- We got to take a prototype of Porsche's new Macan EV on an unofficial range test in Southern California.
- The performance-oriented model we drove covered an impressive 298 miles, with 7 miles of range remaining.
- The production Macan EV will debut in the not-too-distant future.
We Took a 2024 Porsche Macan EV Prototype on an Unofficial Range Test
We hop behind the wheel of Porsche's electric Macan to see how far it'll go on a single charge
The arrival of the Porsche Macan EV is imminent. And as a follow-up to a ride-along in Porsche's new electric SUV in Germany, I got an early chance to get behind the wheel and drive a prototype during a highway range test in Southern California. With a couple of Porsche employees along for the ride, I was eager to find out just how far this compact performance SUV could travel on a full charge.
Am I Ready for an EV?
When I asked Porsche's representatives how far they thought we might go, they weren't sure. "This isn't something we've really done before," one said. On top of that, the Macan EV was still undergoing EPA certification, so no official range estimates were available. We planned to cover a route of 280 miles; hopefully it wouldn't be a problem.
It's important to note that while I say "Macan EV" for clarity, Porsche plans to simply call this SUV "Macan" when it debuts, and it'll be sold alongside the gas-powered variants. As of this writing, I'm not allowed to tell you what the Macan's trim levels will be called, nor can I comment on a few other things, like how it drives, how the interior feels, or a complete breakdown of features. Them's the breaks.
What I drove
Porsche brought two prototypes on this drive. One was a base model, and the one that I drove was the top trim level, aka the performance model (you can probably guess what it'll be called). Both vehicles had dual-motor all-wheel-drive setups but a significant difference in power — we assume. As of now, Porsche will only confirm that the more powerful variant I drove was churning out over 600 horsepower.
The Macan EV has a 100-kWh battery pack as a part of the new PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture that Porsche will share with Audi (hello, Q6 e-tron). That's larger than the Taycan's biggest battery (93 kWh), and because it has greater energy density, the new pack is lighter as well. This platform will be able to handle charging speeds of up to 270 kW and will allow for upgrades to the Macan's cabin technology and design.
The unofficial range test
The plan for the day was to leave the hotel, hop straight on the freeway, and drive east on the highway at exactly 70 mph for as long as possible while keeping a close eye on the range calculator and the battery's state of charge. Then I'd turn around and head back to base, with the goal of making it back with close to 0 miles remaining but not so close that I'd risk running the battery dry.
That's very different than the Edmunds EV Range Test, where we use a precise mix of city and highway driving to provide a more realistic real-world figure. We also use a highly accurate third-party GPS to calculate our distance and average speed down to the tenth of a mile per hour, and aim for an average speed of 40 mph. We also have specific instructions for the climate control, drive modes and regenerative braking settings to control as many variables as possible.
The Macan was set in its most efficient drive mode (Normal) and its lowest suspension setting to make it more aerodynamic. I tried to use the climate control's Eco mode but was unable to because, with three adults in the vehicle, it got unbearably hot rather quickly.
I thought the 280-mile route might be a bit ambitious, even considering the Macan's larger battery. Highway miles are generally less efficient than any city driving, and the Macan EV has just a single-speed transmission rather than the two-speed setup that makes the Taycan efficient higher speeds.
On top of that, based on what Edmunds has seen with performance variants of other electric SUVs like the Kia EV6 GT, going for more powerful motors can have a detrimental effect on range. For example, on the Edmunds EV Range Test, the all-wheel-drive EV6 GT only covered 238 miles versus 283 miles for the less powerful AWD EV6 GT-Line.
Around the 125-mile mark, my pessimism began to erode. Porsche ended up extending the drive route because the Macan was doing so well. Traffic was also agreeable, and I was able to maintain a 70-mph pace for long uninterrupted stretches until I hit a small bout of bumper-to-bumper traffic at the very end of the trip.
I arrived back at the hotel with 7 miles of indicated range, having covered 298 miles, according to the Macan's trip computer. That equaled out to a total range of 305 miles, made more impressive by the fact that my average speed for the whole trip was just north of 60 mph. A Porsche engineer who rode along with me seemed quite pleased, as he took pictures of the instruments to document the results and said that the folks back in Germany would be very happy indeed.
How'd the base Macan do? It went even farther, covering 325 miles at a similar average speed. Official EPA estimates are still forthcoming, but I have a feeling that they're going to impress.
The Macan's estimated range is certainly impressive, and we can't wait to tell you more about this fully electric performance SUV later this year.