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Porsche Macan spied, possibly a mule hiding a new platform

Zac Palmer

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The Porsche Macan was given a nip and tuck update for the 2019 model year, but another more important update is likely on the way. Our spy photographers tell us they’ve spoken with some Porsche insiders about the Macan pictures above, and they’ve been told that it’s a next-gen Macan mule. So, let’s break that down.

Porsche originally used the last-gen Audi Q5 platform as a base for the Macan. To this day, the Macan still rides on a significantly modified version of this platform. However, a new Q5 came out for the 2018 model year that rides on Audi’s new MLB platform. The new Macan didn’t adopt this platform in its recent freshening, which is no surprise for a mid-cycle update. This potential mule is our first sighting of a Macan that could be hiding the new platform underneath.

Recent chatter out of Porsche about the Macan has been some cause for confusion, as well. About a year ago, Porsche announced that the next-gen Macan would be electric — no gas engine variant was expected at that time. Fast forward a year, and Porsche changed its tune. Now, Porsche is saying that the all-electric Macan will be sold alongside gas-powered versions until at least 2024. The purely electric Macan is also expected to be revealed in 2021.

If Porsche does end up doing away with the gas-powered Macan in 2024, there’s likely less incentive to develop on a new platform. Nobody has a magic ball to know what Porsche EV demand will be like in four years, but if folks still want gas-powered Macans, it’s hard to imagine Porsche axing its most popular model in hopes that people will continue to buy an electric version of it. If this (clearly gas-powered) Macan spied here is hiding a new platform underneath, then we can expect the non-electric Macan to continue on for the foreseeable future. Or, until Porsche sees demand for an electric Macan eclipse the gas car.

There aren’t many visible hints that this Macan is a mule, but a few things stick out to us. It’s obviously running with a production body, but the front bumper and grille show a slightly modified design with some covered up vents. From the side moldings on down, Porsche has wrapped it in black coverings — it’s tough to see unless you zoom in. There are some funky-looking marker lights sticking out of the rear fascia, too. If it is a mule like the sources suggest, then Porsche has done a good job of disguising its intentions. We’ll expect to see a new production body show up down the road for both the gas-engine and electric Macan.