With the Macan, Porsche has expanded its range into a whole new class of vehicle. The Macan is the first Porsche compact SUV.
Macan means “tiger” in Indonesian. Porsche believes the Macan embodies the spirit of a tiger through its speed, power, elegance and agility. Porsche hopes the Macan will appeal to a larger number of people and welcome new customers to the brand.
To start, Porsche’s newest car will be available in two models, the Macan S and the Macan Turbo.
Porsche is not afraid of the sceptics claiming the Macan is not a “true” Porsche. They believe, given a little time, those doubters will recognise the 60 years of experience building the 911, Boxster, Cayenne and others was used while designing the Macan.
Though, Porsche Chief Designer, Michael Mauer, admits to feeling a lot of pressure while designing the Macan:
“Since we are doing so many cars that don’t have any predecessor, it is a little bit more challenging because you are always basically inventing the car.”
The philosophy for the Macan was to make sure it was the sportiest in the compact SUV segment. Porsche first focused intently on the proportions of the Macan. As a result, it’s low and wide and has an aggressive stance. While the Macan shares the same platform as the Audi Q5, it feels like a completely different vehicle.
Next, they gave the Macan Porsche brand identity by carrying over familiar design elements from their other products. For example, the sloping roofline of the 911 is vaguely mirrored on the Macan.
The tail of the Macan is especially fetching. The taillamps have a interesting three-dimensional character and the whole rear end is very clean but powerful.
To effectively make the claim of being the first sports car in this segment, the Macan needs to offer proper sporting potential. Both available engines certainly provide that.
The Macan S comes equipped with a 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 delivering 340 hp. This enables it to accelerate to 100 km/h in just 5.4 seconds, or 5.2 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package.
The Macan Turbo will be the most powerful compact SUV on the market. It will also be the first Porsche vehicle to use a 3.6-litre twin turbo V6. This produces 400 hp and rockets to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds, or 4.6 seconds in Sport Chrono trim.
The standard seven-speed PDK transmission is excellent. Whether it’s in auto mode, or you’re changing gears using the steering wheel mounted paddles, shifts are quick and smooth.
The Macan is also easily manoeuvrable around the city. It has a fairly tight turning radius allowing you to traverse tight spaces with little fuss.
The optional air suspension system allows the Macan to also be quite comfortable and adaptable. In Comfort mode, the Macan handles bumps nicely, but at the push of a button, the suspension stiffens and it becomes sporty again. This system also gives you the ability to raise and lower the ride height.
It probably goes without saying but the Porsche Macan is not the best compact SUV in terms of off-road capabilities. To be fair, it is more than capable for most buyers needs though.
Since most owners are unlikely to take it off-road much, Porsche set up the Macan to be awesome on it. The steering is sharp, there’s hardly any body roll around corners, and there’s lots of grip from the sophisticated all-wheel drive system.
This means the Macan is genuinely fun to drive. You can think of the Macan as a sports car, but one which gives you a better view over the traffic.
Traffic which you are isolated from inside the cabin. The sound insulation is superb as you hardly notice you’re moving on the highway, and in town you don’t hear much noise from the outside world.
The cabin is beautiful, materials are robust, fit and finish is exemplary, and even though modern Porsches use a bewildering number of buttons on the consol, everything is within easy reach while driving.
And while the Macan feels like a sports car on the move, you get many useful features not found in a typical sports car – for example, a usable rear seat. Unlike some other compact SUV’s, the Macan’s rear wheel arches are not too intrusive, allowing for easier entry and exit.
Once inside, rear passengers have plenty of legroom and headroom is adequate. However, models with the panoramic sunroof will have a little less rear headroom, making it tight for people over 6-feet tall.
Even though it shares a platform with the Audi Q5, its sloping roof means the Macan has slightly less total rear cargo space. But, the rear seats are split 40/20/40 and lay flat when folded to help with larger items.
Tell us what you think about the 2015 Porsche Macan. Would you like to tame this tiger?