Frauscher X Porsche Fantom: the Macan electric that runs on water, not wheels

Dean Evans
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  • Cool Porsche partnership 
  • Perfect for the south of France 
  • Devoid of the diesel smells 
  • The price of an Auckland house 
  • Limited range, and recharging 
  • Just 25 made, so we might miss out

It’s a Macan, but not as we know it. As Porsche introduced the new Macan electric to the world’s media in Nice, France, it also unveiled something a little different, but very much related: a Porsche on water, rather than wheels. 

The Frauscher X Porsche 850 Fantom Air is a very impressive machine. A partnership between Austrian shipyard Frauscher and Porsche (hence that X), in simple car terms, it’s a 2024 Porsche Macan electric for the water. 

Yep, an electric boat.


Porsche X Frauscher Fantom boat

 And while it’s certainly not the first electric boat, it is the first electric boat that’s formed a partnership with a car brand. Way more than just a badge and merchandise pack, the Frauscher X Porsche 850 Fantom Air is a run of 25 units that are horrifically expensive, but suitably lavish. Try around $1.5m in NZ dollars – makes the Macan look like a bargain.

At 8.67 metres long, almost two Macans, it accommodates up to nine and exhibits exceptional luxury and performance, Frauscher being in business since 1927 and building electric boats since 1955. 

The Fantom uses the same 100kWh battery from the Macan and the same rear motor from the Turbo: so that means AC or fast DC charging and a top speed of 85km/h - which feels mighty fast, even on the glass-smooth waters between Nice and Cannes for our test drive. Even at its cruising speed of 41km/h, it feels quick thanks to the wind-in-the-face experience, though there are two canopies that raise, along with a sound system, and a fridge. 

There’s also a marriage of motoring and marine with the Porsche steering wheel and five-gauge cluster, a mix of automotive and marine gauges, and even different modes taken straight from Porsche, such as Sport Plus and, er, Docking. It’s a mix. 


Porsche-style Sport driving modes... plus Range and Dock

 Taking the helm of the Fantom for a moment was an experience, the steering being way less responsive than a typical Porsche - well, it is a boat - while offering the same three-spoke feeling. Encouraged to throw it around, as a non-boat person, and the circumspect responsibility of six other souls on board, full throttle comes on with the typical smooth, relentless rush of an electric car, with the nose lifting and the wind blowing. The acceleration is similar to a powerful boat, just way quieter, without the noise or fumes of a diesel or petrol-burning engine: fast but serene, it also purifies the experience of being on the water. 


Passing some of the modest boats moored in Antibes, near Nice and Cannes, France

It isn’t silent, as you might expect, with the rush of wind and water all around, but it is quieter: in fact when docking and coasting, the only noises come from the steering system.

With a range of 45km constant cruising, or over 100km of typical boat start-stop-enjoy-style of boating, the Frauscher guys say it’s good for around 2-3 hours at a time. After an hour of fun, we were still only down to 80 per cent battery. 

“Our boat is perfect as a daycruiser for a relaxed swimming trip, for example, or as a tender for a super yacht to make an excursion to a coastal town,” says Stefan Frauscher. 

Ah, yes, of course: the Fantom is a “second” boat in the same way the Macan is a second car, to, for example, a Porsche 911 GT3. Makes perfect sense. 

Frauscher X Porsche 850 Fantom Air
Porsche Macan Turbo motor
POWER: 170kW cruising, 400kW peak
TOP SPEED: 85km/h, 41km/h cruising
PRICE: Approx NZ$1.5m 


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