Some Porsche purists may still not approve that “their” company – once famed for building nothing but pure sportscars – is now making SUVs saying these are not and never will be sports machines.
They should be grateful that Porsche did choose to build SUVs – otherwise it’s likely the company would have gone bankrupt and the latest 911s would have never have come into existence.
That’s because the Porsche Macan and its big brother Cayenne SUVs are huge sellers and bring in not only profits, but also seriously useful development dollars.
That’s the financial side of things. May we suggest that if the aforementioned purists can get themselves behind the wheel of a Macan S, our road test car this week, they would be most impressed?
Visually the new Porsche Macan S incorporates the facelift introduced on the other models early in 2019. The front end has been redesigned to give it a wider appearance. The headlights are LED as standard. Or you can option to up to Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus to control light distribution adaptively.
The three-dimensional rear LED light strip looks great and ties in with the attractive rumps of the latest full-on Porsche sportscars.
The dash area is neat and tidy with a larger infotainment screen being part of the Macan upgrade.
There are buttons, buttons and more buttons on the centre console. Your eyes, and those of the front seat passenger, who has their own private array of buttons, may well be initially overwhelmed by them. But they are well-labelled and finding the correct one soon becomes simple.
In any case it’s a nicer to use system for day-to-day adjustments instead of dredging your way down through sometimes confusing pages on a touchscreen.
Porsche Communication Management (PCM) has a larger 10.9-inch full-HD touchscreen. It’s fully networked and includes online navigation with real-time traffic information, mobile phone connection, two audio interfaces and voice control.
ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
The 3.0-litre V6 engine delivers up to 260 kW (that’s 350 horsepower in real money). Maximum torque of 480 Nm is there in a huge spread from 1360 rpm to 4800. Unless you’re doing track days (yes, track days in a Porsche SUV!) you are likely to have the efficiency of peak torque under your right foot virtually all the time.
Drive is through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The high-tech Porsche Traction Management (PTM) controls the all-wheel drive system. Macan is very much a sports SUV and features staggered tyre sizes 265/45 ZR 20 at the front and 295/40 ZR 20 at the rear.
A few months back Porsche expanded its Macan range with the introduction of a new 3.0-litre turbo-petrol engine in the Macan S. This is our first road test of the new beast and we loved every minute of our too-short week behind the steering wheel.
Twist the somewhat-odd looking dummy key and the engine leaps into life with a sporting snarl and runs at a fast “I’m ready for action” idle.
There’s minimal turbo lag thanks to clever engineering and once that slight delay has passed endless surge provided by the long spread of torque.
When fitted with the optional Sport Chrono Package, new Porsche Macan S accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds.
The optional GT sports steering wheel, as used in the Porsche 911, features a mode switch integrated into the wheel.
Our favourite feature in all the latest Porsches, the Sport Response button, is part of the optional Sport Chrono Package in Macan S. Push it when you see a likely opportunity of overtaking a slower vehicle and it counts down for 20 seconds. At any time during that period it has virtually instantaneous throttle response. If you can’t overtake for whatever reason it cuts out after that 20 seconds and you’re required to reset it.
Detailed engineering changes made to the brakes of Macan S provide faster response. Larger front brake discs, up by 10 mm (to 360 mm in diameter), and by 2 mm (to 36 mm in width) provide added stopping power even in harsh driving circumstances.
Porsche Macan S can be equipped with the optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) if you want to get really serious.
On the front axle, spring forks made from aluminium replace the steel components to reduce unsprung weight. Newly tuned sway bars ensure near neutral handling.
Handling is positive, with precise feel through the steering and your backside. Reaction to throttle and wheel inputs is excellent. Okay, so the Macan is never going to feel as good as 911 on the road – because these days the 911 is engineered to virtually cancel out the potential balance problems caused by its tail-heavy layout. However, the better balance of the SUV brings it a lot closer than you would expect.
Porsche Macan S with V6 turbo power is an excellent combination of SUV and sportscar. If your budget won’t run to two cars – and mine certainly doesn’t – a single Macan S (or even its four-cylinder cousin) is a highly competent jack of all trades.
Macan 2.0: $81,800
Macan S 3.0: $98,200
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Porsche dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Porsche Macan S 3.0-litre V6 turbo-petrol five-door wagon)
Capacity: 2.997 litres
Maximum Power: 260 kW @ 5400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 480 Nm @ 1360 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 9.6 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 219 g/km
DRIVELINE: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4696 mm
Wheelbase: 2807 mm
Width: 1923 mm
Height: 1624 mm
Turning Circle: 12.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 1940 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc
Three years / unlimited kilometres