Why you should hold off on the petrol Porsche Macan

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Our drive in a pre-production Macan EV reveals several promising details. But can the new car surpass the old petrol model?

The Macan is a key example of Porsche’s ‘slow-and-steady’ approach to updating its line-up; the sporty SUV came out all the way back in 2014 and has only undergone a multitude of subtle revisions since then, with an all-new model nowhere to be seen.

That is, until now, as Porsche is finally planning to unveil a second-generation version of the Macan next year, with the headline feature being its pure-electric powertrain. We’ve already bagged ourselves seat time in a pre-production model, and from our short time with it, we feel it could manage to surpass the outgoing petrol Macan in many ways.

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You might expect the new Porsche Macan to utilise much of the same technology as the Stuttgart outfit’s first EV, the Porsche Taycan. However, the new Macan is instead once again based on Audi architecture; while the outgoing model sits on the same underpinnings as the original Audi Q5 that launched all the way back in the late noughties, the Macan EV shares the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) with the forthcoming Audi Q6 e-tron.

Porsche assures us, however, that it’s had free reign over almost every element of the Macan EV’s powertrain, with it diverging from its Audi sibling pretty early on in the development process. Our first impressions indicate that the result of this is a car that feels much more poised than its Q6 e-tron counterpart – which we’ve also recently driven – with the Macan offering a competent blend of sporting prowess, as well as refinement.

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Straight off the bat, the electric Porsche Macan feels unmistakably ‘Porsche’, with sharp-yet-balanced steering and a progressive brake feel, which marks a significant improvement over the sometimes unnatural-feeling braking system in the Taycan. Thought to weigh roughly two-and-a-half tonnes, the new electric Macan does just as well – perhaps even better – than the old car at masking its weight in the corners. The low centre of gravity provided by the electric motors means that body roll is kept to a minimum, even on the traditional coil springs of our entry-level test car.

Speaking of the different versions of the new Macan, two models will be offered at launch. From what we can tell during our time in the hot-seat, the entry-level Macan seems to output something around 220-250kW, with the instant punch of the electric motors offering much more zing than the current entry-level 2.0-litre Macan.

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According to Porsche, top-of-the-range Turbo cars will produce a heftier 600bhp and a 0-100km/h time of roughly four seconds. A slightly sportier chassis tune should make the range flagship even more fun to drive, too.

In terms of range, Stuttgart says the electric Macan should be good for over 500km on a single charge. This isn’t quite as strong as the 595km promised by the Lotus Eletre, but we can at least expect the Macan’s 100kWh battery pack to be charged from 10-80% in around half-an-hour thanks to the inclusion of 270kW ultra-rapid charging.

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It’s not long now until the Porsche Macan EV is revealed in full; we expect the sporty electric SUV to break cover sometime early in 2024. We’ve already seen the car undergoing thorough testing, and we know it’ll feature many of the brand’s current exterior and interior design traits – despite our test car being wrapped in heavy camouflage.

This, combined with our solid first impressions means we have a lot to look forward to, with Porsche seemingly nailing the brief of what makes a good electric SUV whilst simultaneously carrying over much of what we loved about the petrol Macan. If priced right, the new Macan EV looks to be the more compelling Porsche SUV package overall, offering lower running costs, newer tech and even brisker performance than its petrol predecessor.

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