By the time the all-electric Macan is launched onto the market in 2023, it will have covered some three million test kilometres worldwide in varying conditions.
After completion of initial testing on the proving grounds of the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach, the all-electric Macan prototypes are now heading outside Porsche premises for the first time. The market launch of the all-electric Macan – the first Porsche to be built on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) – is planned for 2023. The new combustion-engined Macan models will be offered alongside the all-electric Macan in the future. By the time the all-electric Macan is launched onto the market in 2023, it will have covered some three million test kilometres worldwide in varying conditions. The prototypes are able to incorporate the experience gained from countless previous test kilometres – driven in a virtual space.
Digital development and testing not only saves time and costs, it also preserves resources, so it enhances sustainability. Instead of real vehicles, the engineers use digital prototypes – computational models that replicate the properties, systems and power units of a vehicle to a high degree of accuracy. There are 20 digital prototypes for the purpose of simulation in a number of development categories, such as aerodynamics, energy management, operation and acoustics.
The aerodynamics specialists are among the first engineers to work with a digital prototype. Low aerodynamic drag is fundamental to the all-electric Macan with a view to ensuring a long range. Even minor flow enhancements can make a huge difference. The engineers are currently using simulations to fine-tune details such as the cooling air ducts. The calculations not only take into account different arrangements of the components, they also reflect real-life temperature differences.
The electric drive system – from the battery through to the motor – requires a completely separate cooling and temperature control concept, one that is very different from that of a conventionally powered vehicle. While a temperature window of 90 to 120 degrees is the target for combustion engines, the electric motor, powertrain electronics and high-voltage battery require a range of between 20 and 70 degrees, depending on the component. The critical scenarios don’t occur on the road but during fast high power charging at high outside temperatures. However, the Porsche developers are able to precisely calculate and digitally optimise position, flow and temperature.
Virtual prototypes can be combined with real-world scenarios at an early stage. The best example here is the development of a completely new display and operating concept for the next generation of Macan. Using what is known as a seat box to recreate the driver’s environment, the display and operating concept can be brought to life in an early development phase in conjunction with the digital prototype.
The first physical prototypes of the all-electric Macan were built based on the data obtained from the simulations – in some cases elaborately by hand or using special tools. These are then regularly adapted based on the virtual refinement process.