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LA show: Porsche reveals Macan SUV ‘sportscar’

Coming soon: Porsche’s second SUV model line, the Macan, is expected to land in Australia in mid 2014.

Porsche’s 294kW sub-Cayenne crossover has the most powerful engine in its class

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Porsche logo20 Nov 2013

By RON HAMMERTON

PORSCHE today unveiled its long-awaited Macan at the Los Angeles motor show, billing it as the first sportscar in the medium SUV class.

It also confirmed that the Macan Turbo – the fastest variant of its new all-turbo, all-V6 line-up – will be the most powerful SUV in its league, boasting 294kW of power and a top speed of 266km/h.

Porsche Cars Australia says the sub-Cayenne crossover will make its Australian debut in mid 2014, becoming the German company’s fifth model line here.

Potential buyers will not have to wait long for pricing, as that should be announced before Christmas.

The new vehicle – sharing underpinnings from Audi’s Q5 but with a full Porsche work-over, including a unique body and powertrain – is expected to go straight to the top of the Porsche sales pile, displacing the Cayenne as the brand’s Australian and global sales leader, and adding large incremental volume.

Developed under the Cajun tag – short for “Cayenne junior” – the Macan will be launched as expected with a choice of three V6 powertrains, including a new blown version of its petrol 3.6-litre V6 for the range-topping Macan Turbo.

Porsche says it is the first time this engine has been employed in a Porsche model.

Producing 294kW at 6000rpm and 550Nm from 1350rpm, the premium V6 can propel the Macan Turbo from standstill to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds. With the addition of Porsche’s optional Sports Chrono go-fast program, this drops to 4.6 seconds – faster than BMW’s bigger and V8-equipped X5 M (4.7 sec).

By comparison, Audi’s swiftest Q5, the diesel SQ5, does the dash in 5.1 seconds, while BMW’s fastest X3, the xDrive30d, does it in 6.3 seconds.

Curiously, the twin-turbo 3.6-litre engine is less powerful that the dual-blower 3.0-litre unit offered in Porsche’s flagship sedan, the Panamera, which develops 313kW, although that smaller engine does not have as much torque (520Nm).

All three models in Porsche’s Macan range get Porsche’s highly regarded dual-clutch PDK seven-speed transmission as standard equipment, along with Porsche’s latest sports-oriented, multi-plate clutch all-wheel drive system that makes its debut here.

For now, only V6 engines – two petrol and one diesel – are available, but Porsche has not ruled out adding others, perhaps including a hybrid and a four cylinder.

The new Macan range kicks off with the Macan S, armed with a short-stroke twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol V6 producing 250kW at 5500rpm and 460Nm of torque between 1450rpm and 5000rpm.

Porsche says this is good for a 0-100km/h dash in 5.4 seconds (5.2 sec with Sports Chrono), and a top speed of 254km/h.

On the official European combine fuel consumption test, the base Macan consumes 9.0 litres per 100km, and emits 212 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide.

Next up the model ladder is the Macan S Diesel, with a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 producing 190kW at 4000rpm and 580Nm from 1750rpm.

This is 40kW and 70Nm less than the benchmark twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 in Audi’s 230kW/650Nm SQ5, and naturally slower over the 0-100km/h sprint – 6.3 seconds versus 5.1 sec.

However, the Porsche single-turbo diesel has a fuel economy advantage, returning about 6.3L/100km compared with the Audi’s 6.8L/100km.

All eyes will be on the Macan Turbo, which Porsche promises will set new standards for SUVs in driving dynamics and enjoyment on both paved streets and “uneven terrain”.

To cope with its extra performance, the Macan Turbo gets bigger 360mm front disc brakes (up 10mm on those of the Macan S and S Diesel), and 356mm rear discs (+16mm).

All Macans get a five-arm wishbone front suspension arrangement, along with a trapezoidal wishbone rear independent suspension, all fashioned from light-weight aluminium.

Kerb weights range from 1865kg for the Macan S to 1925kg for the Macan Turbo, with the Macan 6 Diesel slotting in between at 1880kg.

The Macan’s wheelbase is 2807mm – identical to that of the Audi Q5 – but the Macan is marginally longer overall, at 4681mm (Q5 4629mm).

Porsche says the Macan draws many of its design features and technologies from other Porsche models, and this is especially evident in the cabin with its Cayenne-style controls with a multitude of buttons.

A multi-function steering wheel with gear-shift paddles will be standard, along with high-performance audio system and electrically operated tailgate.

In a first in the segment, air suspension will be optional, as will Porsche’s torque splitting drive system and automatically adjusting headlights.

Porsche says the Macan will be built on a new production line at its Leipzig plant where it also builds Cayenne and Panamera.

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