Porsche's Macan is about to split off in two directions, but just what we'll see remains unclear.
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The future is drawing nearer for Porsche, with the company confirming in 2019 that its next-generation Macan SUV will be offered in at least two forms: conventional petrol and a new-generation, electric-powered model.

The vehicle we see here, we're told by our spy photography partners who were on site to snap these images, is powered by a petrol engine.

Whether it is indeed the next-generation Macan, however, remains to be seen, as it may simply be another special variant of the current model.

Clearly the bodywork is the existing first-generation Macan, which still rides on the platform that underpinned the previous Audi Q5, although subtly added components and masking around the body suggest something more is afoot.

In petrol form, the new second-generation Macan is expected to ride on Audi's newer MLB platform, while the electric model will switch to the Volkswagen Group's Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture – making the most of the advantages that come with a purpose-designed electric vehicle platform.

We can likely expect the two models to share basic styling themes, with the electric version perhaps veering towards the Taycan's look with less of a focus on the huge grille design that dominates the face of the current Macan.

Why offer both petrol- and electric versions of the next Macan?

Reports in the past year appear to have confused Porsche's plans for the next Macan, with some suggesting Stuttgart had originally intended to make the new model an electric-only proposition.

In fact, its plan all along has been to continue serving those who prefer or need a combustion engine, while engaging those eager to step into a truly next-generation package.

Thus the plan: electric Macans for those who want them, and petrol models for those who don't – or simply can't make it work for their budget, living situation and driving needs.

Last year, a Porsche spokesperson told the UK's Autocar: "the move to a fully electric model line-up is suitable for certain markets but, due to a lack of infrastructure and other hurdles, it is yet not possible in other markets".

Both new models are expected to be revealed in 2021, so we should begin to see proper prototypes touring Europe in the months ahead.


Below: speculative renderings of an electric Porsche Macan

Evgeny Tkachev

Kieber Silva

My personal favourites, though, are these ones at Auto Express.