With the Macan, Porsche is entering the compact SUV segment with a car which is not only stylish as only a Porsche can be, but it is also bringing to this segment unheard of sporting panache, road behaviour and dynamics. We witnessed the presentation of the car at the Brussels Salon, altogether a very stylish event, typically Porsche...and needless to say that the car has been enthusiastically received right from the start by the Belgian press and public!
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The Macan is being built on the same platform as the Q5, but you don't have to worry that it is not a pure Porsche. Actually, only one third of the components of the Q5 are unaltered. Indeed, many elements are completely new or extensively redesigned just to give the Porsche these unique driving characteristics.
The Macan promises to be one of the most dynamic compact SUV's ever, for example, the electromagnetic steering is some 10 pct quicker in its response, and transmits even more road feel.
Porsche chassis designers have also thought of the fans of the marque who want their Porsche to be responsive in the tail, and not merely understeering; this means that the four wheel drive system is rear-biased, and when driving on a flat road, the system transmits some 80 pct of the torque to the rear wheels.
To improve cornering and road holding dynamics even further,Porsche has given the Macan different tyre dimensions for and aft, and bigger brakes.
The Macan can be ordered with three different suspensions, steel springs with fixed rate dampers, steel springs with PASM adaptive dampers and air suspension with PASM dampers. With the air suspension, you can choose an off-road mode and raise the ride height by 40 mm. On the other hand, you can lower the standard ride level by the same 40 mm to make loading easier. This is actually done via a button in the boot.
Smiling faces at the launch on the Brussels Salon: from left to right Denis Gorteman, Michael Glinski, Jean Heinen and Eric Van Camberg
At the presentation, we were able to get behind the wheel, and one sits very low and snug, well cocooned in a superbly styled interior with a centre console which is reminiscent of the Panamera.
Just a word about the engines: the top-class Macan Turbo comes with a 400 hp or 294 kW 3,6 V6 Turbo, then we have the Macan S with a 3 litre 340 hp or 250 kW V6, and last but not least there is the Diesel version with a 3 litre V6 Diesel, good for some 190 kW (258 hp.) For the Belgian market , the Macan S Diesel comes additionally with a more sedate version with 155 kW (211 hp).
Porsche is apparently also developing a 2 litre four cylinder petrol engine for the Macan, which will be a boxer engine. The factory states that this engine will be available probably at the end of 2014.
All Porsche versions have the latest generation Porsche PTM- four wheel drive (Porsche Traction Management) and a double clutch 7 speed gearbox. Driving dynamics are set in the standard “off road” modus, but can be altered.
Styling with Porsche signature...
Looking at the lines of the Macan, it exudes Porsche DNA all looking at it from any angle. We liked the car even better in reality than on pictures, it is compact, elegant and crisp. Of course, typical Porsche styling hallmarks like the enveloping engine hood and the slightly sloping roof line are clearly present.
The steering wheel is similar to the breathtaking 918...
We just let you enjoy the photos here, and look forward for a test drive of this formidable sporty contender in the compact SUV segment.
Michael Glinski sis proudly behind the wheel of the Macan...
All the versions of the Macan will be available at the Belgian Porsche Centres from 5 april 2014 onwards.
This is of course not all the Porsche news on the Brussels Salon. There is also a new top version of the 911 Turbo Cabriolet , of which we tell you more soon in these columns…
Hans Knol ten Bensel