Welcome to the future. The future of Porsche, at least, and Audi, too, eventually. Underneath that whisp of cladding and all the black vinyl is the new, all-electric Porsche Macan, the first product built upon Volkswagen Group's Premium Platform Electric. PPE is set to deliver a new generation of high-end electric Porsches and Audis to boot. After a day of hustling a prototype of the new Macan around California roads, I'm here to say that the future is looking bright.
Bright, but also perhaps a bit murky. While this is an EV Macan, it won't be called "Macan EV" or "Macan Electric." It's just called Macan, and while it is set to enter the market in early 2024, the internally combusted Macan isn't going away. Yes, you'll have your choice of not one but two models built on two different platforms, both called Macan, at dealerships soon.
Confusing? A smidge, yeah, but this is very definitely the one you'll want.
|Quick Specs||2024 Porsche Macan Electric|
|Battery||100.0-Kilowatt-Hour Lithium-Ion (est.)|
|Range||300 Miles (est.)|
|On-Sale Date||Early 2024|
The Next Generation
When it comes to first acts, it's hard to do better than the Taycan. Porsche's first EV made the transition from luscious concept to desirable production machine smoother than most. It'll be a hard act to follow, but from what I just experienced behind the wheel, the new Macan won't be lingering in the second-album doldrums.
Let's get some of the critical figures out of the way first – or as many as we can, at least. Porsche is still playing its cards pretty close to its chest on this one, so we're not quite dealing with a full deck. The electric Macan's PPE platform will deliver a battery pack with a capacity of around 100.0 kilowatt-hours, with a range that Porsche says will test "well beyond" 500 kilometers on the European WLTP test.
That equates to somewhere north of 310 miles of range, a significant boost over the Taycan's current maximum rating of 246 miles. However, that is on the rather more challenging EPA test cycle. With all that uncertainty, it's difficult to say what the Macan's US, EPA-rated range will be, but somewhere in the 275 to 300 mile range seems reasonable.
And how about power? All Macans will be all-wheel drive with a dual-motor setup, but three different power levels will be available. Porsche has yet to figure out just how to brand this thing, but you can imagine it arriving in dealers as something like a Macan 4, 4S, and Turbo to follow current Taycan branding.
Porsche again doesn't have specific power figures available, but I was told the top-shelf Turbo trim would manage around 450 kilowatts. That's just a tick over 600 horsepower. The top-shelf Macan GTS today offers 434 hp. That is a healthy jump, to say the least.
That power will surely come with a considerable increase over the GTS's roughly 4,400-pound curb weight, too, but Porsche hasn't confirmed a figure. And, just to round out all the TBDs, we don't have pricing on the electric Macan either, but don't be surprised if it starts above the Macan GTS, which currently has an MSRP north of $85,000.
Now that we've established all the unknowns let's dig into the known: This thing is a monster. I drove a variety of flavors of electric Macan on a beautiful day hustling through the Malibu hills, but I started in a model that Porsche's engineers would only describe as "top" trim. That meant all the power, all the handling goodies, and the air suspension, lacking only the rear steering option.
So, that meant somewhere north of 600 hp put to the road through two electric motors. Unlike on Taycan, the rear motor no longer has a two-speed transmission, but it is augmented by an active rear differential with torque vectoring.
I started my day, as so many SoCal drivers do, stuck in traffic, dawdling along over some questionably paved stretches of asphalt. My first impressions were of a car that's remarkably compliant and comfortable for commuting. It's quiet, too, as you'd expect an EV to be, but given this was such an early prototype, I'd expected some squeaks and rattles or some degree of excessive road noise. There wasn't a hint.
The roads cleared as I got out of town. As the asphalt started snaking, I was able to pick up the pace. Dropping the Macan into Sport mode delivers an immediate and noticeable change in character. The throttle response immediately sharpens, the suspension likewise stops being so soft and starts getting real.
After being nearly lulled to sleep in earlier gridlock, I confess I was not expecting the new Macan to be such a powerhouse in the turns. The harder I pushed, the better it responded, really coming alive when I twisted the mode dial over to Sport Plus.
Soon I was comfortable enough to have the all-season Continental tires at both axles squealing in complaint through the corners. The Macan did remarkably well at managing the grip from those increasingly overtaxed tires. Yes, the Macan tended to understeer, but in the sort of safe, predictable way that makes sense for a car like this.
That understeer wasn't terminal by any means. Turning the wheel a little more and adding a little throttle resulted in the nose coming around every time, that rear differential doing its magic. Oversteer was easy to provoke, and the Porsche's various stability management systems were kind enough to let me enjoy it. In hours of overly aggressive driving, tires squealing, I only felt one significant intervention.
After being nearly lulled to sleep in earlier gridlock, I confess I was not expecting the new Macan to be such a powerhouse in the turns.
And the power? Addictive. On Sport Plus, the throttle is incredibly sharp, the kind of delivery that may cause neck injuries for passengers not receiving fair warning before you step on it. The power requires some modulation as you accelerate out of tight corners, but that rear differential does a lot of work to keep the thing moving in the right direction.
I later sampled cars with the rear-steering system, and that just added more agility to the mix. It's 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.
And the less-powerful electric Macans? While they certainly lacked the eye-opening thrust of that top Turbo (or whatever Porsche calls it), they're still properly quick. Their accelerative performance should be easily on par with any of the internally combusted Macans.
The feeling across the range there is equally good when it comes to braking. The brake pedal has confidence-inspiring firmness yet still enough travel to comfortably work through traffic without complaint from back-seat passengers.
That feel, though, is entirely synthetic. The electric Macan uses a brake-by-wire pedal system that, behind the scenes, relies on electric regenerative braking as much as possible before seamlessly calling in some help from the physical brakes. Thanks to the Macan's 800-volt battery system, the car can pull a lot of juice from those motors during regen, meaning you'll only need the physical brakes under serious decel.
If and when the brake performance is degraded due to temperature or the like, a Porsche engineer told me the pedal feel will modulate to give feedback to the driver. But, on a hard, hot day of charging through the California hills, I never felt a hint of fade, simulated or otherwise.
Sadly, though, there's one fly in this ointment: one-pedal driving. Porsche is still sticking to its guns: If you want to slow down, you'll need to move your foot from accelerator to brake. I can't argue with the engineers that it may be the more efficient way to drive, but then you also can't argue that PDK transmissions are quicker and more efficient than manuals, and yet Porsche is quite proud to offer those to its sports car enthusiasts.
Plenty of electric car enthusiasts prefer one-pedal driving, myself very much included, and as Porsche gets more serious about EVs, it'd be nice if the company acknowledged that. After all, adding a high-regen mode is a heck of a lot simpler than adding a third pedal.
Sandwiching a battery pack into the floor of an EV often raises the passenger cabin up a few inches to compensate for all those electrolytes sloshing around beneath you. Not so in the Macan. The electric Macan's seating position is lower than that in the current, internal combustion version. That's thanks to redesigned seats that, as far as I could tell, gave up nothing in terms of comfort or support. They're still heated and ventilated, too.
The overall interior design is very Taycan-inspired, much like the new Cayenne, with a curved digital gauge cluster offering the same three-panel layout as the Taycan. A central touchscreen is there for navigation and other infotainment duties, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, while an optional passenger display looked to be on offer as well. (Much of the dash was covered in fabric during my drive.)
Porsche, though, is debuting a new sort of user interface here, which it calls the Communication Light. In addition to the ambient LED lighting, the Macan features a second LED strip running across the dashboard. This can optionally be used as a sort of simple indicator for things like drive mode changes. It can also flash for certain driver alerts and even pulse along with the Macan's launch control. It's a simple but effective feature.
Dimensionally, I had plenty of room in the rear seat, and a pair of USB-C ports back there should keep your passengers' devices happy, too.
Make My Macan Electric
It may be a little confusing for Porsche to offer two Macans simultaneously, but from a business standpoint that'll give the company the ability to scale production appropriately based on consumer demand. Anyone who drives these two back-to-back will want the EV flavor, but since it'll surely cost more, and given not everyone has access to charging, I understand it may not be everyone's choice.
It would, though, be the one for me, even without the one-pedal driving. The electric Macan is excellent to drive, and as Porsche's EV second act begins, I'm ever-more eager to see what's coming next.
Update: The original version of this story listed a release date of early 2025, but Porsche has confirmed a release date of early 2024. The story has been updated to reflect that.
Gallery: 2025 Porsche Macan Electric Prototype First Drive Review
2025 Porsche Macan Electric