All-electric Porsche Macan begins on-road testing

Prototype testing of the new Macan model is underway.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

It's passed proving grounds tests and now the all-electric version of the Porsche Macan is hitting the road for additional testing. The highly-camouflaged next-generation prototypes of the compact SUV left the Porsche Development Center in Weissach, Germany for the first time this week.

"Testing in a real-life environment is now getting underway – one of the most important milestones in the development process," said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development, at Porsche AG.

By the time the Macan EV is fully revealed in 2023, it will have garnered 1.8 million test miles worldwide in a variety of terrains and temperatures. Testing will even be done in virtual space, which is designed to save time and money. General Motor is using similar technology. These digital tests are able to analyze properties, systems, and powertrains of a vehicle.

Porsche Macan EV An electric version of the Porsche Macan leaves the company's testing grounds in Germany.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Porsche has created 20 digital prototypes for the purpose of simulation in a number of development categories, such as aerodynamics, energy management and acoustics. "We regularly collate the data from the various departments and use it to build up a complete, virtual vehicle that is as detailed as possible," said Dr Andreas Huber, Manager for digital prototypes at Porsche.

The first teams to work with the digital prototypes are aerodynamics specialists. "We started with a flow-around model when the project first started about four years ago," said Dr Thomas Wiegand, Director of aerodynamics development. The goal is a low coefficient of drag that blends that goal with the hallmark looks of the Macan SUV. Currently, engineers are using simulations to fine-tune details such as the cooling air ducts.

Simulations are also able to predict how the vehicle interacts with the driver in real life. "Simulation allows us to assess displays, operating procedures and the changing influences during a journey from the driver's point of view," explains Fabian Klausmann of the Driver Experience development department. This allows research and development team members to see how a driver would interact with the vehicle before any physical cockpit is built.

Porsche is designing the new fully-electric Macan to be the highest performer in its subcompact SUV segment. It will be the first Porsche built on the company's Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture.

The boutique performance arm of Volkswagen Group will sell the Macan EV side-by-side with internal combustion engine models of the car. "Demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, but the pace of change varies considerably across the world. That's why we're going to launch another conventionally powered evolution of the current Macan in the course of 2021," said Steiner.

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The Polaris Slingshot is one of the most unique vehicles on sale today.

Polaris

The Polaris Slingshot is an interesting beast. It is, by far, one of the most unique vehicles you can buy in the U.S. today, though depending on where you live, it may require a motorcycle license. However, in most states, you can buy and drive one just like a normal car, albeit one that should only be driven while wearing a full-face helmet.

I recently spent a week with a 2021 Polaris Slingshot R and came away from the experience more than a little conflicted. On one hand, it's too much for me on a personal level, as I think it's too wildly styled and costs too much money. On the other hand, it's impossible to ignore the charm of the thing. It's loud, too quick for its own good, and a totally crazy driving experience that lands somewhere between being a complete riot and terrifying, depending on how and where it's driven.


2021 Polaris Slingshot There's no ignoring this when it's next to you in traffic.Chris Teague


However, for many, the Slingshot remains a complete mystery, so here are three things you need to know.

It's Loud

No, I don't mean loud in the sense that you can hear it coming – though that's part of the deal, too. I mean loud in the visual sense. Like, 1990s ugly sweater loud. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the one thing that isn't up for debate is that the Slingshot is eye-catching. Add a couple of people wearing full-face helmets and it's nearly impossible to look away from the thing.

It's a Crazy Driving Experience

It's true that this isn't a motorcycle, but the way the Slingshot puts its passengers' rear ends just a couple of inches off the road surface and not all that far away from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine creates one lively experience. Every bump, crack, and sound can be felt and heard, though it's not unpleasant at all and adds to the experience. Couple that with the open-air driving experience and giant tires communicating it all into the steering wheel and the Slingshot is a wild ride.

It's Surprisingly Quick

I tested the Slingshot R, which is one of the flashier and more expensive models Polaris makes. Its in-house four-cylinder engine checks in at 2.0 liters and delivers 203 horsepower, 144 pound-feet of torque, and a whole lot of noise. The advertised 0-60 mph time for the R is 4.9 seconds, which is quicker than some sports sedans, though it feels much more violent and faster than that in person. The optional Autodrive five-speed gearbox is an automated manual, which means that it will shift itself when asked, but is happiest with the driver firing off shifts with the steering wheel-mounted paddles.



The Slingshot is one of the few vehicles that defies almost everything to be what it is. It doesn't make sense for people who want a motorcycle and it's not particularly appealing to someone wanting a convertible or roadster. You have to be in the market for a Slingshot to end up buying a Slingshot, and for those that are, they've never been better than they are now.

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New electric luxury vehicles

Three new Mercedes-Benz EVs we can't wait to see

Mercedes showed off its electric future at the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is going electric, and though it only recently announced its firm plans to do so, it already seems that the German automaker is moving quickly toward that goal. At the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Munich, Mercedes showed off some of its upcoming electrified products. We've seen the EQS, a flagship electric sedan, but three newcomers made an appearance at the show.


Mercedes-Benz EQB EQB will be Mercedes' electric family SUV.Mercedes-Benz


EQB

EQB is the brand's family-sized SUV, offering seating for up to seven people. A long wheelbase of 111.3 inches and adjustable second-row seating allows more interior space for people and gear. Mercedes says the EQB will offer two powertrain configurations: The EQB 300 4MATIC will get 225 horsepower and the EQB 350 4MATIC will sport 288 horsepower. A front-wheel drive configuration will go on sale later and a long-range model will follow.


Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG The EQG will eventually become the brand's electric off-roader.Mercedes-Benz


EQG

Concept EQG is a preview of the eventual electrification of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, its boxy, upper-crust off-roader. This concept is far closer to a design exercise than something we'll actually see in production, but it's an interesting demonstration, nonetheless. With 22-inch wheels, wild exterior lighting touches, and what the automaker says will be legendary off-road abilities, the EQG will be an exciting vehicle when it does make an appearance.


Mercedes-Benz EQE EQE will follow the EQS as a smaller, sportier electric sedan in 2022.Mercedes-Benz


EQE

EQE is the second car to use Mercedes' EVA2 electric architecture, following the EQS sedan. The car is currently scheduled for a staggered release in mid-2022 and will feature a more compact and sportier design than its predecessor. Mercedes says that the car will be available with either 19- or 21-inch wheels, and notes that its size is comparable to the current CLS coupe-sedan. The car offers an impressive range of up to 410 miles on a single charge from its 90kWh battery and special charging capabilities through the Mercedes me Charge network.

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