2024 Porsche Macan goes electric. We take it to WRC Monte Carlo and Monaco

Dean Evans
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Macan Turbo, heading to the WRC Col de Turini road

  • Big battery and range
  • True Porsche performance
  • Like a Taycan, but in SUV form
  • Not a huge visual change
  • No rear window wiper
  • Electric only... soon

Game-changers are nothing new to Porsche. As a company full of icons and cars that changed customer’s mindsets, the new Porsche Macan Electric is yet another one in the long line of ever-changing, ever evolving models.
While the Porsche 911 remains a constant, it’s models like the Turbo, the Cayenne, the 928, 959, and even the Taycan that have either broken new ground, or created a shift in the Porsche paradigm.

Porsche Macan Electric, the Turbo ID'd by the deeper front intakes

The new Macan Electric is one of those models that breaks the mould for the brand, and the first model to change from ICE to full electric. Launched in 2014 as the smaller version of the popular and brand-saving Cayenne, the premium luxury five-seat Macan SUV brings many 2024-style upgrades and all-new electric technology.

Macan 4 misses out on the rear faux vents

Put away the petrol-powered pitchforks, the Macan Electric is not a direct replacement for the petrol-powered version, and both models will sell alongside each other... at least for the short-term, in New Zealand. But time is running out.
Macan Electric is an important model for Porsche: so important, in fact, that it invited the world’s motoring media to Nice, France, for its global launch.

Antibes, France, location for the global launch

Upon arrival was Porsche’s temporary headquarters, a large demountable building set-up Formula 1/Carrera Cup style, with a reception area, kitchen, dining area, male and female bathrooms with TVs, and Macan models in both complete and stripped down to its chassis, revealing its EV underpinnings. And just 100 metres away, a Porsche Macan on water, the Frauscher x Porsche Fantom 850 electric boat, but that’s another story. Yep, this was Porsche doing an important launch event right.

Porsche HQ... for a few days

Macan is also super important for New Zealand, as the brand’s biggest seller in 2023, outselling even Cayenne and accounting for more than one-third of Porsche Cars NZ sales. This sales trend reflects globally with Macan as its popularity grows and the model closes in on 1 million total sales.

Two models of 2024 Macan Electric mark its launch: the 4 and the range-topping Turbo, to be joined by two more models that might typically, in Porsche ranking, be an entry level, 4S and/or GTS. This is where it gets slightly confusing in the electric age. In Porsche speak, “4” traditionally signifies four-wheel drive, as it does with the Macan 4 (and all Macans); the Turbo is the high-performance model. No, it does not have a turbocharger, so let’s just move on - need to get hung up on nomenclature.

Macan's EV architecture, called PPE (and nothing to do with Covid)

While retaining Porsche’s traditional attributes of looks, driving style and feel, with facelifts over the years, this is the first major model change, and introduces a whole new platform that will serve as the basis for Porsches to come, called PPE (Premium Platform Electric). Externally, it retains the Porsche flat nose with bulging fenders - a trace of 911 perhaps - and a similar profile to previous, but it’s the nose and bum that are new, with the split front headlights, with upper DRLs and Matrix LEDs, that are rather distinctive and a little similar to Taycan.

A rear tailight strip is designed to look 3D with the exposed Porsche lettering, while the model badge is underneath: other “tells” between the 4 and Turbo models are the wheel sizes (to to 22in) and the black vertical strakes on the outer edge of the front intakes that ID the Turbo model. Its intakes are also larger and deeper and split-style, while the Turbo also has rear faux vents on its hips. A monochrome “Turbonite” Porsche crest is also new for the Porsche Turbo models.

Turbo dash with monochrome crest and standard passenger display (option on 4)

It’s all rather slippery, too, with variable front cooling flaps, a cute tilt-up rear spoiler, and a drag rating of just 0.25Cd - that’s a little more than the Tesla Model Y (0.23) but which would you rather look at? And a lot better than the old Macan. The slippery shape is said to increase the range by 80km over the previous body.
Practicality is also a Macan hallmark, with luggage space between 540-1348 litres, and a frunk with another 84 litres; it’ll also tow up to 2 tonne, which is 400kg less than the petrol Macan.
At the heart of the Macan Electric is a 100kWh battery, 95 of those being useable, sitting between the 89kWh in the Taycan and 105kWh in Taycan Turbo. It’s 800 volt architecture, which basically means it charges fast: up to 270kW on a DC charger, which matches the Taycan. No one-pedal driving, however, despite having regen.

Let’s push through the other numbers for a paragraph: the Macan 4 has 285kW and 650Nm, plus an overboost function that bumps it to 300kW, with launch control that racks up 5.2 seconds to 100km/h. The Turbo ups the ante quite a bit: a large 430kW (470kW on overboost), and a massive 1130Nm. Yep, 1130! And just 3.3 seconds to 100km/h! That sits it between Taycan 4S and Turbo, and is mighty quick.

It’s that immense mountain of torque that moves the Turbo from point A to B with such effortless urgency. It’s motion-sickness-inducing, no question, as evidenced by my co-driver during our 200km drive from Nice to the famous Monte Carlo WRC stage and the Col de Turini, its dozens of hairpin corners and treacherous cliffs inviting and intimidating at the same time, as the Macan Turbo we drove there for the day was exploding from corner to corner.

It’s difficult to imagine a type of car that covers more ground point-to-point than an AWD electric car, and the Macan’s switchable sound generator adds a little more aural pleasure for such times, its ride and steering fulfilling its promise to be like a Porsche, with adjustable damping depending on which mode is chosen, the Turbo also using a torque vectoring unit to maximise grip and speed, along with up to 5 degrees of rear steering to pivot it around the tightest turns or add stability at high speeds.

The cabin brings the Macan right up to the now, which is key, as Porsche life cycles can often fall behind current tech, and with a curved 12.6in dash display, a centre 10.9in display and in the Turbo, a passenger-side 10.9in multimedia display that cleverly blacks out to the driver when moving. And buttons, too, a welcome sight in an ever-increasing touchscreen world. Augmented reality on the head-up display adds another dimension of safety and tech to the 2024 Macan, and the active turning arrows and lane guidance really do work well.
An app centre, voice control for route and charge planning and the My Porsche smartphone app for remote control charging and vehicle functions all bring the Macan right up to date, and make it all very Taycan-ey. Which is great.

Back on the motorway, it’s a short 40 minute drive from Nice to Monaco, where the seat massaging is activated and the almost-1500W, 21-speaker surround sound systems get a thorough workout, the Macan’s lowered seating position much preferred for this driver, and accommodation for wireless phone charging or USB-C ports adding functionality.

As we enter the Principality of Monaco, the second smallest country in the world at 2km-squared (after the Vatican), we wind our way through the narrow streets to the startline of the Grand Prix circuit, which was setting up for the weekend’s Formula E event, and F1 a weeks after.

The Macan is in its element here, meaning it’s simply cruising around being seen, at the Casino Square where people who know what they’re looking at turn and take pics as we slowly, silently slink by. We experience 95 percent of the track lap, all but the chicane after the tunnel, and after three laps and 90 mins drinking in Monaco, rejoin the motorway back to Nice.
It's also a car that should be right at home in NZ, with its charging infrastructure, when Macan Electric goes on sale in Q4 2024.

We return to our base in Antibes, 30 mins from Nice, to realise not once have we thought about range: with 591km from the Turbo and 613km from the 4, it’s somewhat obvious why not, with around 20kWh/100km, fairly decent considering its 2.4 tonne weight.
New Macan Electric might be a game-changer in some ways, but it’s less so in others; evolution and revolution in one package, mixing the best Porsche has to offer into the popular SUV body. In fact, after spending a few days in the new model, we changed our view that it’s not merely an electric version of the Macan, it’s more an SUV version of the Taycan. And that does change the game.

BATTERY: 100kWh/95kWh useable
MOTOR: Twin-motor, single-speed gearboxes
POWER: 300kW/650, 470/1130Nm
RANGE: 613km/591km
CHARGING: 11kW AC, 270kW DC (800V), 130kW (400V)
0-100KM/H: 5.2/3.3sec
ECONOMY: 20kWh/100km (tested)
PRICE: $166,500, $223,000


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