After selling 800,000 units of the first-generation Macan worldwide since 2014, Porsche breathes a new life into its best-selling model today in the form of a compact all-electric SUV. Meet the reborn Porsche Macan, now powered by batteries.
It’s been a long time coming. Over the past few years, Porsche engineers have been driving Macan prototypes in deserts, through extreme winter in Northern Europe, and on public roads and racetracks, covering more than 2.1 million miles in testing alone. And they seem to have traveled everywhere with big fat cameras, making sure enthusiasts know what’s in the pipeline. Turning such a crucial model into an EV is a huge move for Porsche and the Volkswagen Group—a real test of its often-troubled plan to go all-electric in the coming years.
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The Porsche Macan is a hugely important EV for the VW Group
The Macan has been Porsche’s sales volume driver for years. It now debuts a new dedicated Volkswagen Group EV architecture called the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), gets more power and range, and offers a new generation of software that’s crucial to the company’s future.
This second-generation model, officially called the Macan Electric, will co-exist alongside its outgoing counterpart—and that car will keep internal combustion power for a bit. “The gas-powered Macan will continue to be sold in its current form as long as customer demand requires and/or regulations permit. We are happy to be able to offer our customers a choice of powertrain in this case for the foreseeable future,” a Porsche spokesperson told InsideEVs.
It’s an important EV for the brand that comes at a critical time. Not only does it debut Volkswagen Group’s Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture, but it also comes after several delays emerging from troubles at Cariad—VW Group’s software arm—when the likes of Tesla and several Chinese players have leaped forward with software-defined EVs.
Design and Dimensions
The Macan Electric measures 188.4 inches long, 84.7 inches wide (with mirrors), and 63.8 inches tall, which is marginally longer and wider than the first-gen model, although the height remains identical. The wheelbase (113.9 inches) is 3.4 inches longer than the previous model, resulting in short overhangs at the front and rear to accommodate the floor-mounted lithium-ion battery.
It appears chic and athletic in pictures. The four-point DRLs are reminiscent of the Taycan, and Matrix LED lights—a highly sophisticated set-up that can dim or deactivate individual LEDs to avoid glaring other drivers while still illuminating the road ahead—are optional.
It has a remarkably low drag coefficient of 0.25—only slightly higher than the Taycan with 0.22 Cd, and almost as good as the Audi e-tron GT with 0.24 Cd. What makes this possible are several active elements: an adaptive rear spoiler, active cooling flaps on the front air intakes, air curtains below the headlight module, and a generally aerodynamic design, Porsche claims.
Other interesting design elements include frameless doors, a buffed-up shoulder line, and the characteristic coupe-like roofline which it carries over from the first-generation Macan.
The electric SUV will be available in two variants, Macan 4 and Turbo, both equipped with dual motors. The Macan 4 makes 402 horsepower and 479 pound-foot of torque, while the Turbo is good for 630 hp and 833 lb-ft. Those numbers would give all gas-powered Macan variants a run for their money. (As with the Taycan, the name “Turbo” must refer to speed and Porsche’s heritage, since it obviously does not have a turbocharger.)
The Macan 4 accelerates from naught to 62 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds, while the Turbo slingshots in a neck-snapping 3.3 seconds. Top speeds are limited to 137 mph and 161 mph, respectively.
InsideEVs reviewed a near-production prototype last year in California, and we came out seriously impressed. Back then, contributor Tim Stevens wrote, “Dropping the Macan into Sport mode delivers an immediate and noticeable change in character. The throttle response immediately sharpens, and the suspension likewise stops being so soft and starts getting real.” He added, “The harder I pushed, the better it responded, really coming alive when I twisted the mode dial over to Sport Plus.”
Battery and Range
Enabling this performance is a 95-kilowatt-hour usable battery capacity (100 kWh gross)—it’s only slightly larger than the optional Performance Battery Plus (93.4 kWh) on the Taycan, but much larger than its standard offering (79.2 kWh). Thanks to 800-volt architecture, it can charge at 270 kilowatts and is capable of adding a 10-80% range in 21 minutes, assuming it gets plugged into a fast enough DCFC.
The battery can deliver a range of up to 381 miles on the Macan 4 and 367 miles on the Turbo—but that’s on the European WLTP cycle which is slightly more optimistic than the EPA ratings here in the U.S. WLTP ratings are estimated to be 22% higher than EPA ratings, so going by this measure, expect the U.S. range to be around 300 miles for the regular version and slightly below that for the Turbo.
Those figures would still be substantially better than the Taycan, whose EPA ratings range between 200-246 miles depending on the variant and model year.
New Generation Software
The new Macan can be configured to feature up to three screens: A free-standing 12.6-inch, curved gauge cluster, a 10.9-inch central display, and an optional 10.9-inch screen for the co-driver. What’s also new is the head-up display with augmented reality technology.
Porsche says AR elements such as navigation arrows will be visually integrated and the image would “appear to the driver at a distance of 32.8 feet and corresponds to the size of an 87-inch display.”
The new-generation infotainment system is based on Android Automotive OS (something we know works superbly in Volvos) and is also compatible with Apple Car Play.
We’ll have to wait and see how clean and responsive the user interface is on the new Macan, and the software experience is certainly something to look out for in early reviews of the final product. VW Group’s software division Cariad was comprehensively restructured in 2023 (including 2,000 job cuts) after users reported system freezes and unresponsive touchscreens on some VW EVs. That delayed the development of Cariad’s E3 1.2 software platform, as well as the Macan and the related Audi Q6 e-tron—both crucial cars for the VW Group.
The optional rear-axle-steering gives it a turning circle of 36.4 feet, almost as good as a Toyota Corolla. Although we don’t yet know how much this feature will set you back by. However, for driving enthusiasts, it seems worth it.
As Stevens said in his review, “[the rear steering system] is paired with an even sharper variable steering ratio to make the car feel almost too eager to get to the apex, a feeling that is utterly addictive.”
Price and Availability
Both variants are available to order in the U.S. The Macan 4 starts at an MSRP of $78,800 and the Macan Turbo is priced at $105,300, excluding delivery and handling fees. It will be manufactured at Porsche Plant Leipzig in Germany, alongside the Panamera and the gas-powered Macan.
U.S. deliveries will begin in the second half of 2024, and the electric SUV will take on rivals like the BMW iX, Genesis Electrified GV70, and the Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV, to name a few.