Porsche is expanding upon the success its Cayenne sport-utility has enjoyed over the years with the introduction of the Macan, the German maker’s first-ever compact sport utility vehicle.
A quick look at the vehicle immediately reminds observers of the aforementioned Cayenne, but it also borrows some of its style from classic Porsche design cues.
Aside from the classic swoops and curves, the Macan is certainly part of the Porsche family in one other very important way: performance. In fact, you can have your Macan in two forms: Macan S and Macan Turbo. The pair is perhaps better described as fast and faster.
The Macan S is equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 twin turbo engine delivering 340 horsepower. It features active all-wheel drive with an electronically controlled, multi-plate clutch. This all-wheel drive system is fitted on all Macan models.
A seven-speed double-clutch transmission helps the SUV go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds or five seconds flat with the optional Sport Chrono package. The Macan S reaches a top track speed of 156 mph.
The Macan Turbo is set to be the most powerful vehicle in the compact SUV segment. The 3.6-liter V6 twin turbo engine, which is being used in a Porsche model for the very first time, makes 400 hp and launches the Turbo from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. With the Sport Chrono package, shave of two-tenths: 4.4 seconds. The Macan Turbo’s top track speed is 164 mph.
The name Macan comes from the Indonesian word for tiger, which according to Porsche means it’s powerful, but light-footed. Both qualities are important for a vehicle that, in theory, you could take off road. Porsche’s equipped the Macan with its latest iteration of all-wheel drive called Porsche Traction Management (PTM). Using PTM gives drivers unparalleled control while prowling the streets.
However, if the mean streets are too mean, getting off road is doable at the touch of a button in the center console. In fact, it can be done as speeds as high as 50 mph.
Once engaged, the shift points and speeds are geared towards a greater level of traction, the clutch is pre-tensioned to a greater degree in order to provide the front axle with the appropriate drive torque more rapidly, and the standard torque split between the front and rear axle as well as the accelerator pedal response are adapted to off-road conditions.
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The ground clearance can be increased by 1.58 inches above its normal level thanks to the optional air suspension chassis, which gives a maximum ground clearance of 9.06 inches.
Another button in the center console activates downhill assistance from the Porsche Hill Control (PHC) system. The PHC keeps the vehicle speed constant during descents, and can be adjusted to between 2 and 18 mph.
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Pricing information for the Macan was not made available nor was an expected date for arrival of the Macan in dealer showrooms.
The new offering will be produced at Porsche’s plant in Leipzig and the maker has already begun to prepare for the launch by investing 500 million Euros, or about $685 million in the plant – which already produces the Cayenne. About 1,000 new jobs are being added to handle production.