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Porsche Macan details

Rough rider: Porsche says the Macan has some off-road nous as well.

New Macan "the first sportscar of the compact SUV segment”, says Porsche

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Porsche logo13 Feb 2014

By MIKE COSTELLO in LEIPZIG, GERMANY

PORSCHE claims the Macan will live up to its badge and follow in the Cayenne’s figurative wheel-tracks, dubbing its newest model “the first sportscar of the compact SUV segment”.

On sale in Australia from June priced between $84,900 and $122,900 plus on-road costs, the German-made high-riding wagon is priced to conquest potential Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Range Rover Evoque buyers. It will potentially be Porsche Australia’s top-seller from 2015, if supply holds up.

Though loosely based on the Q5 from fellow VW Group member Audi, Porsche claims the Macan has about 70 per cent new or modified components. It is understood Porsche was directed to limit this to about 30 per cent instead, but put its foot down.

The Macan will be a crucial part of Porsche planned global expansion, as it will likely bring more conquest customers to the table than the other five members of Porsche’s growing line-up: the 911, Boxster and Cayman two-doors, the Panamera limo and the Cayenne large SUV.

The range comprises a trio of Euro 6-standard biturbo V6 engines - two petrols and one diesel - that are the most powerful in the segment, matched to a PDK dual-clutch paddle-shifter transmission sending power through a rear-axle-biased all-wheel-drive system.

It’s the first time a Porsche model has been available with the PDK (short for Porsche Doppelkupplung) only. Fuel-saving idle-stop is integrated into the transmission, plus all versions regenerate energy during braking and on overrun to cut fuel use.

Unlike the Cayenne, the Macan also gets fuel-saving electro-mechanical steering like the 911. A lane departure warning system can be programmed in - for a price.

Kicking off the range is the Macan S, powered by a 250kW (between 5500 and 6500rpm) and 460Nm (between 1450 and 5000rpm) 3.0-litre biturbo V6 with an aluminium engine block and cylinder heads, capable of hustling all 1865kg of kerb weight from zero to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds.

The 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 in the Macan S diesel is borrowed from the Cayenne but “enhanced”, and pumps out 190kW (between 4000 and 4250rpm) and 580Nm (between 1750 and 2500rpm). Porsche claims NEDC combined-cycle fuel consumption of 6.1-litres per 100km.

Sitting at the top of the model tree is the $122,900 Macan Turbo S, sporting a stroked version of the regular petrol version’s Zuffenhausen-produced biturbo V6 pumping out 294kW at 6000rpm and 550Nm of torque between 1350 and 4500rpm.

The 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in a sportscar-shaming 4.8s despite the 1900kg-plus kerb weight, or 4.6s with the optional Sport Chrono package that tightens the chassis, transmission and throttle responses and adds a Launch Control system.

The power is reined in by what Porsche calls the “most powerful braking system in the segment”, including 350mm front/330mm rear discs behinf 18-inch alloys on the S models and 360mm front/356mm rear units behind 19-inch wheels on the Turbo. Ceramic brakes can be optioned.

Volkswagen’s Multi-Collision Brake system also features, which brakes the car automatically a second time following a collision, to stop a repeat.

The Macan’s platform, and elements of its relatively low-slung body - highlighted by the distinctive wraparound bonnet with hidden shutlines and integrated cut-outs for the headlights - use either super-high strength steel or aluminum (bonnet and rear lid).

Dimensions are as follows: 4681mm long, 1923mm wide and 1624mm high on a relatively long 2807mm wheelbase.

The cabin has echoes of Porsche’s coupes, with a sequence of buttons and switches adorning the transmission tunnel. A 4.8-inch screen with navigation sits in the driver’s instruments, while a seven-inch touchscreen dominates the central fascia. The base sound system has 11 speakers and 235 watts, though Bose or Burmester systems can be optioned at extra cost.

There is also a lower seating position and a small leather steering wheel - with a design pinched from the insane 918 supercar - with a steep incline to give a “sportscar feel”.

All variants get leather seats (the Turbo’s have 18-way electric adjustment), with a rear bench that flips 40:20:40, taking cargo space from 500 litres to 1500L.

Active and passive safety features - many as extra-cost options - include lane departure warning, a reversing camera, radar-guided cruise control and autonomous brakes. A number of Porsche Exclusive styling tweaks can also be bought.

There are three chassis tunes: the S and S diesel get standard steel-spring arrangements, with aluminium axles (five-link front, trapezoidal-link rear), while the Turbo comes with Porsche Active Suspension Management, a system that includes sensor-based active dampers with Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus modes of varying firmness.

There is also the option of a class-first levelling air-suspension option that sits 15mm lower at normal level, but also bumps maximum ground clearance to 230mm (an extra 32mm over normal) or lowers the rear 50mm below normal level to make loading cargo easier.

All versions also come with Porsche Traction Management, a rear-drive biased AWD system borrowed to a large degree from the 911 Carrera 4 that can send up to 100 per cent of torque to the front axle if necessary, via the electronic multi-plate clutch.

Porsche even says the system allows throttle-induced (lift-off) oversteer if the Sport Plus mode is engaged and the rear diff lock optioned (as part of a torque-vectoring system).

Meantime, the standard off-road setting can be activated at up to 80km/h, and adjusts the shift revolutions and speeds, as well as front/rear torque split ratio for low-grip terrain. Hill descent control is standard.

The Macan is made at the same Liepzig factory as the Cayenne and Panamera. As reported, the plant has recently undergone a wholesale makeover to take on Macan production, and will pump out 50,000 units of the compact SUV each year.

GoAuto will bring you a first drive review of the Macan over the weekend...2014 Porsche Macan pricing*
Macan S Diesel (a) $84,900
Macan S (a) $87,200
Macan Turbo (a) $122,900

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