New Car Previews

2024 Porsche Macan EV Preview

Update (Jan. 25, 2024): Porsche has announced that the second-generation, battery-electric Macan will arrive in Canadian dealerships in the latter part of this year for model year 2024.

In 2015, the smallest of Porsche’s two SUVs became the brand’s best-seller – a status the Macan has traded back and forth with its bigger sibling in the years since.

Not only has this little crossover cemented itself as a key model in Porsche’s lineup, but it’s also reinforced the importance of such practical offerings for the brand and its customers. In the near-decade since its arrival, the Macan has evolved in the typical Porsche way, with incremental-but-effective improvements.

That approach is soon to be tossed entirely for the biggest shakeup in the model’s history, with an all-electric version set to arrive in the very near future. Whatever it may be called – the name was not yet announced at the time of this writing – the 2024 Porsche Macan will mark the second such entry for the brand as it transitions to an emissions-free lineup.

Electric Learnings

The all-electric version of the Macan uses the same 800-volt architecture as its Taycan sibling, plus it uses a pair of electric motors to drive the front and rear wheels. Porsche has built on key learnings from the Taycan, and the Macan’s battery unit consists of a dozen separate modules that can be replaced individually if needed instead of the entire unit as a whole. The battery pack isn’t the same as the Taycan’s; instead, it’s likely coming from Porsche’s recently acquired producer, Cellforce.

The battery pack is temperature controlled to ensure both longevity and optimized performance for charging and discharging. With more than three million test kilometres under the Macan EV’s belt in conditions ranging from -30° to 50° Celcius, Porsche claims to have mitigated the external factors affecting range as much as possible. The brand is, however, remaining tight-lipped about exactly how far the all-electric Macan will be able to travel on a full charge.

Electrifying Performance

Following a tour of the facility in Leipzig, Germany, where the Macan is built, we were taken on a test drive in a pre-production prototype around an adjacent test track to prove this new electric vehicle (EV) has appropriately Porsche-like performance. Starting with a dizzying launch-control rocket-ride down the pit lane, our driver flung the Macan through a series of corners designed to replicate some of the most notorious elements from the world’s most famous tracks. Around the Suzuka S and Monza’s Parabolica corner, the Macan was quite happy to slide its backside very wide in beautifully controlled drifts. The Macan EV’s turning circle is claimed to be reduced significantly thanks to rear steering, which also helps increase turning stability at speed.

Upon its arrival, the Macan EV will be offered in two different trims: a base model, and the range-topping Turbo S. It was the latter that was used for this demonstration, and the only thing more impressive than its on-track performance was the Macan’s ability to handle an off-road course without issue.

Splashing down muddy roads, the Macan’s minimal ground clearance was enhanced with an off-road drive mode that stilted its air suspension to the maximum height. The electric all-wheel drive system enabled the Macan EV to smoothly crawl its way up a very steep, slippery uphill path with ease despite wearing tires clearly meant more for performance on pavement than slinging mud on the trail. Even still, the ride is sports car stiff, so while the Macan EV can manage light off-roading, it’ll never be a real rock-crawler.

The Macan EV does not enable one-pedal driving, instead opting to default to a free-wheeling mode when the driver lets up from the accelerator. Porsche claims the process allows for greater overall efficiency. Like the Taycan, there’s some mild regenerative capability that puts kinetic energy in the battery for later use.

Fresh Tech Inside

The Macan EV’s interior also borrows a lot from the Taycan, including the all-digital instrument display that still sits high enough to keep the same overall dashboard shape that’s been a hallmark of Porsches since the 1960s. The central touch screen display employs a new and improved infotainment system designed to be lightning-quick in its responsiveness and regularly updatable thanks to key data and operations being stored remotely online. Even still, enough mapping information is downloaded to ensure drivers who do take their Macans into the hinterlands can still find their way back, even out of cellular range.

With more than 80 per cent of Macan buyers being iPhone users, it’s no surprise that Apple CarPlay is included (as is Android Auto); and as a great addition, mapping information from both Google and Apple Maps can also be displayed in the driver’s gauge display.

Users who utilize the Macan’s integrated Google-based navigation system will benefit from pre-trip route planning with the My Porsche app. The app allows drivers to specify preferences for charging locations en route with preferred charge providers, as well as details like the amount of range buffer preferred before charging, or the amount of remaining charge desired at the end of the trip. That’s the kind of technology that can make an EV more viable even for road trips, and help alleviate range anxiety.

The massive head-up display also features augmented reality navigation, which is a first for Porsche. The passenger-side screen found in other models like the Taycan and Cayenne makes its first appearance in a Macan here, too, enabling the front-seat passenger to utilize any of the infotainment system’s apps, watch YouTube videos, or even play video games – all of which is invisible to the driver.

Unique Assembly Process

During our tour of the Leipzig assembly plant, a handful of pre-production electric Macans were sprinkled amongst the gas-powered versions, plus the Porsche Panamera. Building EVs at the same time as gas-powered models can create manufacturing challenges, since marrying a body with a traditional drivetrain is notably different than mounting one to a battery pack and a pair of motors. To date, the Leipzig plant is the only assembly line of its kind building EVs, hybrids, and gas-only vehicles at the same time.

Final Thoughts

Recognizing the skepticism many enthusiasts may have about the increasing electrification of a brand previously known for its internal-combustion-powered sports machines, the 2024 Porsche Macan EV is set to help put minds at ease. It looks poised to set new performance benchmarks for little crossovers like it, while offering the benefits of electrification buyers might have otherwise sought from other brands.

The 2024 Macan EV is slated to arrive in dealerships in the second half of 2024.