Like it or not, Porsche’s future is electric, and the first existing nameplate to switch over to zero-emissions power is the Macan. The second-generation compact SUV is moving onto the Volkswagen Group’s Premium Platform Electric (PPE) – also Stuttgart’s first – and is set to debut in 2023.

Ahead of the car’s on-sale date, the company has announced that it has begun testing the electric Macan out in the open world and has released the first official “spyshots”. Porsche says that by the time it reaches showrooms, it will have undergone three million test kilometres, plus countless more on a simulator.

The prototypes you see here are heavily camouflaged, but we can still make out a bit of the finalised car’s styling. Look beyond the comically-oversized “headlight” decals and you’ll find far slimmer units with the trademark Porsche four-point LED daytime running lights. They’re so slim, in fact, that the main headlights appear to have been moved downwards into the corner air intakes, as is now commonplace on SUVs.

Porsche has also added decals to mimic the large grilles of the outgoing model, but the actual ones are smaller in profile, so expect the front end to be very similar to the Taycan. Elsewhere, the side windows appear to carry the same teardrop shape as before (despite what the disguise suggests), while the rear windscreen is slightly more raked for a coupé-like roofline.

The rear end looks to feature the usual full-width taillights, although the exact shape and design is still shrouded here. The diffuser is, of course, entirely fake, as they feature two blanked-off “exhaust exits”. Previous spyshots showed an active rear spoiler above the taillights, as per the Cayenne Coupé.

The PPE is being jointly developed with Audi, so the Macan will share much of its mechanical makeup with the Q6 e-tron, just as the e-tron GT is essentially a reskinned Taycan. And like the Taycan, the Macan will be built on an 800-volt electrical architecture.

Porsche says this will allow for longer ranges (previous reports state that PPE-based models will deliver a range of up to 480 km, with battery capacities of up to 100 kWh), high-performance fast charging (up to 350 kW, besting the Taycan’s 270 kW) and repeatable hard acceleration.

Two years is a long wait, considering that the current model is already eight years old. Plus, the Macan is a very popular car globally, and not all markets have the demand and the infrastructure to support an electric model. To solve these issues, Porsche is launching a revamped version of the first generation this year, with pure internal combustion power.