Electric Macan: Porsche’s second EV is two years late — and key to its future

SINGAPORE: Porsche AG unveiled the electric Macan, its long-delayed first battery-powered sport utility vehicle, just as the EV market shows signs of cooling.

Presented today here, the model that starts at €84,100 (RM432,236) will test appetite for luxury EVs as consumers grapple with higher borrowing costs and sub-par charging infrastructure.

The German carmaker is under pressure to address its poor stock-market performance and slowing business in China, where Tesla, BYD and BMW compete with a broader electric offering.

A lot will depend on whether the new Macan can match the popularity of its combustion-engine sibling, which outsold every Porsche in 2023 except the larger Cayenne.

The company has warned its overall sales volumes this year will likely be flat.

The Macan is Porsche’s second electric car after the Taycan unveiled in September 2019.

Electric Macan (4)

Software issues delayed the new model for roughly two years and contributed to the ouster of Herbert Diess as chief executive officer of parent Volkswagen AG.

The SUV is rolling out just as the EV market is cooling, with Tesla cutting prices and flagging slower growth, and several manufactures scaling back EV output.

Deliveries of the compact SUV - which competes with BMW’s iX and Tesla’s Model X - are due to start in the second half of this year.

The electric Macan is the first Porsche to use a new EV platform that promises more flexible and efficient production.

Developed with Audi, the long-delayed PPE underpinnings will be used in future models including a battery-powered Cayenne.

"This is the bookend of what’s to come,” HSBC analyst Mike Tyndall said. "Getting that first product to market, assuming you do so relatively smoothly and successfully, sets the tone for all the forthcoming launches.”

Electric Macan (1)

Prospects for 2024 aren’t looking up though. Porsche’s home market Germany has been teetering on the brink of a recession, and turmoil in the Red Sea is forcing ships to make a detour around Africa, weighing on industrial supply chains.

The carmaker expects conditions in its key market China to remain challenging after its deliveries there fell 15% last year due to the country’s slowdown.

Porsche is more exposed to macro-economic forces than Ferrari NV, for example, whose scarcity business model gives it a sold-out order book that stretches several years.

Arriving a decade after the gasoline-powered Macan, the electric model will be sold in two iterations: A Macan 4 base version that can go from zero to 100kph in 5.2 seconds, and a more powerful Turbo starting at €114,600, which makes the sprint in 3.3 seconds.

That’s over a second quicker than the best of the combustion-engine Macan range, the Macan GTS.

Electric Macan (3)

The cars have driving ranges of as much as 613km and 591km, respectively, and can recharge 70% of their battery in 21 minutes.

They’re equipped with an augmented-reality display that beams navigation cues into the driver’s field of vision.

The launch has particular significance in the European Union, where the combustion-engine Macan will stop selling later this year due to new IT security regulations it’s unable to meet. Porsche will still offer the fuel-burning version outside the EU.

The carmaker is promoting the environmentally friendly nature of its second EV, offering leather-free seats and interiors outfitted in recycled materials like Econyl, which is made from regenerated nylon and used in floor mats.


Still, the electric Macan is around 850 pounds heavier than the combustion-engine sibling.

Both electric versions are all-wheel-drive, with lower seating positions, longer wheelbases, and larger storage spaces than their gasoline counterpart.

They offer rear-axle steering for the first time, which increases their maneuverability and balance around corners at higher speeds.

"We see there is demand from customers who are looking for an electric Porsche offering,” said Timo Resch, Porsche’s North America chief. "It’s the perfect timing to bring such a car.”

READ MORE: Top 5 highlights of electric Porsche Macan

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