Porsche has revealed its second all-electric car, in the form of the all-new Macan SUV.
Making the switch from internal combustion to batteries for its second generation, the Macan is a mid-size SUV that joins the Taycan saloon in Porsche’s growing EV catalogue.
All-electric versions of the Cayman and Boxster sports cars are due soon too, with larger battery-powered SUVs also in the pipeline. Porsche is remaining tightlipped on its plans, if any, for an electric 911.
Revealed in Singapore, the new electric Macan is initially offered as two variants, with more to come later. Both with five seats, these are the Macan 4 and the Macan Turbo. First the similarities; they each use an 800-volt system architecture, like that of the Taycan, but are the first cars to be built on the new Premium Platform Electric foundations, jointly developed with Audi.
Generally speaking, a higher system voltage means lower heat and the potential for faster DC charging. For the Macan this translates into a maximum charge rate of 270 kW (the same as the current-generation Taycan), and a 95 kWh battery that can be filled from 10 to 80 percent in 21 minutes, providing it’s plugged into a sufficiently powerful charger.
If you can’t find such a charger, the Macan has a clever trick up its sleeve. When plugged into a less powerful 400-volt charger, the car flicks a high-voltage switch that enables bank-charging. This effectively splits the 800V battery into two 400V ones and charges them in parallel at up to 135 kW. Plug the electric Macan into a charger at home and it’ll accept AC power at up to 11 kW.
Both models of Macan have the same battery and both are all-wheel-drive, with a motor powering each axle. The Macan 4 has a combined WLTP range of up to 381 miles, while the more powerful Macan Turbo manages 367 miles.
Speaking of power, the Macan 4 produces up to 300 kW (403 horsepower) with its overboost function enabled, and the Macan Turbo outputs 470 kW (631 hp). Maximum torque for the 4 and Turbo is 650 Nm (470 ft-lbs) and 1,130 Nm (833 ft-lbs) respectively.
Porsche’s claimed 0-62 mph (100 km/h) times for the two electric SUVs stand at 5.2 seconds for the Macan 4 and 3.3s for the Macan Turbo, while their top speed is 137 mph and an Autobahn-friendly 161 mph. There’s no word on quite how long the battery will last at that speed, and while Porsche says the car can tow up to 2,000 kg, it doesn’t say how range might be affected.
“The new Macan is clearly recognisable by its brand identity as part of the Porsche product family,” says Michael Mauer, vice president of style at Porsche. The car certainly retains the original Macan’s general dimensions and proportions, while gaining a pair of headlights similar to those of the Taycan. It’s a move reminiscent of Porsche fitting a 911-style face to the Cayenne when it first entered the SUV game two decades ago.
The rest of the exterior design is both typically Porsche and typically EV, with the 95 kWh battery (100 kWh gross) filling the floor between the front and rear axels, above which the body has prominent arches filled with huge wheels (up to 22in), but very short overhangs at the front and rear. The car measures 4,784 mm long, 1,938 mm wide and is 1,622 mm tall. Despite the recognisable proportions, the electric Macan’s wheelbase is 86 mm longer than its outgoing predecessor.
Porsche claims its electric SUV is one of the most streamlined on the market. It has a drag coefficient of 0.25 and makes use of active and passive aerodynamic elements to increase range. These include an adaptive rear spoiler, active cooling flaps on the front air intakes, and flexible covers on the fully-sealed underbody, which also benefits from a louvred diffuser at the rear. Total stowage is up by 136 litres on the previous model to a total of 540 litres, Porsche says, partially thanks to an 84-litre frunk where the engine used to be.
Inside, the Macan EV can be specified with up to three digital displays across its dashboard. These include a 12.6in curved driver display similar to that of the Taycan and featuring modern interpretations of Porsche’s iconic five-dial instrument cluster, plus a 10.9in central display for infotainment. Above this sits a head-up display system that uses augmented reality to project navigation instructions into the driver’s view of the road ahead. Porsche says the interface resembles an 87-inch TV positioned 10 metres ahead of the car.
Lastly, an optional third display can be specified for the passenger side of the dashboard. This also measures 10.9 inches and is identical to the central display except for one key difference – it has a screen that cannot be seen by the driver. It appears blank when viewed off-centre, thanks to a special film applied to the screen, but when viewed from the passenger seat it appears normal and can be used to stream video while the car is being driven.
We’re especially pleased to see Porsche stick with physical buttons on the Macan’s steering wheel. We also like how the climate controls include physical rocker switches sat upon a digital readout showing cabin temperature and other information.
Also new is the Macan’s infotainment system, which is built on Android Automotive and has a voice assistant summoned with the phrase “Hey Porsche”.
Being the company’s smallest SUV, Porsche is putting an emphasis on the Macan EV feeling sporty. Porsche says a low seating position (up to 28 mm lower than the previous Macan) and low centre of gravity help here, along with what is described as “impressive driving dynamics and steering precision.”
Porsche says how the Macan’s all-wheel-drive mechanics and traction control operate five times faster than a conventional system and respond to wheel slip in 10 milliseconds. Cornering is also aided by Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, which is Porsche-speak for an electronically controlled locking differential on the rear axle.
Air suspension (standard on the Turbo, optional elsewhere) with two-valve dampers and new mapping promises to demonstrate more difference between the Macan’s softer and sportier drive modes – all features we’re keen to try out for ourselves later in 2024. Lastly, rear-wheel steering is available on the Macan as an option for the first time, turning the wheels in line with the front axle by up to five degree to promote stability above 50 mph, then in the opposite direction at low speeds to improve manoeuvrability.
The new electric Macan is available to order now. Prices start at £69,800 for the Macan 4 and £95,000 for the Macan Turbo. Porsche says the first cars will be delivered during the second half of 2024.