Luxury German sub-brands in the Volkswagen Group stable, Porsche and Audi, are in the process of co-developing a pair of high-performance electric SUVs that will be built on an all-new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture – the all new Porsche Macan and Audi Q6.
This platform combines elements of the J1 architecture – used by the Taycan and Audi e-tron GT – and the MEB platform used more widely by the Volkswagen Group’s more “affordable” electric vehicles.
The new models will be technically separate from the premium marques’ existing EV offerings. According to Porsche’s R&D head, Michael Steiner: “There’s always some compromise in weight, package and other dimensions” with multi-powertrain platforms. A unique architecture of course also means more interior space and better handling due to a lower centre of gravity. To the skeptics, have a look our recently-posted video of the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo setting a Guinness world record for the most doughnuts – 69 of them!
The new Porsche Macan EV and Audi Q6 e-tron will lead a new family of high-tech and rapid electrification offerings in years to come. Similar to Mercedes-Benz’s strategy, each will initially serve as an electric alternative to their best-selling internal combustion engine (ICE) models which will accelerate the brands’ transition to full-electric offerings. This is already the case with Porsche’s Panamera and Taycan models that are sold side-by-side, so the foray into electrically-driven SUVs make strategic and financial sense.
If the success of Porsche’s all-electric Taycan is anything to go by, an electric version of their best-selling Macan SUV is destined for great things, especially as it aims to be the sportiest in its segment. When the ICE models will be mothballed and fully replaced by their EV siblings is unclear at this stage but Porsche does intend to offer 80% of their vehicles fully electric by 2030. No plans regarding the electrification of the bigger sibling, the Porsche Cayenne and the legend that is the Ferdinand Porsche’s 911 have been announced yet, so for now ICE enthusiasts can still enjoy its goosebumps-inducing growl.
Volkswagen Group’s ultra-luxury brands are also not resting on their laurels and will sit on different platforms, with Lamborghini’s first EV based on the company’s SSP platform and Bentley’s offering on the new Artemis platform currently under development.
Audi Q6 e-tron
Being similarly sized as Audi’s popular Q5, especially in its home market, the Q6 EV is likely to sell like Glühwein at a German Christmas Market. Technical specifications, performance figures, range, etc. are scant at this stage but the striking Audi A6 e-tron and its Avant concepts’ styling will most likely ensure that the Q6 EV will be a real looker. Recent spy shots of an unwrapped front-end of the Audi Q6 EV have confirmed our suspicions.
2023 promises to be a great year for electric vehicles.
Words: Thys de Beer