Porsche Macan EV prototype versions are on the streets. After initial testing on the Porsche Development Centre’s proving grounds in Germany, the well-camouflaged next-generation prototypes of the compact SUV are now traveling outside Porsche premises for the first time.
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Testing goes on physically and virtually
By the time the all-electric Macan hits the market in 2023, it will have completed three million test kilometers in a variety of settings throughout the globe. The prototypes can use the knowledge accumulated from thousands of prior test kilometers – all in virtual space.
“Testing in a real-life environment is underway – one of the most important milestones in the development process,” stated Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development, at Porsche AG.
Digital development and testing save time and money while also conserving resources, making it more sustainable. Instead of actual automobiles, the engineers utilize digital prototypes, which are computer simulations that accurately reproduce the features, systems, and power units of a vehicle.
In a variety of development areas, such as aerodynamics, energy management, operation, and acoustics, there are 20 digital prototypes for simulation.
The engineers who specialize in aerodynamics are among the first to work with a digital prototype. In order to provide a long-range, the all-electric Macan must have low aerodynamic drag. Even slight improvements in flow may make a big effect.
Simulations are presently being used by engineers to fine-tune aspects like the cooling air ducts. The computations take into consideration not just varied component configurations, but also real-world temperature changes.
Porsche Macan virtual testing uses cutting edge display and OS
Both aerodynamics and thermodynamics can now be simulated with extreme precision thanks to new approaches. According to aerodynamics specialists at Porsche, the digital world is critical to the development of the all-electric Macan.
The electric drive system, which runs from the battery to the powertrain, necessitates a totally different cooling and temperature management strategy than a conventionally powered vehicle.
While combustion engines need a temperature range of 90 to 120 degrees, the electric motor, powertrain electronics, and high-voltage battery require a temperature range of 20 to 70 degrees, depending on the component. The crucial circumstances occur during quick high-power charging at high outdoor temperatures, not on the road.
Porsche engineers, on the other hand, can accurately calculate and digitally optimize position, flow, and temperature.
Early on, virtual prototypes may be coupled with real-world conditions. The creation of an entirely new display and operating philosophy for the next generation of Macan is the finest illustration of this. The display and operation idea may be brought to life in an early development phase in combination with the digital prototype by using a seat box to reproduce the driver’s surroundings.
From the driver’s perspective, simulation enables Porsche to analyze displays, operating procedures and shifting influences throughout a trip, according to the driver experience department of the German manufacturer. The ‘test drivers’ in this case are not just experts, but also non-experts.
This enables the study of every interaction between the driver and the vehicle down to the smallest detail, allowing for selected optimization even before the first physical cockpit is created.
Porsche Macan EV mission: sportiest in class
The first physical prototypes of the all-electric Macan were created using information collected from simulations: in some instances painstakingly by hand or with the use of special instruments. The virtual refining method is then used to adjust the data on a regular basis.
Similarly, the results of road testing are immediately channeled into digital development.
“Endurance testing on closed-off testing facilities and public roads in real-life conditions is still indispensable to ensure that the vehicle structure, operational stability and reliability of hardware, software and all functions meet our high quality standards,” says Michael Steiner, Member of the Porsche Executive Board.
The tough test procedure for the all-electric Macan includes segments such as charging and conditioning of the high-voltage battery, which must fulfill very stringent criteria. Additionally, long-range range, high-performance rapid charging, and repeatable best-in-class performance numbers are among the development goals. All for one mission: the Macan will be the sportiest car in its class.
Until the Porsche Macan EV launch, in 2023, the Stuttgart-based brand is preparing for a transitional, new combustion engine for the Macan, sometime in 2021.