Porsche Macan Turbo

Unmistakable Porsche feeling

"The Cayenne's younger brother"

"The Macan turbo is quicker than the base 911 Carrera" said Issam

"For now, Porsche pretty much has this niche to itself"

"The steering has a more considerable and likely feeling to it" 

Other Germans automakers have stick to letters and numbers for their models. BMW, for instance, has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 series and the X models, and Mercedes has letters such as A, B, C, E, S, etc. Porsche chose to stick with names. How about the name "Macan"?  It is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger which appears totally suitable for this fast, agile 4x4. We previously tested the Macan in Dubai, and now we are laying our hands upon the Macan Turbo in Beirut.

This is the third non-sports car by Porsche, after the Cayenne and Panamera. The top model in the range is the Macan Turbo equipped with a 3.6 liter V6 biturbo engine and delivering an output of 400 hp.

What is the Macan?
The Macan and Audi Q5 have the same Volkswagen MLB platform; both are about the similar size, and both V6 engines are mounted in front of the front axle. Porsche separates the Macan from the Q5 by having only 20 percent of the Macan's parts identical with the Q5's parts.

The Macan is "Made in Germany", produced at the Leipzig plant. Porsche has invested around EUR 500 million into the site there, expanding it into a fully-fledged plant with its own body shell construction facility and paint shop. The production line is set up to produce around 50,000 vehicles per year - all manufactured with the utmost precision and to the highest level of quality.

Exterior
Many details of the design concept of the Macan reveal the vehicle's sports car heritage. Even when stationary, the Macan's proportions and lines highlight what the vehicle has to offer in terms of performance. The side window graphics, the roof line reminiscent of a coupe and the rear wings all take their cue from the 911. The Macan also adopts the current Porsche design DNA, which propelled the 918 Spyder further forward. The result can be summarized in two words typical of a sports car: broad and low.

The impressive, assertive front of the Macan is a distinctive component of the design. The large air intakes are typical of Porsche and highlight the performance class to which the brand's vehicles typically belong. The side view with its sporty sloping roof line creates a sharp profile and emphasizes the dynamic nature of the vehicle, while the design lines running to the rear of the vehicle accentuate the broad, sculpted wings. With its subtle lines and harmonious curves, the rear end is a fusion of sportiness. It has been consciously designed as a large, mainly undisturbed area to give the vehicle a broader look. The lower rear area surrounding the number plate holder has been kept black. On the Macan Turbo, this area is painted in the same color as the exterior. All models are available with sport tailpipes made from chrome-plated stainless steel as an option.

Projector-type halogen main headlights are fitted as standard on the Porsche Macan. Bi-Xenon main headlights are also available as an option (fitted as standard in the Macan Turbo).

Interior
For an SUV, the Macan has a sporty seat position and a more steeply inclined steering column to give it a sports car feel. The cockpit features the entire character familiar from a sports car. A high resolution, 4.8 inch VGA multifunction display is contained in the right-hand dial. In addition to the most important on-board computer functions, this feature also displays the maps for the optional Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system with navigation module. As you would expect, the ignition lock is positioned to the left of the steering wheel - as is customary on Porsche models.

The standard multi-function sports steering wheel is a particularly striking feature, the design of which is completely new and based on the 918 Spyder. The ergonomically positioned shift paddles and additional multi-function buttons fitted as standard for the telephone, radio and on-board computer ensure that drivers' hands are free to stay on the steering wheel and their concentration remains on the road.

The rear seat system provides space for up to three passengers. The rear seat backrests are split 40:20:40 and can be folded down separately, providing plenty of room for all items of luggage in the luggage compartment.

Driving Impressions
So how's the Macan drive around mountainous roads in Lebanon? Exceptionally great driving experience as you'd expect from a Porsche. The Macan Turbo is fast! It is equipped with PASM and the Sport Chrono pack, the Macan Turbo did 0 to 100 kph in around 4.5 seconds. What helped us in sudden braking are the slightly larger brake discs.

For the first time in a new Porsche model range, all variants of the Macan feature the high performance seven-speed PDK as standard. The advantages of this transmission design include excellent startup performance, extremely fast gear changes without any interruption in tractive force, highly spontaneous and targeted responses to changes to the accelerator pedal, swift adaptation to a more economical or sporty driving style, low fuel consumption and outstanding shift comfort. The advantages offered by the PDK are particularly evident in off-road mode, in gear changes without any interruption in tractive force, as well as when driving up steep inclines or during descents in Beirut.

Verdict
Many people said that Porsche is moving somewhat away from its pure sports car origins. We cannot blame them at all. They have their own business motive. At the end of the day if we still want to see new vehicles they have to enlarge their portfolio to keep surviving. Let's preserve in mind that the Cayenne is the bestselling product and the Panamera too. These two models gave Porsche a breath of air. So the Macan's achievement will allow Porsche to remain on producing great cars for people who adore well-engineered performance cars! 

Rivals: Audi SQ5, Range Rover Sport, BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLK, Volvo XC60
Pros: Performance, handling, comfort, build quality
Cons: A bit expensive price tag
One word: hasty

4.5 stars

Specs

3.6 liter V6 biturbo, 400 hp, 550 Nm
7-speed PDK, AWD
0-100 kph: 4.6 sec, top speed: 266 kph, fuel consumption: 9.2 - 8.9 l/100 km
Weight: 1925 kg

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