Porsche has a hit on its hands. The Taycan has impressed the industry with the automaker’s ability to curb the effects of a large battery on handling. It’s a true Porsche that just happens to be an EV. But like every other OEM it can’t throw one electric car out into the market and call it a day. During a trip to Italy, Porsche unveiled details of its next electric platform, and how it’ll affect the upcoming Macan EV, and threw us in the GT4 ePerformance racecar for a hot lap at its Porsche Experience Center. If you’re worried about the future of Porsche, don’t be. As they have proven time and time again, when it comes to engineering, they got this. The biggest revelation was how the PPE platform will help Porsche bring the new Macan to market with features you’d expect from the automaker. For example, the placement of the rear motor is behind the rear axle gives the SUV a more sporty rear-bias feel. The Macan will also receive rear-wheel steering. But there’s also the sports cars and if they’re just a fraction of what we experienced sitting in the passenger seat of the GT4 E, the traditional Porsche is is good hands.
ROBERTO BALDWIN: Porsche, like all automakers, has a plan for electrification. And while we've already driven the spectacular Taycan, what about those other vehicles, the SUVs, the sports cars, and the race cars? Well, it has plans for all of them. The Taycan is a bit of engineering magic, but it's also a large sedan or wagon, so there's plenty of room for a battery pack. But what about electrified 718s, and of course, maybe a 911? Well, they're already working on that.
This is the Porsche GT4 e-Performance. It is an electric race car. It is Porsche's test bed for a future of building electric race cars for consumers. So consumers could potentially buy something like this in the future. And now they're going to give me a ride in it here at their Italian Experience Center.
I'm about to get a ride in it and I'm very, very excited, because they have a regular mode and they have a qualifying mode. And the qualifying mode gives you about 1,000 horsepower and the team has dubbed it party mode. So let's party.
This beast is based on the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. So it looks and performs in a familiar fashion, but underneath, it's all electric. Currently, this car can go flat out for 30 minutes on the track, which doesn't seem like a long time, but it's actually the duration of a Carrera Cup race. Plus, EVs going full blast for 30 minutes without losing performance, that's a big deal.
It's based on the Mission R concept car, and has two motors, one in the front and one in the back, and produces up to 1,073 horsepower. To keep it cool, Porsche has developed an oil system for the motors and battery. The car is built on a 900 volt architecture. Now, the Macan, when it comes out, the Macan EV, it'll be built on an 800 volt system.
What's bonkers, is that this vehicle regen, braking regen, 800 kilowatts. That means potentially this vehicle could charge at 800 kilowatts. But they only have a 350 kilowatt charger here at the station, so for now, it's still charging at 350 kilowatts. But it can go from 5% to 80% in about 15 minutes, which to be honest, is fine. But I would like to see an 800 kilowatt charger at some point in the future at a racetrack.
That's cool and all for the racing enthusiast, for the rest of the Porsche customers, there's a new PPE platform coming. Co-developed with Audi, the PPE platform is an important element in Porsche's move to electrification. It'll be home to the automaker's SUV lineup that just happens to be making a ton of money for Porsche.
The first vehicle on the PPE platform will be the all-electric Porsche Macan SUV. The Macan EV, when it comes to the United States, will be the first vehicle based on the PPE platform. Now, this vehicle that we're looking at right now, yes, it's a Macan, but it is a prototype. This is a test vehicle. This is not the actual vehicle. It won't have whatever this is.
But it is called Ludmilla. All the vehicles, all test vehicles have their own name, which is nice, because you form a bond with the vehicle. But when we get the production vehicle, it will have dual motors. That means all-wheel drive. Plus, all-wheel steering. The rear steering will turn up to five degrees. And this isn't a huge SUV, so that five degrees is going to really help when you're trying to get through the parking lot or around tight corners.
And it'll have a 100 kilowatt hour capacity battery pack. So that should be more than enough to get you well, wherever you need to go. That Macan, when it comes to market, it's going to charge quicker than this Taycan. This Taycan charges pretty quick. It charges at 270 kilowatts, or up to via a supported DC fast charger.
So if you cruise up to a 350 kilowatt DC fast charger, this thing can go up to 270 kilowatts while it's charging, which Porsche says will go from 5% to 80% in about 22 minutes, which is just enough time to walk over and get a slushie from 7-Eleven, and maybe some beef jerky.
And while there are only a handful of 400 volt chargers in the US, the 800 volt vehicle will essentially split the battery pack in two and present the charger with dual 400 volt packs. This allows Porsche to send the Macan and other PPE vehicles out into the world without adding an additional piece of charging hardware if they happen to encounter one of those 400 volt chargers.
Porsche also says the new PPE platform and Macon will be more efficient thanks to what the automaker has learned from the Taycan. This is, of course, coupled with what the company is learning from the GT4-E electric race car, which will certainly not just be a test bed for building consumer race cars, but is likely helping them put together the sports car platform that will be home to the electric 718. But the next chapter in Porsche's electrification strategy begins in 2024 when the electric Macan hits the market. For more automotive coverage inside a race car, be sure to subscribe to Engadget.