► Next-gen Porsche Macan goes electric
► 430bhp Macan or 600bhp Macan Turbo
► Macan EV to be unveiled and on sale in 2024
The Porsche Macan EV is the next all-electric car to come from the world’s largest and best-known sports car brand and our artists have stripped away the camo from the prototypes that have been pounding the roads around Porsche’s Stuttgart HQ.
These new images created exclusively for CAR magazine by computer artist Lars Saltzer reveal what the electric Porsche Macan will look like when the covers slide off in 2024. Why the long wait? The original 2022 launch date has been pushed back several times by Covid complications, supply issues and the sheer complexity of launching a group-wide new EV architecture.
It’s a major relaunch. Remember: the current Macan tech stack is nearly a decade old and you can’t even buy a hybrid version today. Porsche is almost fast-forwarding two generations with the new one.
If the new e-Macan can unite the near-universal appeal of today’s Macan – crossover functionality spiked with plenty of dynamic and design flair – and the effortless electric performance of the Porsche Taycan, it will surely go supernova.
Electric Porsche Macan: background to 2024’s hottest EV
We have frequently spied the all-electric Porsche Macan prototypes as part of a rigorous programme that’ll see Zuffenhausen engineers rack up 2 million miles of durability testing. Flick through our gallery to see spyshots from the Nordschleife in Germany to the wilds of the Arctic Circle.
Underpinning the new e-Macan is the Volkswagen Group’s new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture co-developed by Audi and Porsche. It will also power the upcoming Audi Q6 and is bespoke EV hardware for higher-riding electric cars in the upper segments.
It is built around an 800-volt electrical architecture designed to transform the EV hardware and remove the commonly perceived pains of plugging in. Porsche says this tech will give the electric Macan ‘long range, highly efficient quick charging and reproducible best-in-class performance figures and is to be the sportiest model in its segment.’ Sounds promising…
Battery sizes, specs and model line-up
The electric Macan will be offered with just one battery size: a chunky 100kWh cell, deemed enough for more than 320 miles of range.
All models use twin motors, according to our intel, although a cheaper, single-motor, two-wheel drive version could be added later when volumes/prices demand. Four-wheel steering is available, but only on higher-spec models, while Turbo models use a brawnier rear motor and electronic differential for precise handling and traction benefits.
Insiders predict three specs on the model ladder, mapping in a similar fashion to the combustion Porsche range and echoing the Taycan’s line-up:
- Macan E 430bhp
- Macan 4S 500bhp
- Macan Turbo 600bhp+
The range-topping Turbo has a colossal 738lb ft of torque, helping to overcome a kerbweight somewhere between 2100-2200kg to post a 0-62mph time comfortably below four seconds.
There are even rumours of a wild 750bhp Turbo S GT in the works. Charging the energy pack from 5% to 80% is claimed to take only 18 minutes on a rapid charging plug.
‘Charging times and power are comparable to the Taycan: 270kW, so 60 miles of range in less than four minutes,’ Stephan Hess, the head of charging for the project, tells CAR. ‘It’s a completely new platform but the battery construction is similar to the Taycan’s, as are the power electronics.’
The Macan’s price point doesn’t allow for the Taycan’s high-voltage booster. Hess, who studied quantum physics before busying himself with all matters charging, EV and PHEV, worked around the problem. ‘The Taycan has a booster, which costs money and takes up space in the package,’ he tells CAR. ‘Instead, we use “bank” charging on the Macan. It uses software and some high-voltage switches in the battery to switch the battery in half, so it looks like a 400-volt battery to the charger and we get more efficient charging without the booster.’
As far as conventional technologies go, the biggest surprise is perhaps the option of air suspension – rare in this segment. It will allow Porsche to tune the 2024 Macan’s chassis for comfort or sportiness, as well as lift it for off-roading or lower it for loading dogs and luggage. Look out also for the same two-valve dampers you’ll find on the latest Cayenne, allowing for independent tuning of rebound and compression and much finer body control.
Porsche new-model strategy: offering a choice of electric or petrol/hybrid models
Porsche’s decision to sell an electric version of the new Macan alongside ICE-powered models shows that the brand isn’t ready to throw its full weight behind full electrification just yet. The company recognises that electrification isn’t right for everyone, so it’ll tailor the sales of its electric Macan to the markets most willing to accept it. The UK and most of Europe will take the EV only.
By 2030, Porsche expects 80% of its line-up to be all-electric – and it is preparing its supply chain to be carbon neutral by the end of the decade, too.
This is an expensive move for Porsche as a manufacturer – but it’ll benefit customers, as they’ll be given a broader choice of powertrains. Porsche first confirmed the all-electric Macan in February 2019, and said it will be built at its Leipzig factory in eastern Germany where the Cayenne is produced.
Andreas Huber, Porsche’s manager for digital prototypes, tells us that his team has been beavering away on the Macan’s aerodynamics in the virtual world for around five years. He said that low drag for the electric model is ‘fundamental, with a view to ensuring long range.’
The electric Porsche Macan interior
Earlier spyshots showed a less busy cockpit than the outgoing Macan, with only three instead of five round gauges in the main instrument pod. Now we’ve actually driven a late prototype and can confirm it’s a comfortable, yet still sporting cabin. Note the lack of paddle-shifters behind the wheel.
Gone are the cluttered switchgear and the crammed centre stack; there’s a big new multi-functional centre display, hiding under the disguise shrouding the dashboard in our prototype above. Note also the option of Sport Chrono, just like other cars in Stuttgart’s line-up. You sit reassuringly low down for a sporting posture: the hip point is actually 24mm lower than in today’s petrol-powered Macan.
We have now driven the newcomer and you can read the thoughts of editor Ben Miller in his Porsche Macan electric review here.
Platform chat: why the electric Macan is on a new architecture
Porsche’s engineering boss, Dr Michael Steiner (below), explained the benefits of the new PPE hardware. ‘The electrified Macan will be based on a new platform – it’s not a derivative of an existing one. It’s been jointly developed with Audi: PPE, standing for Premium Platform Electric.’
This new chassis continues Porsche and Audi’s collaboration on EVs, as the platform will also be used to prop up the new Audi Q6 e-tron. It differs greatly from the J1 platform found under the Taycan and the e-Tron GT twins.
This reveals a branch in Porsche’s architecture planning. Zuffenhausen intends to offer low-floor and high-riding EVs, which will power a future family of sportier models (Taycan GT, possible electric sports cars) and more practical Porsches (like the Macan and other SUVs).
‘PPE is totally different from the Taycan,’ Steiner added. ‘Taycan was designed for cars sitting low on the road. PPE will be used by Macan and other high-floor cars – there could be further derivatives in the SUV range. It is totally new. The Macan will go all the way up to Turbo and Turbo S levels of performance.’
A petrol/hybrid Macan too: catering for all tastes
Steiner also reaffirmed Porsche’s short-term commitment to combustion power, saying: ‘For some years there will be an ICE [internal combustion engine] Macan, in parallel with a fully electric car. Depending on market demand, we will offer them in parallel.’
This decision puts Porsche in a tricky position, though, as it’s forced to invest in both technologies – a point not lost on the brand’s chairman, Oliver Blume. We asked him when his company’s platform strategies would converge. He told us: ‘Not for a few years. We are watching very closely around the world. Different regions of the world are developing at different speeds.
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‘We are well prepared with the product strategy, petrol engines/hybrids and electric mobility. In 10 years, I don’t know [how that will have changed]. We make analysis every year, how the markets are developing, then we take our decisions for the product strategy year-by-year.’
By 2025, Porsche predicts that half of its sales will come from pure-electric vehicles, which means the brand’s high-revving four- and six-cylinder engines will soon be on the chopping block. So, petrolheads, place your orders now while you still can.
Read our full interview with Oliver Blume