After completing initial tests at the Porsche Development Center in Weissach, all-electric prototypes of the Macan are sent outside Porsche’s premises for the first time. The all-electric Macan – the first Porsche built on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) – is slated to enter the market in 2023. The new combustion-engine Macan models will be offered alongside the all-electric Macan in the future. By the time the all-electric Macan hits the market in 2023, it will have covered nearly three million test kilometers worldwide in a variety of conditions. Prototypes can include experiences gained from countless previous test kilometers in virtual space.
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Dr. Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development, Porsche AG, in front of two camouflaged all-electric Macan prototypes
Digital development and testing not only saves time and costs, but also saves resources, which increases sustainability. Instead of real vehicles, engineers use digital prototypes – computational models that reproduce the properties, systems and powertrains of a vehicle with a high degree of accuracy. There are 20 digital prototypes for simulations in various design categories such as aerodynamics, energy management, operations, and acoustics.
Aerodynamics experts were among the first to work with a digital prototype. Low aerodynamic drag is the backbone of the all-electric Macan for long range flight. Even a small improvement in flow can make a huge difference. Engineers are now using simulation to fine tune parts such as cooling air ducts. The calculations not only take into account the different arrangement of the components, but also reflect the actual temperature differences.
The first physical prototypes of an all-electric Macan were built from simulation data.
The electric drive system – from the battery to the engine – requires a completely separate cooling and temperature control concept, which is very different from the concept of a vehicle with a traditional drive. While a temperature range of 90 to 120 degrees is the target for combustion engines, the electric motor, transmission electronics, and high-voltage battery require a range of 20 to 70 degrees, depending on the component. Critical scenarios do not arise on the road, but during high power fast charging at high outside temperatures. However, the Porsche development team can calculate and digitally optimize position, flow and temperature precisely.
The next-generation Macan prototypes have already completed their first test drives at the Porsche development center in Weissach.
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Virtual prototypes can be combined with real-world scenarios early on. The best example here is the development of a completely new display and control concept for the next generation Macan. By using what is known as a seat to recreate the driver’s environment, the display and control concept can be brought to life early in the development in conjunction with a digital prototype.
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The first physical prototypes of an all-electric Macan were built from simulation data, in some cases carefully by hand or using special tools. They are then regularly adapted based on a virtual refinement process.
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