Munich’s early starter


longer, sleeker, more muscular look.

Frameless door glass, a more pronounced coupe profile and various active-aero devices (rear spoiler, front cooling flaps, flexible covers on a fully sealed underbody) all help drop the coecient of drag to an elbows-in, head-below-handlebars 0.25.

Naturally a larger body with a more space-ecient EV powertrain affords more interior space than before – six-foot-tall passengers have just enough kneeroom to perch behind a similarly tall driver, as well as surprising­ly generous headroom given the aggressive­ly raked roofline.

Luggage storage also increases, from today’s 497 to 540 litres in the case of the Macan 4 with the rear seats in their most upright position. The Turbo offers a little less due to its Bose subwoofer. In both cases there’s 84 litres of storage in the ‘froot’

Given the 570kg battery under the floor, it’s surprising to learn occupants can sit 28mm lower in the front, and 15mm lower in the rear, than in the previous Macan – gains

BMW’s iX is a size up from the Macan at 4.95m long but is more comparable (if still imperfectl­y) to the Porsche than the smaller iX3 on pricing and performanc­e. Unlike the iX3, but like the Macan, the iX is based on a clean-sheet EV architectu­re. Entry-level iX xDrive 40 Sport models cost £70,985, with 322bhp and 264 miles of range, while the M60 oŽers 611bhp and 349 miles but stretches to £124,605. And the X3-based iX3? |t starts from £65,160, with 282bhp and 292 miles your max. reaped from redesigned seat bases.

Porsche is also keen to point out the battery contribute­s to a centre of gravity some 140mm lower, if less keen to note a kerbweight that increases by around 300kg compared with its predecesso­r at 2100-2200kg.

But our test drive of early prototypes (see panel) tells us brilliance lurks here. It starts with new double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-link rear, with coil springs for the base model rising to full air suspension and two-valve shocks being optional for the 4 and standard for the range-topper. The Turbo also gets an electronic­ally controlled rear differenti­al (aka Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus) and rear-wheel steering that can turn by up to 5º.

As with the Taycan, the Macan’s all-wheel drive is fully variable, but the new electrical architectu­re makes it even faster-acting, responding to slip in just 10 millisecon­ds.

The infotainme­nt is also swifter. Clearly inspired by the Taycan’s layout and operating logic, it’s the same


system that debuted last year in the facelifted Cayenne with a new Android Operating System.

A 12.6-inch curved instrument binnacle is shared between the two SUVs, and can switch from a digital representa­tion of Porsche’s classic analogue dials to more modern layouts, while the touchscree­n central display is 10.9 inches. An additional 10.9-inch screen is optional for the front-seat passenger.

Thankfully climate-control functions are still operated via a physical interface that’s easy to operate by feel on the move, and route planning contains easily accessed info on the charging points you’ll encounter along the way, including charging speeds and current occupancy. When the new Macan launches, Porsche will stand alone among premium rivals in switching a core petrol model wholesale to electric-only. But if it unites the best of Taycan and Macan, as our early test drive suggests, Porsche will surely be onto a winner.

 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Seats are lower, despite being positioned on top of battery
Seats are lower, despite being positioned on top of battery
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom