Back in 2003 we got our first look at the Porsche SUV platform when we drove the all new Porsche Cayenne. Even though it was many years ago I remember it well, the little 3.2 liter V6 produced a modest 250 horsepower and the TR60SN six speed automatic handled the ratio changes not only effectively but effortlessly. The Cayenne was an immediate hit with the motoring public and Porsche had a new sheriff in the SUV ranks.
Well here we are twelve or so years later and while the new Cayenne is still sheriff, the folks at Porsche have appointed a new deputy, and it’s name is Macan.
The Porsche Macan bears striking resemblance to the Cayenne in terms of overall styling but out on the road the Macan has it’s own unique character and feel. The model our Horsepower Broadcasting team drove was the Macan Turbo with a 3.6 liter twin turbo V6 and the seven speed PDK dual clutch transmission.
The engine is direct injected with a turbocharger at each cylinder bank and a compression ratio of 10.5:1, the engine is kicking out 400 horsepower and about 406 pound-feet of torque.
On a side note, we’ve said it many times and we’ll continue to say it, the engine is obviously an important member in the powertrain but the transmission either makes or breaks the way you feel about the drive, regardless of make or model.
With the Porsche dual clutch transmission the overall driving experience is superbly enhanced by what we feel is the finest transmission in the world…the 7 speed PDK.
The Macan shares a platform with the Audi Q5 and has the exact same wheelbase but it’s about two inches longer front to rear and curiously about two inches shorter top to bottom. I use the word “curiously” because for an SUV it did feel like the roof was a bit low although not intolerable. The amount of cargo area is impressive with about 17.7 cubic feet of storage area and the interior overall is well laid out.
Inside, in typical Porsche fashion, the front seats convey a sense of comfort and support that make going across town or cross country equally comfortable. The console area has more buttons than an Elton John coat (and it does take some time to familiarize yourself with all the available functionality) but once you’re comfortable with placement and layout, control is easy. The infotainment as well as sport suspension and performance settings are within easy reach and the newly developed multifunction sport steering wheel is comfortable and easy to use.
Porsche uses the terms “Life, Intensified” for their advertising and I have to agree with them. Not one member of our team was quite prepared to be as impressed as we ultimately were with this newest Macan.
The entry level model begins at $49,900 making it the least expensive Porsche model currently on the market. The model we drove starts at a cool $72,300, our test model came in at about $88,000 and if you roll with any of the several options Porsche offers, you can easily get close to $100,000 but one thing seems certain, regardless of the level you choose, you’ll not be disappointed.
Special Thanks to Rusnak Porsche in Westlake California, they make their entire inventory available to us anytime we ask.
If this is what it means to have “Life, Intensified”…then sign us up