MARINA DEL REY, Calif.—Porsche’s plans to electrify 80 percent of its product range by 2030 requires the German automaker to offer more than just Taycans. Other than the 911, which probably won’t be a battery-electric vehicle (unless and) until solid-state batteries alter the energy-to-mass calculations, that means everything else in the lineup will need to trade engine, exhaust, and fuel tank for a battery pack and an electric motor or two. And it’s starting with its second-best-selling model, the Macan crossover.
An all-new Macan arrives in showrooms next year for model year 2024 and will confusingly coexist for some time alongside the current gas-burning Macan, which recently went through its midlife refresh. The new version is entirely electric, however, and will be built on a new 800 V architecture called Premium Platform Electric, being developed by Porsche together with its corporate sibling, Audi.
Spy shots of barely disguised Macan EVs have been circulating for some time as Porsche puts on its finishing touches. Some of those test cars have even been spotted here in the US; a couple of years ago, it decided to develop local market prototypes. For our market, that means things like making sure the satellite radio works and that the advanced driver assistance system (or ADAS) can read our road signs and knows that on US highways, faster traffic rarely sticks to the leftmost lane.
It was in the midst of this work that Porsche invited us to spend a few hours in the driving seat of some of those prototypes, driving from Marina del Rey up to Malibu and back, stopping to charge along the way. We swapped between several different powertrain specifications, from the least-powerful base Macan through to the most powerful Macan Turbo, which packs a 603-hp (450 kW), 737 lb-ft (1,000 Nm) punch from its all-wheel drive powertrain.
We have a full tech briefing on the new Macan scheduled for later this month, and on the drive to Malibu, Porsche’s engineers were reticent to discuss any technical details, but there’s a 48:52 front-to-rear weight distribution, helped by placing the rear electric motor as far back as possible. The motors are an evolution of the permanent magnet synchronous motors in the Taycan, with better water cooling, and the inverter uses silicon carbide instead of silicon.