2024 Porsche Macan electric prototype: Specs, interiors and passenger seat experience
The Porsche Macan is all set to go electric in 2024, making it the second model after the Taycan to be a full-blown Porsche BEV. We do know some things — like the fact that it will be based on the PPE platform, co-developed with Audi. We also knew that it would remain a compact crossover, but not much else. We travelled to the Porsche Experience Centre in Leipzig to get up close and personal with prototypes of the new electric Macans, and even got in to the passenger seat to see what it would be like. Strap in!
2024 Porsche Macan electric: Platfrom
The PPE platform will be an all-new skateboard platform, with the batteries in the floor and the motors sitting on the axles. The battery specs have been released — a not insignificant 100kWh. Expect a WLTP range of over 500km. The battery is an interesting one. It consists of 12 separate modules made up of 180 cells, and the car features an 800V architecture. The battery also gets bank charging, which means if the charger is a 400V system, the car can intelligently split up the battery in to two 400V systems in parallel to reduce charging times. How long? 10 to 80 per cent in 32 minutes if you find a fast enough charger.
2024 Porsche Macan electric: Motors
The Macan will also come in two variants, with the top-end version, most likely going to be christened Turbo, making “more than” 600bhp and 1000Nm. There will also be a less potent one, probably called the Macan 4. The exact specs of either are not yet confirmed. Like the Taycan, the Macan gets permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM), with updates to the arrangements of the magnets inside the motors and the cooling jackets around them. The entry level model gets identical motors front and rear, while the Turbo gets a bigger rear motor. Unlike the Taycan which gets a two speed transmission, the Macan gets a two-stage single-speed transmission — a more compact design that uses two small gear wheels instead of a single large gear wheel to transmit drive.
2024 Porsche Macan electric: Chassis
In the interest of better weight distribution, Porsche has also taken the rear motor and flipped it 180 degrees so that the weight is now primarily behind the rear axle instead of in front of it. The 911 may or may not have been an inspiration. The integrated power box (IPB, which includes the on-board AC charger, the high-voltage heater and the DC/DC converter) has also been placed under the rear seats. This allows for a 48-52 front-rear weight split and the weight at the rear helps with traction under acceleration, and combined with the rear axle steering and torque vectoring through the e-diff, the Macan promises to be a competent handler. The Macan also gets dynamic dampers (Porsche Active Suspension Management, PASM) and these are now two-chamber units, replacing the single chamber ones on the outgoing Macan. Like on the Panamera, this allows for more control over compression, rebound, and even pitch and roll. Air suspension is available (steel springs on the base variants) and this allows for different ride height settings as well. Wheel sizes will range from 20 to 22 inches, and typical of Porsche, it will get staggered wheels with fatter rears.
2024 Porsche Macan electric: Styling and interiors
Styling and interiors have been given an update, keeping with this new direction. The cars were camouflaged but you could clearly tell the split headlamps with Taycan-like LEDs and the main beams in the bumpers. The roofline was a little more aggressively raked and there was also a 911 Carrera-like electrically actuated wing that rises at speed. The interiors have been refreshed but it isn’t radical — a new floating 12.6-inch instrument cluster takes centre stage in front of the driver, and the infotainment screen is an adequate 10.9 inches. An identical screen can be placed in front of the passenger as an option. The system’s capabilities are also better, now running apps like Spotify and YouTube and even allowing some mobile games to be played on the screen.
2024 Porsche Macan electric: Passenger experience
We didn’t get to drive the new Macan, but we did get the opportunity to experience it from the passenger seat both on-road and off-road. Off-road, the ride did feel slightly firm through the rutted surfaces but it dealt with obstacles with no drama — it climbed slushy slopes with no drama or wheelspin, the e-motors putting down just as much torque as was needed to make progress. Water wading was stress-free as well, what with there being no air intake to drown it.
The real fun was on road — the launch off the line on Porsche Leipzig test track was brutal, as all “more than 1000Nm” sucker punches you in the gut. As with every electric car, that acceleration was accompanied by silence, making it feel even more impressive. Through the corners, the pro drivers from Porsche were not holding back. The Macan was pulling 1G in the bends without breaking in to a sweat, and when provoked, was breaking free and sliding beautifully. The low centre of gravity combined with what seemed like a really competent rear-biased AWD system meant the SUV would hold long, smokey slides with little effort. Direction changes were dealt with competently, it had real composure and it really didn’t feel ‘SUV-like’ with how little we were rolling.
2024 Porsche Macan electric: Verdict
There’s little else I can tell you from just sitting in the wrong seat of the Macan. What I can confirm is that on first impressions, it still has the potential to be best-in-class dynamically. The bigger question is, can it be fun? Well, it certainly loses the emotion of a sweet sounding motor but it does make up for it with mental performance. I’m going to have to reserve my opinion on that for when I drive it. With deliveries slated for 2024, that should be very soon!