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2025 Porsche Macan EV Prototype Drive: Porsche’s Future Is Upon Us

Move over Peter Frampton, Porsche’s going electric. Already announced: more than half the Porsches sold will be hybridized or full-electric models by 2025, and it’s aiming to have 80 percent of its lineup EV only by 2030. That means with the lone exception of the 911, eventually every Porsche will be powered only by batteries before you know it. The Taycan was the storied performance brand’s first all-electric vehicle, and the upcoming 2025 Macan will be the first of its existing model lines to make the transition from internal combustion. To get a feel for how everything’s coming along, Porsche offered us an early test drive of some Macan EV mules about a year before the new electrified compact SUV goes on sale.

What Macans Were We Driving?

From what we know today, almost all future Porsche and Audi EVs will ride on some derivation of the platform. (We say almost, because certain small Audis will likely use Volkswagen’s MEB components set.) PPE makes use of a new, patented lightweight Power Box where the AC charger, battery heater, and DC/DC converter all reside. PPE is reportedly flexible enough to form the basis of everything from two door sports coupes (Boxster/Cayman EV, perhaps?) to three-row SUVs.

What We Know for Sure

The all-electric 2025 Porsche Macan will be available in at least three trims; base Macan, Macan S, and Macan Turbo. Yes, everyone is aware that electric vehicles contain no actual turbo (we’ve already been over this with the Taycan). The base model will be available in either rear or AWD and will be called Macan and Macan 4, respectively. The S and Turbo models will be AWD-only. There are three motors used for the new Macan. All three of the AWD trims use the same front motor, the Macan and Macan S use the same rear motor, and the Turbo uses a larger, more powerful rear motor. The base model has 13.8-inch brake rotors up front, the S gets 14.8-inch fronts, and the Turbo 15.7-inchers. All models use 13.8-inch rears, as rear brakes don’t do much when it comes to braking (especially on an electric vehicle with regenerative braking).

All U.S.-spec Macans will have air suspension, and not because Porsche didn’t want to offer customers a choice of less expensive steel springs, but rather the ability to raise the vehicle up in Off Road mode was key to fitting the legal definition of SUV . Rear-wheel steering is optional. Gone is the Taycan’s two-speed transmission on the rear motor. Long story short, with the new motors, there’s so much torque available at any given speed that one gear works just fine.

The rear motor is located behind the rear axle, and there are a few reasons why. One being a silly nod to this car’s rear-engine forbears. Silly, because how have the existing Macan, Cayenne, and Panamera survived? The placement does give the Macan EV a 48/52 front to rear weight balance, and we suspect the RWD Macan will be even more aft-biased as a result. Additionally, locating the motor behind the axle frees up room for the four-wheel steering system and it also slides the rear seat back an inch or two.

What We Think We Know

We’ve got to tell you; Porsche employees are some seriously cagey engineers. When we asked if the 2025 model was larger than the current Macan, one guy shrugged his shoulders. Moments later, we pulled up next to a current gen Macan and pointed. The shrugging continued. Allow us to assure you: the new one is larger. How much, we can’t say, but it seems as if the rear seat has almost doubled in size. Then there’s range. We were told repeatedly that on the European cycle the Macan will go over 500 kilometers (311 miles) per charge, however EPA certification will occur much closer to SOP (start of production). In other words, Porsche wasn’t saying.

As Porsche charged the Macans while journalists ate, we hopped in a Turbo and saw the battery was sitting at 80 percent with estimated range showing 252 miles. Some quick math tells us that’s over 300 miles of range (let’s say 315 miles after some not so quick math) when fully charged. When we asked Porsche if that’s an accurate number, we were told to please not mention range in this story. Which is insane. Seems like the battery lets you use 100 kWh of energy (net size), though it’s probably larger than that (gross battery capacity). Will less powerful Macans have greater range? Probably, but unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to peek at the numbers of those vehicles. Porsche says the Macan’s battery will be able to charge from 5 to 80 percent in 25 minutes, a class-competitive number.

Like the Taycan, the new Macan EVs employ an 800-volt electrical architecture that allows for fast charging of up to 270 kW. Also, the battery itself operates at 800 volts, which allows for banked or series charging. (Instead of running in parallel, the cells run in series like GM does with the GMC Hummer EV’s Ultium pack. )  All this means faster charging times on 400-volt chargers. The motors are “permanently excited PSM” according to Porsche, though that’s a bit redundant as PSM is shorthand for permanently excited synchronous motor. The benefits of PSM type motors are that they can be smaller and lighter than asynchronous or “self-excited” brushless motors like BMW is using. The tradeoff is they cost more. Porsche confirmed that the Macan motors were both developed in-house and are smaller and lighter than the motors found in the off the shelf units used in the Taycan.

What Is a Macan EV Like to Drive?

Generally speaking, it feels like a Macan. The on-center steering feel and seating position/seat itself are similar in scope to both the current gasoline-powered Macan and the Cayenne. The handling in general is great. Torque is everywhere. Feels quick, even by EV standards. The Turbo was let down by the all-season tires our mule was running. It was quick and capable, without being sharp. Seemed to slosh around at the edge of the friction circle. However, we’re willing to admit that just hearing the highest performing new Macan showed up on compromised meats might have biased us a bit. It’s still a performance animal.

After being stuck behind a car going approximately 19 miles per hour on a tight and twisty in Malibu, we made an ill-advised pass. (Hey, we had one shot at evaluating these mules and time was slipping away.) Naturally, there was almost immediately an oncoming car where we didn’t want one to be. The Macan Turbo quickly, easily, and effectively made the pass and tucked itself back on the right side of the double yellow. Again, we’d like to extend an apology to everyone involved. The point in admitting our wrongdoing is that yes, the electric Macan Turbo, even on less-than-ideal tires, handles as well as any other SUV out there. Perhaps a bit better.

We were told a sad, sobering statistic; while all Porsches will always be available on summer performance tires, 99 percent of all Macans in the U.S. are sold on all-season tires. Not good, people. Because so many of you out there will buy Macans with all-season tires, Porsche does the bulk of its real-world testing on them. Pity. Conversely, the Macan S felt great on its all-season Continentals. The natural sound of the motors is fine. The enhanced sound is the Taycan noise but with added bass because SUV. We’re not that into it. Very few people are going to miss the sounds of a turbo 4 or twin-turbo V-6, though many will claim the opposite. As is often the case with electric vehicles, the less powerful variants felt pretty dang potent. Back to the Macan Turbo. Porsche is saying the two motors will combine for more than 603 horsepower and greater than 738 pound-feet of torque. Compare that to the 434 hp and 405 lb-ft found on the current most potent Macan, the GTS, and, well, that’s a lot more. No details were given about the lower power versions.

Porsche is very insistent (and out of step with the rest of the industry) that “sailing” is the best regenerative braking strategy. This means that when you lift your foot off the throttle, you don’t feel any regeneration happening. The vehicle just coasts. Can you increase the level of regen via the paddles? Sure, though we never found a way to activate true one-pedal driving. Speaking with several Porsche engineers about this over the course of the day, not only were they annoyed by our questions (and truthfully on this drive, basically any question at all), but they kept saying that sailing is more efficient than regenerative braking. Since regenerative braking can recapture 20 to 30 percent of the battery’s charge, this simply cannot be true. Can the argument be made that under certain conditions (steady highway driving) slowing and having to reaccelerate the vehicle is less efficient? Sure. But in stop and go traffic? Come on now.

The center screen portion of the interiors were mostly covered up with camo, though when they weren’t they appeared quite Taycan-like. The steering wheel looks and feels like a typical Porsche helm—it even has the Drive Mode toggle wheel. Is this the production steering wheel, or just one taken from an existing Macan? No one would say. In front of the wheel is a sleek digital screen that kinda mimics the curved, three-dial cluster found in 356s. Nice. We did not get the opportunity to drive the Macan mules off-road, sadly. We have little doubt that the new Macan would do quite well in the dirt, as instant torque seems to give EVs an off-road leg up.

Final Thoughts

These Macan mules not only felt production-ready, but they felt like electrified current-gen Macans. Yes, it was an early drive, and the German engineers were being willfully tightlipped, so there’s just not much more to tell. Since its introduction, the Macan has been the brand’s best-selling product, and we can’t see a single reason why this excellent new electric version would reverse that trend. As several companies have shown already (Tesla, Rivian, BMW, Mercedes, and now Kia), electric SUVs make a heap of sense, especially when it comes to packaging. Porsche just has to make sure its new SUV is the sportiest of all of them. Based on our brief drive of four pre-production mules, we’d say mission accomplished. We wish we had more to tell you, but that’s coming soon with a review of the actual production Macan EV. Now comes the tricky part—the electric Boxster/Cayman.

This article was originally published by a
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