It’s name comes from the Indonesian word for Tiger, even so the new Porsche Macan is as friendly as a housecat with its array of safety systems including Porsche Traction Management (PTM), Anti-slip regulation (ASR) and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus).
Porsche’s mid-sized SUV shares some underpinnings with the Audi Q5, including its 2,807 mm wheelbase, but thereafter uses different powertrains and suspensions – although its diesel engine is a variant of the 3.0-litre turbo unit already used in the Audi Q5 3.0 TDI.
It’s available as a Macan Turbo, which uses a 3.6-litre Bi-Turbo engine producing 395bhp and 406 lb-ft (550Nm) of torque, while the 3.0-litre Bi-Turbo Macan S delivers 335bhp and 339 lb-ft (460Nm) of torque. The Macan S Diesel with 254bhp and 428 lb-ft (580Nm) is available in Europe and squares off against its Q5 sibling and BMW’s X3 and X4.
The Macan Turbo accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds, with an average fuel consumption of up to 31.7 mpg, while the Macan S covers the same increment in 5.2 seconds and returns 32.5 mpg. The Macan S Diesel sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 6.3 seconds and returns an average of 46.3 mpg.
Porsche Traction Management (PTM) – which is a standard fitment across the range, sends up to 100 per cent of the engine’s power to the front wheels if required. The rear remains connected via a multi-plate clutch.
As is the norm for a Porsche, the Macan comes with a ‘Sport’ button which increases the responsiveness of its engine, suspension and seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. The driver can also switch it into ‘off-road’ mode, with throttle, clutch, shift-points and vehicle height automatically adjusted for better traction and ground clearance.
The Macan will come with three suspension options; the standard steel springs, springs plus PASM and air suspension with self-levelling and height adjustment. These are all based on the five-link front design with a trapezoidal-link rear axle. This separate arrangement of the springs and dampers on the rear wheel carrier improves ride comfort and the handling response of the dampers.
Like most Porsche’s the Macan is fitted with ‘staggered’ wheels and tyres, with mixed width tyres with different dimensions on the front and rear axles. The Macan S and S Diesel use 235/60 R 18 (front) and 255/55 R 18 (rear) tyres, while the Macan Turbo features 235/55 R 19 (front) and 255/50 R 19 (rear) tyres.
A larger lightweight forged 21-inch wheel is available as an option on all models in addition to six other wheel designs ranging from 18 to 21 inches in diameter.
In terms of fuel saving measures, the Macan comes fitted with auto stop-start as standard and uses an electro-mechanical power steering which uses energy only when a steering input is registered. To reduce aerodynamic drag, the radiator flaps in the front bumper can be closed, while underbody panels are used to optimise airflow under the vehicle.
The design of the Porsche Macan can be summed up in two words – wide and low, which seems something of a contradiction in this sector, nevertheless Porsche were determined to present its sports car DNA in a compact SUV without compromising its dynamic proportions. From the side its flyline (the sloping roof line at the rear end) is reminiscent of the 911, while the soft profile of its rear wings reinforce this impression.
The shape of the Macan’s headlights are based on that of the 918 Spyder, while sideblades at the bottom of the door seams are reminiscent of those on Porsche’s super sports car. These can be customised to suit (as with Audi’s R8) and are painted in Lava Black as standard on Macan S and Macan S Diesel. The Macan Turbo comes with body colour sideblades, which are optional on other models, while genuine Carbon sideblades are available on all models.
The Macan will be priced from £43,300 (for the Macan S and Macan S Diesel) to £59,300 (for the Macan Turbo) and is available to order now – deliveries will begin in April 2014.