The Macan is poised for big things City A M

28 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи The Macan is poised for big things City A M отключены
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The Macan is poised for big things

Porsche’s new luxury SUV could be the motor to finally take the crown from the Range Rover Evoque

HAVE you ever visited a car factory? I thought not. I have, many times. Manufacturers are universally keen to show off to the media the millions – billions even – they invest in new car plants.

I’m in Leipzig. Porsche has made a massive investment in the former East Germany where it builds the Cayenne and Panamera, and now the Macan. Each has four doors, so they’re not your archetypal Porsche sports car, but these days that’s where the money is.

As you might expect, the factory is clinically clean. Less expected is the work rate of the employees. Everyone seems. relaxed. There are hardly any people at all, in fact. Porsche is happy to talk about the build speed, or lack thereof, which it says allows for time to get things right and uphold high standards.


It does seem like there’s a clockwork precision to the assembly of these cars.

The Macan is what Porsche calls its “premium compact SUV”, a car that, apparently, has no direct rivals – and one that’s also to be considered a sports car. It evolved from the Audi Q5, though you’d be hard pushed to see the similarities. The 3.0-litre diesel is similar but the petrol engines – and pretty much everything else – are completely new.

Porsche points to the slope of the Macan’s roof and its rear haunches being similar to those of the 911. The rear lights and steering wheel are copies of those on the forthcoming Porsche 918 Spyder super-car.

Yet there’s really no need to draw spurious parallels to show the Macan is a sporting machine, because it drives exceptionally well. Body height always counts against a dynamic drive but Porsche has invoked layers of technical wizardry to make the Macan steer and handle unlike any other 4×4 you’ve ever driven.

It’s quick, too. There’s a 3.6-litre V6 with twin turbos and 400hp, called the Macan Turbo. It’s as fast as could dream is possible for a car like this.

Then there’s a 3.0 V6, also with twin turbos, but that’s merely the Macan S. I rather liked it but in many ways the V6 Diesel S is its equal.

You can have lots of fun in the petrol S, pushing it to the extremes of the rev limit, changing gear yourself with the paddle shifters or letting the automatic transmission take care of everything for you. But the diesel plays the fast 4×4 role just as well, while being noticeably more relaxed and more economical.

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This Porsche can do off-roading too, as long as you pick the most expensive suspension package, which jacks it up to clear obstacles.

If you’re considering a trip to your local dealer, you’ll be unlikely to see much change from £50,000, and in all likelihood it will be a fair bit more. In line with this, the interior is a real knockout – an acknowledgment that this is an expensive machine. The button count is key. The centre console is like that in the Porsche Panamera, swooping backwards between the seats with 36 buttons and switches.

There is schoolboy pleasure to be gained from controlling every aspect of your drive from this Star Trek-esque console.

Porsche seats are always comfortable and you can improve them with even swisher leather and “super-comfort” options. Rear seat space is reasonable for a couple of adults, and the luggage volume is OK but not exceptional.

Until now, if you wanted a classy SUV that wasn’t too big, you bought a Range Rover Evoque. The Porsche Macan may be significantly more expensive but I reckon it will quickly become the new must-have premium family car.

Peter Burgess works for motoringresearch.com.

THE FACTS: PORSCHE MACAN S

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