Porsche ditched diesel power when it overhauled the current Macan midway through 2018, but pushing the second-generation Macan down the all-electric path is unprecedented in the car industry. Picture: SUPPLIED
Porsche ditched diesel power when it overhauled the current Macan midway through 2018, but pushing the second-generation Macan down the all-electric path is unprecedented in the car industry. Picture: SUPPLIED

Porsche has shocked the automotive world by confirming its next-generation Macan will only be built as an electric vehicle.

First it walked away from tens of thousands of sales by axing diesel power from the Macan in 2018, and now it will axe petrol power in the next generation, too.

In an unexpected move from the Zuffenhausen crew, it announced that the 2021 Macan would join the Taycan and the Taycan Sport Turismo as Porsche’s third full electric car.

“The supervisory board of Porsche AG has decided to manufacture the next generation of the Macan as a fully electric series,” the company said in a statement.

Porsche ditched diesel power when it overhauled the current Macan midway through 2018, but pushing the second-generation Macan down the all-electric path is unprecedented in the car industry.

“Electromobility and Porsche go together perfectly, not just because they share a high-efficiency approach, but especially because of their sporty character,” Porsche chair Oliver Blume said.

The Gen II Macan will be the first car built off the Porsche/Audi-developed premium platform electric (PPE) architecture, but it will spawn variants across both brands.

The PPE is the biggest electric-vehicle bet to date from the Volkswagen Group’s premium brands and will eventually spread to Bentley and Lamborghini as well.

The Audi C-Bev electric-car architecture was the first premium platform in the group and the e-tron will be the only car to use it in production.

Porsche developed the J1 EV architecture independent of Audi and it will underpin the Taycan, the Taycan Sport Turismo and the Audi e-tron GT.

But beyond that, all of the Audi and Porsche electric vehicles will use the PPE architecture that will debut beneath the Macan.

It takes the lessons from the J1 programme and gains the flexibility to stretch wider and narrower, longer and wider and, critically for a sports brand, lower with custom-developed batteries.

The biggest question facing the Volkswagen Group now is whether it will push the mid-sized Q5 (which is twinned with the Macan) down a similar path or whether the Audi cash cow’s volumes are considered too great to risk.

While it’s light on details, the powertrain will need at least two electric motors to retain the Macan’s all-wheel-drive traction philosophy. There are plans to maintain Porsche’s traditional in-model steps by offering different power outputs and battery capacities.

It will be built at Porsche’s Leipzig plant on the same production lines as the Cayenne.