If you had told a Porsche purist at the turn of the century that within 13 years the 2015 Porsche Macan crossover would be joining a larger SUV and a sedan, you'd likely have gotten the same look that Toronto mayor Rob Ford gets whenever he puts his foot in his mouth. And yet here we are at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where the German automaker is introducing the Macan.
Auto show event update: 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.
As 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 and 918 touches, as well as Cayenne traits. As expected, the Macan's interior feels both sporty, and luxurious.
The Macan really looks and feels sharp in the metal. We suspect if it drives as good as it looks, Porshe will have no problem reaching its goal of 50,000 sales per year. Can't wait to see what pet project this crossover pays for. — Christian Seabaugh
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 available Sport Chrono pack. 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). To do this, Porsche offers three different suspensions. The 2015 Macan S sports lightweight steel springs that Porsche says maintain a good balance between performance, driving pleasure, off-roading, and comfort. Standard on the high-zoot Macan Turbo is the automaker's Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system. PASM offers Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus modes that electronically adjust the suspension. An air suspension that works together with PASM is optional. 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.