First announced in 2019, the electric Macan has finally arrived. Porsche’s first SUV without a combustion engine is entering a challenging segment dominated by the Tesla Model Y. Of course, BMW has the aging iX3, but that will be replaced by a next-generation model in 2025 on the Neue Klasse platform. The Bavarian marque has its work cut out because this new zero-emission SUV from Zuffenhausen has a lot going for it.
Although it bears a strong resemblance to the gasoline Macan, the electric successor rides on a bespoke platform. The two models have pretty much nothing in common since the new model has been developed from day one strictly as an EV. It’s underpinned by the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) that Porsche has co-developed with Audi. The Ingolstadt-based marque will get its own model, the Q6 E-Tron, later in 2024.
The Macan EV arrives a decade after the original model and will be offered initially as the Macan 4 and the Macan Turbo. Both have dual motors, all-wheel drive, and a large battery pack with a usable capacity of 95 kWh, representing a significant upgrade over the BMW iX3’s 74-kWh. The base model has 402 horsepower and 650 Newton-meters (479 pound-feet) of torque whereas the more potent variant delivers 630 hp and a whopping 1,130 Nm (833 lb-ft).
Because it’s rear-wheel-drive-only with a single motor, the current CLAR-based iX3 is overshadowed by the Macan EVs. BMW’s model has only 282 hp and 400 Nm (294 lb-ft). Even the Macan 4 will do 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.2 seconds whereas the beefy Turbo cuts the time to just 3.3 seconds. For the sake of comparison, we’ll remind you the iX3 gets the job done in 6.8 seconds. As for top speed, the Macans max out at 137 mph (220 km/h) and 162 mph (260 km/h), respectively, compared to the iX3’s electronically capped 112 mph (180 km/h).
The future iX3 should narrow the gap to the Macan EV, especially in the case of the yet-to-be-confirmed M version. We’re hearing BMW intends to give the Neue Klasse-Based iX3 the fully fledged M treatment. In addition, a sleeker iX4 is believed to be planned, complete with an M variant. The high-performance derivatives of the future iX3 and iX4 are likely to be worthy adversaries, for the Macan 4 at the very least.
When it comes to range, the Macan 4 has a WLTP rating in the combined cycle of 516 to 613 kilometers (321 to 381 miles) whereas the Macan Turbo will do anywhere between 518 to 591 kilometers (322 to 367 miles) before running out of juice. The BMW iX3 can do 460 kilometers (286 miles) between two charging cycles.
The iX3 replacement will deliver significantly better range by switching to Gen6 batteries with round cells, which BMW has said are going to boost range by 30% and energy density by more than 20%. We’ve heard through the grapevine a maximum range of 800 kilometers (nearly 500 miles) in the WLTP cycle could be possible.
The Munich-based marque also promises 30% quicker charging speeds. Speaking of which, the Macan EV supports DC charging at up to 270 kW, in which case it needs 21 minutes for the battery to go from a state of charge of 10% to 80%. The iX3 can only charge at 150 kW, which gives it 100 kilometers (62 miles) of range in 10 minutes.
The revamped Macan is 4784 millimeters (188.3 inches) long, 1938 mm (76.2 in) wide, and 1622 mm (63.8 in) tall, while carrying a wheelbase of 2893 mm (113.9 in). That makes it slightly longer, wider, but lower than the current BMW iX3. Spy shots of the future EV with the famous roundel have suggested the model’s proportions won’t change all that much.
The Porsche’s cabin is dominated by screens, courtesy of a 12.6-inch instrument cluster, a 10.9-inch infotainment, and an optional 10.9-inch display on the passenger side of the dashboard. The iX3 still has the previous-generation infotainment but its successor is going to be the first BMW production model to adopt the iDrive X with a large central touchscreen and a dashboard-wide head-up display while doing away with most conventional controls. Even though it has generous screen real estate, the Porsche Macan EV still has shortcut buttons for some of the functions, including climate controls. The new iX3 and all Neue Klasse models are coming without the rotary knob.
Regarding pricing, the 2024 Porsche Macan 4 EV kicks off from €84,100 in Germany where the Macan Turbo EV starts at €114,600. The BMW iX3 is predictably a lot cheaper, at €67,300. However, the Neue Klasse model coming next year is likely to command a premium over the current model. The rumored iX4 is going to cost more, and we can say the same about the purported hot M variants.
Porsche will commence deliveries of the new Macan in the second half of the year. As for the all-new iX3, BMW is expected to start production in July 2025 at its new Debrecen plant in Hungary. The iX4 is said to hit the assembly line by the end of 2026.