Porsche has a surefire winner on its hands with the 2015 Macan. The small SUV is deeply rooted in the company's sporting heritage, as is evident with even a passing glance. The Macan's steel and aluminum body has no ill proportions and, as Porsche says, it "embodies sportiness, dynamism, and precision, together with an elegance and lightweight constructions." With cues from the Cayenne, 911 and even the 918 Spyder, the new Macan is unmistakably Porsche.
The Macan is available in either S or Turbo trim. Both feature active all-wheel drive and the latest development of Porsche Traction Management. The rear axle is always powered, while the front receives its cues from the available traction. In particularly unstable driving situations, such as icy roads, fully 100 percent of the Macan's power can be shifted to the front wheels through a multi-place clutch.
The Macan also benefits from an aluminum 5-arm wishbone suspension up front, with a self-tracking trapezoidal link suspension in the back. Paired with big 6-piston brakes, 19-inch alloy wheels and fat tires, the Macan is as sure-footed as they come. The Turbo also includes Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), an electronic damping control system featuring Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus driving modes for increased stability, safety and comfort.
Two all-aluminum engines are offered in the Macan. The S is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6, which produces 340 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and and 339 ft-lb of torque from just 1,450 rpm. That's enough to propel the Macan S to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 156 mph. The Macan Turbo, meanwhile, moves thanks to a 3.6L twin-turbo V6. The unit makes an even 400 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 406 ft-lb at 1,350 rpm. That's good for a supercar-like 0?60 mph time of just 4.6 seconds and a top end of 164 mph. Both engines are mated to Porsche's PDK dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission, which makes for extremely fast gear changes. Paddle shifters make changing gears a snap and a standard Sport button allows for more responsive engine and transmission management. This equates to faster shift times, a higher redline and a sweeter sound from the exhaust.
Standard amenities in the Macan include bi-xenon headlights with dynamic headlight leveling and cleaning, along with LED running lights and fog lights. Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with hard-drive navigation is also standard, as is a 14-speaker Bose audio system, Bluetooth connectivity and a power tailgate.
Macan interiors are as luxurious and ergonomically efficient as anything Porsche has assembled in the rest of its range. Leather abounds. The large tachometer sits front and center before the driver, with the ignition on the left -- a Porsche haulmark. The Macan S features 8-way power adjustable seats with memory, while the Macan Turbo offers 18-way power seats. Both models feature a 3-way rear bench that, when folded, allows for 50.3 cubic-feet of cargo space.
Some exceptional options and packages are offered for the Macan. Wheel choices go all the way to 21 inches in several designs. The Sport Chrono Package is a button-operated change in the way the Macan responds to driver input, thanks to an even more aggressive mapping of the engine, transmission, and chassis, along with "launch control" for the fastest starts possible. When equipped, 0?60 mph sprints in either model are reduced by .2 seconds. Also available is an air suspension, exclusive in this market segment, which replaces the stock setup. It includes a leveling system, ride height adjustment, and PASM. The Premium Package Plus includes front and rear park assist, with a reversing camera, ventilated front seats, auto-dimming mirrors, a 2-piece panoramic sunroof, lane keep assist, and lane change assist, which helps check for any hazards around the Macan when a driver begins a lane maneuver. Finally, European delivery from Porsche factories at either Leipzig or Zuffenhausen is a no-cost option.
2017 Porsche Macan Turbo: New Performance Package adds dynamism for dollars
Before we go any further, you need to know one number related to the blue beauty seen here. No, it's not 440 -- the amount of horsepower this particular 2017 Porsche Macan Turbo has. Nor is it 4.2, which is how quick this little crossover SUV is to 60 miles per hour. It's not even 169 -- its top speed. It's 96. As in Ninety-Six Thousand Dollars.
I'm going to pause to give you a second or two to absorb that number.
It wasn't all that long ago that people wondered if buyers would pay 50 grand for a Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, mostly because it was so small. And here we are, just seven years later, and Stuttgart is asking nearly double that amount for this compact CUV.
The Good A dynamic standout, with fierce acceleration, poised handling and real feel. It's sharp-looking, too.
The Bad Slighty dated infotainment, an astronomical price tag and middling efficiency means this model won't be for everyone.
The Bottom Line A very special compact crossover SUV for those with very special wallets.
It's enough to make you want to hug every member of Porsche's Motorsport group.
This is a clear case of Porsche NOT jumping the shark, but with a rally suspension it should be ready to jump just about anything else.
Porsche turns up the power and brings back the manual transmission for its latest GT3.
Porsche's track-focused 911 GT3 is once again available with a manual transmission.
Porsche's smaller SUV has been updated inside and out.
We could see the production version as early as this month.
It might not look very different, but that's just the camouflage.
More power and improved poise make one of our favorite sports cars even better.