In the “old” days, SUVs were designed to be utilitarian first, looks second. They were neither fast nor fuel efficient. But their saving grace was the ability to go into the wilderness or to carry a sizable amount of cargo and passengers in situations where a car or wagon just wouldn’t do.
However, those early days of the sport utility vehicle are now over. Manufacturers have been able to make them both more stylish, fuel efficient and a heck of a lot faster. A well-spec’d SUV today — such as the Macan, Porsche’s new mid-sized offering — can even go head-to-head with sports cars.
How exactly has Porsche managed to set such new standards in terms of dynamic performance with their first compact crossover offering?
Keep reading to find out!
1. Advanced turbocharged engines.
The Macan Turbo’s 3.6-liter V6 twin turbo engine unleashes its maximum output of 400 hp at 6,000 rpm.
Twin turbochargers with a boost pressure of 17.4 psi result in acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds and a top track speed of 264 km/h.
The turbines are bespoke to the engine and are capable of building up boost very quickly, in order to deliver near-instant power when the driver demands it.
2. PDK dual-clutch transmission
For the first time in a new Porsche model range, all variants of the Macan feature the high performance seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission as standard equipment.
Downshifting or upshifting is at your fingertips with the paddle shifters on the steering wheel, and manual mode can be engaged by switching the gear selector to the left for full control.
The advantages of this transmission design include excellent start-up performance and extremely fast gear changes with essentially no interruption in power being delivered by the engine to the wheels.
Despite the performance factor, low fuel consumption is also one of the benefits of the PDK transmission. In every Macan model, the PDK enables the vehicle to “coast.” When drivers lift their foot off the accelerator, the transmission automatically decouples the engaged gear and the vehicles coasts in idle until the required speed is reached.
The PDK contributes to minimalize fuel consumption and adapts the required driving profile with the help of an intelligent management system
3. Active all-wheel drive
Active all-wheel drive is part of the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system and comes as standard for all Macan models. Electronically controlled, the system underpins the sports car characteristics of the Macan.
In order to closely mimic the feel of a traditional rearwheel drive Porsche, the rear axle is always driven while the front axle receives its drive torque from the rear axle. The torque split ratio can be varied depending on the road and driving conditions.
When equipped with the optional Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) system, the Macan’s driving dynamics and stability are even further improved. PTV Plus adds a variable standard torque split between the rear wheels combined with an electronically controlled rear differential lock.
Depending on a variety of factors including steering angle, steering speed, accelerator pedal position, yaw rate, and vehicle speed, PTV Plus improves steering behavior and precision through targeted brake interventions on the inside rear wheel. This allows the Macan to hold a tighter line when cornering at higher speeds.
4. Sport Chrono
The optional Sport Chrono package offers improved performance at the push of a button by tuning the chassis, engine and transmission to an even sportier level. Even the exhaust note is altered to be more sonorous when activated.
Launch Control is also part of the Sport Chrono option, which optimizes brake and throttle inputs to maximize acceleration from a standing start and improves 0 to 100 km/h times by 0.2 seconds for all models.