Porsche has revealed the full details of its upcoming Porsche Macan EV, the first to ride on the marque's latest Premium Platform Electric (PPE) and a vehicle that the German performance car maker says will be "the sportiest model in its segment" but also delivers "high levels of everyday practicality".
Although the Taycan was Porsche's first – and very successful – foray into electrification, the Macan EV is arguably the more important car. It's priced at £69,800 / €84,100 (around $88,900 / AU$135,000) for the Macan 4, with the most potent Turbo models costing £95,000 / €114,600 (around $121,000 / AU$184,000). And the electrified SUV joins the ranks of Porsche's globally best-selling body style in the Macan and Cayenne.
Since 2014, Porsche has delivered more than 800,000 examples of its small SUV worldwide, and the success of its latest model is absolutely essential if Porsche is going hit its target of electrifying and successfully selling 80 per cent of its model range by 2030.
To do this, it has created an electric vehicle that seemingly excels in all scenarios – Macan 4 models are able to accelerate from rest to 62mph in just 5.2 seconds (the Turbo knocks that down to 3.3 seconds), while offering top speeds of 137mph and 161mph respectively.
The 800V architecture combines with a 100kWh lithium-ion battery pack located underneath the body. Up to 95kWh can be actively used, which equates to a combined WLTP range of up to 381 miles in the Macan 4 and 367 miles in the Turbo.
Both models feature dual permanently-excited PSM electric motors mounted to each axle, which not only gives the Macan EV exceptional straight line performance, but also allows it to venture off-road, thanks to numerous bespoke driving modes.
During our ride-along in an early prototype model, we experienced the neck-snapping acceleration Turbo provided on track (thanks to launch control), as well as Macan EV's ability to wade, climb and control neat slides on the muddy stuff.
The 800V architecture, which was a highlight of Taycan, also allows for faster charging speeds, with Porsche claiming its latest Macan can accept DC charging inputs of up to 270 kW. Thanks to this, the battery can be charged from 10 to 80 per cent within around 21 minutes at a suitable fast-charging station.
If lower 400-volt charging stations are the only option, a high-voltage switch in the battery enables bank charging by effectively splitting the 800-volt battery into two, each with a rated voltage of 400 volt for more efficient and time-effective top-ups.
Although the infotainment set-up looks alarmingly similar to the one found in the current Taycan (as well as the upcoming Panamera), Porsche introduces an all-new, Android Automotive-powered operating system that makes the human machine interface feel far more intuitive, speedier and more capable.
Macan EV can be specified with up to three screens: a free-standing 12.6-inch, curved-design instrument cluster, a 10.9-inch central display and an optional third passenger screen, also measuring 10.9 inches.
As we mentioned in our early hands-on with a prototype infotainment system in the marque's Leipzig facility, Porsche has ensured it is lightning fast, able to deal with complex routing requests, including bespoke charging requirements, in milliseconds.
The Android Automotive OS also means users have access to much of the Google Play store, with the ability to download apps, games and favorite streaming services. The optional third passenger screen features a special coating so the driver isn't distracted by whatever the front passenger is bingeing.
Finally, Porsche has introduced the latest Augmented Reality Head Up Display in Macan EV, which beams virtual instructions onto the road ahead for easier navigation and safety warnings.
Turn arrows now strobe, while virtual lane markings help the driver stay in the correct lane. According to Porsche, the image appears to the driver at a distance of 10 meters and corresponds to the size of an 87-inch display. We tried it in a prototype Panamera and found it genuinely useful, yet surprisingly unintrusive.
Although the Macan EV is a tech tour de force, it has also been engineered with Porsche's formidable performance woven into its DNA. It slides, drifts and attacks a race circuit like a vehicle possessed, yet it can also manage a foray into light off-roading territory. Porsche rarely does things by half.
"Thanks to its particularly sporting seat position and low center of gravity, as well as its impressive driving dynamics and steering precision, the new Macan delivers a real sports car feeling," explains Product Line Vice President Jörg Kerner.
The Porsche Traction Management can sense and react to wheel slip within 10 milliseconds, while Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus cleverly juggles power between the axles, sending power to where it is required.
Turbo models come as standard with the Porsche Active Suspension Management system, which allows greater control over comfort in normal driving conditions, but transforms Macan EV into a hunkered down, circuit-devouring monster when the mood takes.
Also for the first time on Macan, these electrified models can be specified with rear-axle steering, which delivers a more compact turning circle in busy urban environments, but also aids stability when traveling at high speeds.
It's a solid offering, a do-it-all SUV that fuses everyday practicality with Porsche performance – a beguiling mix that has proven extremely successful for the Macan in the past.
We are due to see lots more electrified Porsches in the coming years, with Boxster, Cayenne and Panamera all due to get the battery treatment by 2026. There’s also a brand new seven-seat SUV in the workings.
But the success of those will be down to how this Macan EV performs, and for that reason, its importance to the brand can't be underestimated.
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Leon has been navigating a world where automotive and tech collide for almost 20 years, reporting on everything from in-car entertainment to robotised manufacturing plants. Currently, EVs are the focus of his attentions, but give it a few years and it will be electric vertical take-off and landing craft. Outside of work hours, he can be found tinkering with distinctly analogue motorcycles, because electric motors are no replacement for an old Honda inline four.