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Future models - Porsche - Macan

Beijing show: Porsche presents four-pot Macan

Set on six: Four-cylinder Porsches are expected to come to Australia before the decade is out, but the VW Group’s 2.0-litre turbo-petrol in Macan is not currently on the radar. (Macan S pictured)

First four-cylinder Porsche in 20 years emerges via Macan but no dice for Oz debut

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Porsche logo24 Apr 2014

PORSCHE unveiled a four-cylinder version of its all-new Macan compact SUV at the Beijing motor show this week, the first model from the German sportscar brand to rely on just four cylinders since the 968 from the mid-1990s.

While overseas reports indicate that mature markets such as the UK are in line to receive the new entry-level Macan – powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine producing 174kW – Porsche Cars Australia public relations director Paul Ellis has confirmed to GoAuto that it remains off the agenda for release here.

“It’s for a few Asian markets only – certainly not on the radar for Australia,” Mr Ellis said.

The Macan touches down here in June with three six-cylinder petrol and diesel models available from launch: the 190kW 3.0-litre S Diesel priced from $84,900 plus on-road costs the 250kW 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol S from $87,200 and the range-topping 294kW 3.6-litre Turbo from $122,900.

The four-cylinder engine in Macan is understood to be parent company Volkswagen’s familiar ‘EA888’ 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged unit that is used across a wide range of models in the VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat brand stables.

The 1984cc engine produces its 174kW maximum power at 5000-6800rpm, while peak torque of 350Nm is available from 1500-4500rpm.

Driving through the PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission and ‘active all-wheel-drive’ system, Porsche claims the turbo-petrol four can send the 1770kg (unladen) base Macan from 0-100km/h in 6.9 seconds.

In-gear acceleration from 80-120km/h is said to be 5.1 seconds, with top speed 223km/h.

Official combined-cycle fuel economy for the Chinese market is listed as 7.2 to 7.5 litres per 100km.

“After launches of the Macan S, Macan S Diesel and Macan Turbo models, the introduction of the Macan represents a logical extension of the Porsche model line-up, positioning an efficient entry-level model on the Chinese market,” the company said.

“The Macan is powered by an inline four-cylinder petrol engine with turbocharging, two litres displacement and 237hp (174kW). Standard Macan features are nearly identical to those that are standard in the S models.”

The Stuttgart marque also promised that, despite the downsized engine, the base Macan offers “pure Porsche DNA and top driving enjoyment”.

Porsche AG chairman Matthias Mueller told Australian journalists, including GoAuto, at the global launch of the Macan in February that a higher-output Turbo S would soon be added to the compact SUV line-up – and that a four-cylinder version was a lower priority.

“(We want to) introduce the vehicle top down so to speak,” he said.

“Our production capacities will be used fully for the foreseeable with these V6 engines. If there should be the necessity cropping up to launch further engines to the market, we’ll be able to do that.

“For the time being we are happy with these engines and will maintain this arrangement for the foreseeable future.” As previously reported, Mr Mueller subsequently confirmed to a German magazine that Porsche was planning to introduce a turbocharged four-cylinder engine – producing around 295kW – for the next-generation Boxster and Cayman twins due later this decade.

“We will continue with the downsizing strategy and develop a new four-cylinder boxer engine, which will see service in the next-generation Boxster and Cayman,” Mr Mueller told Auto Motor Und Sport.

“We will not separate ourselves from efforts to reduce CO2.”

The headline acts on Porsche’s Auto China show stand this year were the flagship GTS versions of the Boxster and Cayman, both of which are now available for order in Australia.

As well as the four-cylinder Macan, Porsche presented three Panamera models tailored for the Chinese market: two new long-wheelbase variants and a 4S Sport Edition.

China is Porsche’s second-largest market after the US – and larger than its domestic market Germany. The sportscar marque increased its sales in China by 19.9 per cent in 2013 with a total of 37,425 vehicles delivered.

It also sold more than 4000 vehicles in January this year, up 29 per cent compared to the corresponding month in 2013.

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