mind first, Tesla, Xpeng, or others?
Answering the above crucial question, most people probably do not associate new energy with Porsche. Speaking of Porsche, the first impression that comes to mind is the roar of its horizontally-opposed engine, the clangs of PDK, and the majestic appearance of 911. However, such stereotypes might have to change soon: the Porsche Macan on the PPE platform has entered the testing phase and will be delivered in 2024.
If the Taycan is a “totem” for Porsche facing the era of new energy, symbolic rather than focusing on quantity, then the pure electric Macan is truly Porsche’s first pure electric model born for boosting sales.
However, the pure electric Macan will not be delivered until 2024, so only spy photos have been exposed at present. We may have to wait until next year to see the actual look. Compared with its mysterious appearance, we can already get a glimpse of its performance based on the PPE platform.
PPE Platform is not just an Electric Retrofit
For those who are unfamiliar with the new energy initiatives of German veteran car manufacturers, let us provide a brief introduction. Currently, the Volkswagen Group has three pure electric platforms: MEB, PPE, and J1.
MEB has produced the familiar Volkswagen ID. series and Audi Q5 e-tron, which are similar to MQB in the positioning of the Volkswagen Group in the era of fuel vehicles. This platform is mainly used for producing mid and low-end pure electric models. Considering the cost constraints, MEB adopts a 400 V voltage platform, and the front suspension is a MacPherson strut.
As for J1, which is more well-known for Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT, it is not an original pure electric platform. J1 evolved from the MSB platform which is used to produce Volkswagen’s flagship fuel vehicles. Essentially, J1 is also an intermediary product, and there is no follow-up plan other than these two cars.
Meanwhile, PPE is a pure electric mid-to-high-end platform that is high-quality and fully developed. As can be seen from the name, Volkswagen PPE’s full name is “Premium Platform Electric”, which reflects its high-end electric platform identity.
What surprises will there be for the all-electric Porsche Macan based on the PPE platform?
Three Electrics: Keeping Up with the Times
The PPE platform adopts an 800 V high voltage platform, which, though not as good as the Taycan’s 900 V platform, has an advantage in charging speed. With a charging power exceeding 270 kW, the battery can be increased from 5% to 80% in as little as 25 minutes.
If the charger is a 400 V system, the all-electric Macan will use “combined charging” technology for the first time. Before the actual charging process begins, the corresponding high-voltage switch (gate) in the battery automatically switches.
This technology can divide the 800 V battery pack into two parts, each with a rated voltage of 400 V. The two parts can be charged in parallel on a 400 V charging station without the need for an additional high-voltage transformer. If necessary, the two battery parts will also be synchronized to the same charging state before being charged together. This also ensures that new vehicles on the PPE platform are compatible with common charging stations and 400 V charging speeds.
Regarding batteries, the new PPE platform cars are expected to carry up to 100 kWh battery packs, including the all-electric Macan. The square battery packs with 811 formula ternary lithium provide enough charge and discharge performance.
For efficiency purposes, in the pulse inverter (PWR) on the rear axle of the all-electric Macan, silicon carbide (SiC) is used as the semiconductor material instead of silicon. This greatly reduces the conversion loss of the pulse inverter, resulting in a higher conversion frequency. As for the range, Porsche has not revealed more information about the all-electric Macan, but Audi previously stated that the Audi A6 e-tron based on the same PPE platform can achieve a WLTP range of up to 700 km.
In terms of motor, the Porsche pure electric Macan uses a permanent magnet synchronous motor with hairpin winding, similar to the Taycan, with a maximum power of 450 kW and a maximum torque exceeding 1,000 Nm. In this design, the rotor of the AC motor is equipped with a permanent magnet, which creates a permanent magnetic field in the motor. Compared with asynchronous motors, permanent magnet synchronous motors have higher power and torque density, higher efficiency, and better power output repeatability.
The pure electric Porsche not only retains its sports genes but also takes it to the next level. Its parameters of 450 kW and over 1,000 Nm have surpassed those of the currently available Macan GTS models. It is reasonably speculated that the acceleration of the pure electric Macan can enter the 3-second club per 100 kilometers.
For the pure electric Macan, Porsche emphasizes that it still adopts a rear-biased 4-wheel drive setting. The rear motor with higher power can bring a more enjoyable driving experience and dynamic feedback.
Based on the PPE platform, the pure electric Macan not only meets the mainstream level in three-electric technology but also inherits Porsche’s proud tradition of handling.
Handling: Porsche, It’s an Adjective
Electric vehicles inherently have the advantage of a low center of gravity. To take it a step further, the pure electric Macan optimizes the placement of the motor. In the pure electric Macan, the rear motor is positioned further back, achieving a 48%:52% front-to-rear weight distribution.
At the front, the pure electric Macan will feature a newly designed double-wishbone suspension with independent strut arms. This configuration can improve responsiveness, steering precision, and straight-line driving ability through its kinematic and elastic dynamics characteristics. The rear multi-link suspension is connected to the body through a subframe with soft mounts, while the rear electric drive unit is directly fixed to the structure through four points.The design brings a benefit: the vehicle has excellent wheel control steering ability and high lateral rigidity driving dynamics. At the same time, it also has certain advantages in NVH performance.
The flagship model of the pure electric Macan will also be equipped with an upgraded version of Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus): an electric control differential lock on the rear axle. It adopts independent control strategies for different driving situations, ensuring greater traction, driving stability and lateral dynamics, and targeted dynamic braking intervention for steering behavior and precision.
Like Taycan, the two motors of the pure electric Macan can achieve fast and precise four-wheel control and torque distribution between the front and rear axles as needed based on the selected driving program and corresponding driving situation. Rear-wheel steering also appears for the first time on the pure electric Macan.
At speeds below 80 km/h, the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels, and the rear wheel steering angle can reach 5 degrees, reducing the turning radius by about one meter. At speeds above 80 km/h, the front and rear wheels can turn in the same direction, improving driving stability.
According to Porsche, they have optimized the steering feel. Porsche’s self-developed assistive force feedback controller recognizes and amplifies important steering information for the driver, such as road characteristics and tire grip. On the other hand, disruptive vibrations and bumps are eliminated and not transferred to the steering wheel. Therefore, the driver can enjoy a clear, unfiltered, and fun steering experience.The air suspension with double chambers can provide better performance. Each of the two parts can be independently adjusted, which significantly improves comfort. This versatility makes the differences between driving modes more apparent. Additionally, depending on the speed, the body can be lowered together with the air suspension to improve aerodynamic performance and increase range.
Starting with the Macan, Porsche is accelerating the electrification process. It is expected that by 2025, more than half of the new Porsche vehicles will be pure electric or plug-in hybrid models. By 2030, Porsche hopes that more than 80% of its new cars will be pure electric.
Overall, the PPE platform provides a solid foundation for the pure electric Macan. Whether it is the 100 kWh battery pack, 800 V high voltage platform fast charging, power output that surpasses all previous Macan GTS models, or the inherited excellent handling, the electrified Porsche Macan still lives up to its mission, leading the way in technology and providing driving pleasure as much as possible.
This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.