German auto manufacturer Porsche announced its second-ever model of an all-electric vehicle. The new EV Macan comes in two forms—the Macan 4 and the slightly beefier Macan Turbo.
Both of these all-electric SUVs have high-performance 100-kilowatt-hour batteries. These are also the first Porsches to use an 800-volt architecture, which allows the cars to charge from 10 to 80 percent in 21 minutes at a 270-kilowatt DC fast charger. The cars will be just as quick on the road: The Macan 4 puts out the equivalent of 402 horsepower, and the Turbo model puts out 630 hp. Zero to 60 times are 4.9 seconds for the Macan 4 and 3.1 seconds for the Turbo. Range is equally impressive; Porsche is claiming its SUVs will go well over 300 miles per charge.
The Macan’s interior will feature a network of displays the company calls the Porsche Driver Experience. It’s a combination of displays in front of the driver, a display on the console, and augmented-reality tech that can overlay images like digital navigation arrows on the road in front of you as you’re driving.
Porsche’s Macan model was originally launched in 2014, so this new electric version marks the 10th anniversary of the model. It’s Porsche’s second fully electric vehicle, after the $150,000 Taycan was released in 2019. The Macan 4 will start at $78,800, while the Turbo model goes for $105,300. (There’s also a $1,650 delivery fee for both.) Look for them in the second half of the year.
Porsche’s Macan is one of the many electric vehicles coming in 2024. It may wind up being the zippiest, but there’s some stiff competition.
Here’s some other consumer tech news from this week.
Apple Dabbles in GenAI
Just about a year after the generative AI craze took over the tech world, all signs indicate Apple is getting serious about the technology. According to a story in the Financial Times, Apple has been slowly making a series of investments and employee hires that suggest it’s building more AI technology into its products. A separate report in 9to5Mac found evidence in beta code for iOS 17.4 that indicates Apple has been testing some Siri features with ChatGPT’s help. While this development is not a guarantee that Apple will be using ChatGPT in its software, it is telling that the company is playing with the tech in general.
While companies like Microsoft, Google, and Meta have been eager to dive into the AI deep end, Apple has largely downplayed the AI revolution in its product announcements over the past year, sticking to its typical iterative updates to its hardware and software lineup. But change is coming. It’s not clear when Apple will officially announce any of its AI enhancements, though we should expect to learn more at the next WWDC, the developer event Apple puts on every summer.
Shazam Your Ears
Shazam, the music search app owned by Apple, has gotten even more useful. Thanks to a recent update of its iOS app, Shazam can now detect any song playing through your headphones. The app used to only be able to use a device’s built-in mic to recognize a tune. Then last year, Shazam added the ability to find music directly in social video apps like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
Now, the latest update will allow you to figure out what the hell you’re hearing without having to take out your earbuds, whether it’s what you’re streaming on YouTube, the backing track of a TikTok dance, or that song you’re hearing from the overhead speakers at the grocery store. It works with wired and wireless headphones.
I Know What You Did With That Bitcoin
It’s a common belief of the dark web that payments made with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are untraceable, so people have been using them to buy all sorts of illegal things online. Turns out, that’s not true, and once investigators realized that illicit transactions could be tracked, it led to the takedown of the dark web’s biggest kingpin.
This week on the Gadget Lab podcast, we’re resurfacing the conversation with WIRED security writer Andy Greenberg about the codebreaker who blew up the myth that bitcoin is untraceable and the investigators who used that traceability to bust the world’s biggest child abuse site. Read all about it in Andy’s book Tracers in the Dark, which is now out in paperback.