Will The New Porsche Macan EV Be A Zero-Sum Game?
For those who aren’t familiar, the name Macan is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger. Known for their power and solitary nature, tigers will aggressively defend their territory. Porsche is no doubt hoping that the upcoming Macan EV will leverage the strengths of its namesake as it enters the world of electric SUVs.
The Porsche Macan crossover SUV has been the brand’s best-selling nameplate globally since 2016. As anyone in the car business will tell you, when making dramatic changes to the most important model in a brand’s lineup it’s critical that the product lives up to the expectations of its loyal customer base. To say Porsche AG has a lot riding on the execution of the Macan EV is a huge understatement.
Porsche has combined forces with Audi to work together on the brand new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) platform, which is said to have elements of the J1 design used in the Porsche Taycan and Audi E-Tron GT, as well as the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform.
The PPE architecture will underpin the upcoming Porsche Macan EV along with Audi’s Q6 E-Tron, both expected to be released in 2023 as 2024 models. The premium automakers hope to grab a bigger share of the EV market by utilizing the new dedicated EV platform that offers better weight distribution and a lower center of gravity, which translates into more dynamic handling.
When the Porsche Macan EV comes out, is that the end of the ICE models?
Gasoline-powered variants of the Porsche Macan aren’t going anywhere just yet though. The big question is, will we see sales volume of the Macan ICE models decline as buyers migrate to the electric model, or will interest in the new model help Porsche expand its market share?
With the global transition to EVs still in its early stages, there’s not a lot of data to suggest which way the wind will blow. Porsche has a very limited frame of reference with the only EV in the brand’s stable so far being the Taycan.
One could certainly make the case that there’s plenty of similarity between the Taycan and the ICE-powered Panamera, so digging into the numbers may provide a degree of insight. Porsche’s global sales figures showed total Panamera sales declined from 6,625 units in 2019 to 3,870 in 2020, as the Taycan generated 4,414 sales in its first full year.
It is interesting to note, though, that demand for the Panamera rebounded by 10% in 2021 to 4,257 units, although it does pale in comparison to Taycan’s leap from 4,414 to 9,419 units worldwide.
Perhaps the closest example of a luxury automaker offering an electric alternative to a current crossover vehicle comes from Audi’s Q4 E-Tron, considered a potential EV substitute for those shopping the Q3 and Q5. However, the fact that the Q4 is an independent model name means this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison, and the lack of 2021 availability in all markets also limits the usefulness of the data.
What are current Porsche Macan owners saying about the electric model?
Comments from current ICE-powered Porsche Macan owners suggest they have reservations about the move to electrify the Macan, citing concerns over reports of Taycan reliability issues, as well as charging stations and long-term battery life. On the flip side, cometguy on Macanforum.com is optimistic about the outlook for battery technology and charging infrastructure, and believes “It will be bliss not having to ever go to a gas station again.”
CourtneyNYC, also from Macanforum.com, sums up the importance of the Macan EV to the brand faithful: “I'm thinking that the Macan, which is the breadbasket that feeds Porsche financially (look at sales of the Macan base as compared to ANY Porsche) is a risky place to experiment.”
With Porsche said to be launching a Cayenne EV by 2025, market response to the new Macan could help formulate the brand’s strategy as the company pursues its aggressive target of 80% of sales being fully-electric by 2030.
We would love to hear how current Porsche Macan owners are feeling about the upcoming EV variant!
Tom Bennett covers premium German automotive brand news at Torque News and has had a lifelong obsession with cars, spending more than his share of time in, around, (and frequently under the hood of) a wide variety of vehicles. His eclectic taste in cars has led to the ownership of a steady procession of vehicles from nearly every mainstream brand over the past 3 decades. After working in and writing about the foreign exchange industry for over 20 years, he is excited to be shifting gears to share his passion for all things automotive. You can follow Tom on LinkedIn and Twitter for daily automotive news.