While the Macan won’t reach dealerships until the spring, Porsche recently gave the automotive press an opportunity to evaluate the new model. Summing up their impressions of the Macan, the editors at Autoweek magazine said, “Its breadth of ability is quite stunning, underpinned by a heroic engine, fantastically efficient driveline and a chassis that appears to have been sprinkled with more than a pinch of Weissach engineering magic.”
There are actually two heroic engines powering the new Macan, both of them advanced six-cylinders fed by twin turbochargers. The Macan S (MSRP $49,900) boasts a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 making 340 hp and 339 lb/ft of torque. Punch the throttle and you’ll accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. That acceleration time drops to 5.0 seconds when you choose the available Sport Chrono package, which adds Launch Control.
The Macan Turbo (MSRP $72,300) is the first Porsche to feature the all-new 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6. Output from the new powerplant is unrivaled in the segment, reaching 400 hp and 406 lb/ft of torque. Equipped with direct injection, VarioCam Plus variable valve timing and turbo boost pressure of 17.4 psi, the new V6 rockets the Macan Turbo from zero-to-60 mph in 4.6 seconds (4.4 seconds with Sport Chrono) and pushes on to a top track speed of 164 mph.
Porsche has not yet released fuel economy figures for the Macan, but both engines are equipped with a host of fuel-sipping technologies. The Auto Start/Stop function switches off the engine when you brake to a speed of 1.2 mph. Lift your foot off the throttle and the coasting function decouples the engine for fuel-free coasting. The Macan also features regenerative braking and radiator vent flaps that close at high speeds to help cheat the wind.
Porsche chose its race-proven, seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automated transmission (the first-ever used in a sport utility) as the sole transmission available on the Macan. The gearbox features paddle shifters and offers three drive modes: “Sport,” “Sport Plus” and “Off-Road.” Both versions of the Macan also come standard with the Porsche Traction Management permanent all-wheel drive system (employing a design shared with the 911 Carrera 4). Under normal driving, the system shuttles power to the rear wheels to maintain a performance edge, but up to 100 percent of torque can be redirected to the front axle to help maintain maximum grip.
Porsche chose the name “Macan” – the Indonesian word for “tiger” – for the way its first-ever compact utility “eagerly devours the curves.” The editors at Autoblog.com put the association to the test and wrote that the Macan “clung to the pavement with tenacity.” The available Porsche Active Suspension Management (standard on the Turbo) system makes easy prey of even the tightest curves. It offers three modes – “Comfort,” “Sport” and “Sport Plus” – and it employs electronic damping control to deliver the ideal ride. For even greater cornering control, select Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, which briefly pulses the brakes at the inside rear wheel to keep the Macan locked-in to your chosen line through any turn.
Should the need (or desire) ever arise to drive your Macan off the tarmac and take to a trail, you’ll find the vehicle is up to the challenge. Porsche is no stranger to building off-road worthy sports cars; race-prepped versions of the Porsche 911 have conquered the grueling Paris-Dakar Rally. Pressing the “Off-Road” button mounted on the center console remaps throttle and transmission parameters to favor high traction. Make the most of the automaker’s rally-winning heritage by equipping your Macan with the available air suspension, which features three ground-clearance settings: “Normal,” “Low” and “High 1.” The latter raises the suspension 1.6 inches, for a total ground clearance of 9.1 inches, and bumps the approach angle from 23.6 degrees to 25.3 degrees.
Back on the road you’ll benefit from a slate of standard and available driver aids. Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Alert and Automatic Braking leads a list that also includes Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Assist and the Porsche Dynamic Light system, which monitors speed and steering angle to swivel the headlamps into turns for safer cornering.
Speaking of headlamps, the Macan headlamps are shaped like those used on the new 918 supercar. More traditional Porsche styling cues include large front air intakes reminiscent of the Boxster and full-bodied rear wheel arches inspired by the iconic wide hips of the 911. The selection of aluminum-alloy wheels ranges from 18- to 21-inches.
Honoring another Porsche tradition, the Macan comes with an abundance of standard features, including a Piano Black interior, Alcantara seat inserts, eight-way power front seats, a power liftgate, a multi-function Sport steering wheel and a 4.8-inch color information display that’s mounted in the gauge cluster .
The Macan also
offers a wide variety of personalization options. Highlights of the items available include a panoramic sunroof, two-tone leather, an Alcantara headliner, a carbon-fiber interior package, the Porsche Communication Management system with navigation and a Burmester upgraded surround-sound system. Two available special exterior colors, Palladium Metallic and Aurum Metallic, bring the number of color choices to nine.
Following a ride-along evaluation with Porsche engineers, the editors at Motor Trend magazine concluded, “There are other high-performance compact crossovers on the market, but none with the Macan’s level of performance or single-minded dedication to driving enjoyment.” The editors at Autoblog.com put it even more succinctly, writing, “The Macan is a tall, utility-minded sports car.”
Come in and enjoy the first compact SUV that’s also a sports car when the all-new 2015 Porsche Macan reaches showrooms this spring.