Porsche just introduced its second SUV at an event before the 2013 Los Angeles auto show and for the purists who already hate it, we've got one thing to say: get over it. With the Cayenne Porsche's best-seller, the 2015 Porsche Macan will help boost the automaker's bottom line so it can pay for more pet projects like the 918 Spyder. Though based on a Volkswagen platform, the Macan is full of Porsche DNA. The styling is pure Porsche, with plenty of 911 an 918 touches, as well as Cayenne traits. As expected, the Macan's interior feels both sporty, and luxurious.
On the face of it, Porsche purists have every reason to be scared of a product like the new 2015 Macan. Not only is it yet another SUV, but the Macan is built on Volkswagen's corporate MLB platform, which it also shares with most of Audi's lineup, including the Audi Q5 and the A4. Yet Porsche has done a bang-up job of making the 2015 Macan stand apart from its Q5 corporate sibling. It shares only about 20 percent of its parts with the Audi, and some Porsche DNA is evident in its bespoke powertrains, chassis revisions, and of course, its 911 and 918 Spyder-inspired sheetmetal. At the heart of the new 2015 Macan are two new gas engines. The 2015 Porsche Macan S is powered by a version of the 2014 Panamera's 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 making 340 hp, while the 2015 Porsche Macan Turbo is powered by a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 (itself a stroked version of the Macan S mill) making 400 hp. Porsche hasn’t released torque figures for either engine. Both the Macan S and Macan Turbo route their power to Porsche's Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive system via the standard seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission. While the Macan is capable of sending up to 100 percent of its power to either the front or rear axle, it's fitted with a rear-biased all-wheel drive system. A Sport mode that sharpens throttle response, transmission shifts, and the electric power steering rack is standard, while the Sport Chrono package, which includes a launch-control function, is optional.
As for performance claims, Porsche says the Macan S 'high-revving twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 will help it accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, or 5.0 seconds with the Sport Chrono pack available. Top speed is electronically limited to 156 mph. The 2015 Macan Turbo can propel the cute 'ute from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, or 4.4 seconds with the Sport Chrono pack. The Macan Turbo's top speed is 164 mph. Being a Porsche, the Macan's handling performance was just as important to the automaker as its outright speed. Porsche engineered the Macan to have the lowest center of gravity possible, while still having enough clearance for a comfortable ride and light off-roading (more on that in a sec).The air suspension sits a little more than a half-inch lower than on a Macan with traditional springs, and can be lowered to ease entry and exit, or raised for light off-roading, providing just more than nine inches of ground clearance.
Handling braking duties are six-piston front brakes and floating-caliper rear brakes. The Macan S' brake discs are 13.78 inches in diameter up front and 12.99 inches in back, while the Macan Turbo S gets larger 14.17 inch brakes up front and 14.02 inch brakes in back. The 2015 Macan comes shod with staggered 19-inch wheels, with optional wheels ranging in size from 18 to 21 inches.
As for off-road capability, all 2015 Porsche Macans come standard with an Off-road mode. The mode is optimized to provide the greatest traction in dirt and snow. Engaging it changes the PDK's shift points, as well as pre-tensions the all-wheel-drive system's clutch, allowing the engine to send power to the front axle more quickly. When equipped with the air suspension, off-road mode also automatically raises the suspension. With the Macan raised up, the Porsche's approach angle is 26.6 degrees, departure angle is 23.6 degrees, and breakover angle is 19 degrees. Without the air suspension, the Macan's approach, departure, and breakover angles are 24.8/23.6/17.1 degrees, respectively. Non-air suspension models have just 7.8 inches of ground clearance.
Visually, the 2015 Macan looks like a cross between the Cayenne, 911, and 918 Spyder, says Porsche. The Macan's nose is clearly inspired by the Cayenne, with similarly shaped headlights and an almost identical lower front fascia, but with Boxster bits – like the air intakes -- thrown in. The Macan's profile reveals a window silhouette reminiscent of the 911, and what Porsche calls Sideblades at the bottom of the doors. Inspired by the 918 Spyder, the Sideblades are painted black on the Macan S, and are body color on the Macan Turbo. Carbon-fiber Sideblades are optional all around. The tail end of the 2015 Macan sports a clamshell tailgate, 918-inspired LED taillights, and a rear diffuser flanked by dual exhausts. The 2015 Porsche Macan's interior will feel immediately familiar to anyone who's spent any time in a late-model Porsche. The interior features a sloping center console complete with all the buttons you could ever dream of pressing. The instrument panel is also traditional Porsche, with a center-mounted tach flanked by three conventional gauges, and a 4.8-inch multi-function color display. The Macan's interior features sport seats, and a brand-new sport steering wheel that'll likely find its way onto other models in the Porsche lineup.
The 2015 Porsche Macan is expected to hit Porsche dealers in the spring of 2014, with prices estimated to range from $ 52,000 - $ 62,000.
2015 Porsche Macan
BASE PRICE: $52,000-$62,000 (est)
LAYOUT :Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE : 3.0L/340-hp, 3.6L/400 DOHC twin-turbo 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
0-60 MPH 4.4-5.2 seconds
WHEELBASE: 110.5 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT: 184.3 x 75.7 x 63.9 in
CURB WEIGHT: 4200-4400 lb (est)
ON SALE IN U.S. : Spring 2014