All-new battery-electric Porsche SUV due by 2022 Big electric SUV will join German brand’s line-up, potentially replacing the Macan.
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Porsche is planning to launch a battery-electric SUV, likely as a replacement for the current Macan, by 2022 as part of its investment in electrification.
Porsche finance director Lutz Meschke revealed the plan for a full-electric SUV at an event in Germany last week. “You can expect an SUV BEV [battery-electric vehicle] by 2022 at the latest,” he said.
Departed Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller – previously Porsche’s boss – committed every group brand to having an electrified version of every model by 2023. Porsche already has a number of plug-in hybrid variants (although some are currently off sale due to the new WLTP emission testing regulations) and the next model to be launched with such technology will be the updated 992-generation 911, which Meschke also confirmed.
Meschke referred to the electric utility vehicle as a “big SUV”, which would indicate a Cayenne-sized car, but the Cayenne is just a year old and not due for replacement until 2024/25. Although that would be a natural rival for the Tesla Model X, such a large and heavy model is not an ideal basis for an EV using current technology.
To get an electric SUV with a competitive range to market more rapidly, Porsche is most likely to focus on the successor to the mid-sized Macan – which currently shares its platform with Audi’s Q5 – because it is due to be replaced in around 2021. However, there are at least three other possibilities: a rebooted variant of Audi’s new E-tron SUV, a re-engineered Cayenne, or a ground-up bespoke SUV designed solely as an EV.
Porsche is already working with Audi on an all-electric platform, called PPE, for a next generation of EVs. The PPE is all new but includes learning from the J1 underpinnings that form the basis for the Taycan.
The PPE architecture is in development in parallel with the Taycan and could be ready for market in 2022, when Porsche says its battery-electric SUV will be on sale.
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Alongside confirming an electric SUV, Meschke told journalists that “the Boxster and Cayman could be suitable for electrification”. It is believed that both mid-engined models are likely candidates to go fully electric after more volume-driven models are launched. The J1 underpinnings could be readily adapted with a short wheelbase and two-door body as the basis of a new compact Porsche sports car. However, such a change would reduce battery size, range and performance.
It is unclear if the PPE platform is sufficiently versatile to underpin multiple powertrain layouts and firewall heights, but Porsche has already built an electric Boxster E test car. A packaging prototype, it was also touted as a possible rival for the Tesla Roadster.
The Boxster E had componentry borrowed from Volkswagen’s e-Golf and a 121bhp electric motor fed by a 340-cell lithium ion battery, all packaged in the space vacated by the car’s flat-six combustion engine.
Porsche engineers learned a lot from that car, including concerns that the weight of the battery powertrain would affect performance and, because the weight raised the centre of gravity, the handling. One told Drive-My last year: “Fully electrified sports cars would work well for longitudinal acceleration, but the weight disadvantage is in the handling.” Whether a future 911 will use solely battery power is also up for debate.
Porsche engineers have previously told Drive-My EN/US that the packaging issues of a purely battery-electric drivetrain were incompatible with the 911 as a fine-handling sports car with everyday usable 2+2 seating.
Last year, an engineer said to Drive-My that next-generation solid-state batteries, which are lighter and predicted to be able to be shaped to reduce package space, might be the required breakthrough to make a 911 BEV a reality. However, solid-state technology may be a decade from production.