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Future models - Porsche - Macan

Four-cylinder Porsche Macan up in the air

Future plans: Various reports have said a four-cylinder Porsche Macan is coming, but company chief Matthias Muller said this week there were still hurdles.

Porsche boss says no Macan four-cylinder option in the foreseeable future

Porsche logo14 Feb 2014

By MIKE COSTELLO in LEIPZIG, GERMANY

A FOUR-CYLINDER Porsche Macan compact SUV could still be some time away, with several obstacles to be overcome.

However, there are no such problems with a hot-shot Turbo S variant, with Porsche promising one soon.

The German company is on the record that it is developing downsized Macan engines, with a market launch even mooted in some publications for late 2014, but chairman of Porsche’s executive board Matthias Muller said this week the timeline was not so set in stone.

Firstly, the company must stay positioned above fellow Volkswagen Group premium brand Audi, and having an all-six-pot range – especially in mature markets – is seen as an important part of this.

The company also faces supply constraints, with only 50,000 Macans to be made annually. While there is potential to grow this by almost one-third if an extra shift is added to the Liepzieg factory, Porsche leans towards producing more lucrative six-pot versions.

At launch, three turbocharged V6 engines will be offered: 3.0-litre and 3.6-litre Porsche-developed petrol engines, and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel borrowed largely from both Audi and the Cayenne, but given a refresh.

“Our intention was to position the vehicle above the (Audi) Q5 according to our brand positioning within the group of companies,” said Mr Muller.

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

GoAuto understands from a company source that one possibility is a four-cylinder petrol version could be developed for the Chinese market, but that this engine might not necessarily translate to developed market such as Australia. It remains to be seen.

Any four-cylinder engine, be it petrol or diesel (or both), could reasonably be expected to be a horizontally-opposed engine, giving it a point-of-difference from regular VW Group inline fours. Porsche has not sold a four-cylinder car since the mid-1990s.

It is expected the next-generation 2018 Boxster/Cayman twins will come with four-cylinder power.

Meantime, while the arrival time of these more frugal Macan offerings is up in the air, a hardcore Turbo S flagship is now expected to emerge in the relatively near-future.

Mr Muller was asked by Australian media this week if a flagship Turbo S could be expected soon, to supplant to initial Turbo flagship, the Porsche boss responded (with some mirth): “Yes, you can”.

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