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Porsche invited us out to Leipzig Germany all the way back in October to show off the Panamera Plug-in Hybrid and the new PPE-based Macan EV. We were kept on an incredibly short leash but learned a lot about the upcoming SUV, and paradoxically we were left with almost as many questions as answers…

Macan is a hugely important vehicle in Porsche’s lineup second only to the larger Cayenne in vehicle sales globally. It is also a beautiful and luxurious sports SUV that can be at ease in an upscale suburban neighborhood or on a track pushing major G forces. To say that its transition to EV is important to Porsche is a wild understatement, especially as it is also the first vehicle to use Porsche and Audi’s co-developed PPE (Premium Platform Electric) platform. Its sibling, the Audi A6 e-tron which is supposed to have the PPE platform as well has been delayed from 2022 launch to 2024 and possibly beyond.

During our visit, we went into great detail on certain aspects of the Macan EV and other things like actually driving the vehicle, charging the vehicle or even seeing the interior without blankets over everything left big holes in the information experience. So on some levels, I feel like I know this car intimately, and on others, it is still a foreign entity.

The choice was a strange one since Porsche did have an actual drive of the Macan EV (prototype) in the US prior to the October excursion. Sadly, we missed that opportunity.

So, for what we know:

Porsche Macan EV Battery and Range

The Porsche Macan EV battery specs are impressive. The 152Ah, 662V 100kW system can output almost 500kW or 670 horsepower. But it also gets a 500km/310-mile WLTP range which is quite a lot compared to the Taycan’s range estimates.

Like the Taycan, the Macan EV’s PPE drivetrain can take a 270kW charge but it can also max out a 400V charging station (like Tesla’s V3 Superchargers). What’s more important than the max charge rate is the charging curve and the Macan is going to beat most, according to the slightly ambiguous graphs below.

In the right conditions, a Macan EV can go from 10% to 80% state of charge in as little as 22 minutes, given the optimum 23C/74F temperature. That charge time will stay under 25 minutes from 13C(55F) to 42C (107F) for about 220 WLTP miles or 3 hours of spirited highway driving.

Because Porsche has learned so much since launching Taycan and has so much great data. They can better plan and optimize travel by heating and cooling the batteries along the routes in anticipation of the type of chargers that are ahead.

Porsche Macan EV on the track

We got a “taxi ride” on the Porsche Leipzig track and it was a white-knuckle affair. Sadly we weren’t allowed to record any of it (!?) but I did a quick video as we were leaving the facility.

We got to sit shotgun or in the back while a Porsche engineer and racing enthusiast took us around the Liepzig track at breakneck speeds. It was as much fun as you are going to have in the passenger seat of a Porsche.

Even these vehicles with the blankets over the instrument panels were really tight through the corners, though my first vehicle required a reboot to get running. In order of priority when building vehicles, you can tell Porsche’s priorities are: Can it fly on the track? and [everything else].

But the Macan is an SUV and SUVs aren’t just made for the track…

Porsche Macan EV off-road experience

We got an offroad demonstration which, I’m going to be honest here, wasn’t nearly as thrilling as the track. The Macan EV can traverse foot-high water, does great on admittedly manicured dirt roads, and can climb very steep grades. IF you are wondering if this thing can go off-road with the likes of say a Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, yes it absolutely can. If you find yourself needing to take a dirt road, climb a steep hill, or need to cross a stream, the Macan can do this.

However, Porsche’s off-road track is probably no scarier than some people’s backyard. If off-roading is a serious passion, you might want to look into a Rivian or upcoming Range Rover EV.

Electrek’s Take

We’ve been waiting for PPE vehicles from Porsche and Audi for quite some time and unfortunately, it has taken a lot longer than anticipated. You can feel some of the tension in the Porsche employee’s words throwing some of the blame for its lateness on the Volkswagen software group, the Pandemic or something else. This might be the beginning and end of the PPE platform as Porsche clearly wants to do much more of this work on their own, both software and hardware.

As I’ve said, this event was very catered. We barely got to drive the Panamera Plug-in Hybrid and only got a Taxi ride in the Macan EV over 3 days. The interior of the Macan was hidden except for dashboards and we weren’t allowed to use our own cameras for just about anything. I’m not even sure if I can tell you that the passenger seats were quite comfortable and roomy. Here’s a render of the interior:

But the trip was lovely, the Porsche experience center in Leipzig was amazing and something every Porsche enthusiast should experience. As for the Macan EV, we can’t wait to experience that too.

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