POSH, POTENT PORSCHE

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porsche-macan20140708Porsche’s second sport-ute model, the Macan, arrives in the Philippines
A NEW Porsche model is a rare thing. The engineering, testing and obsessing over every detail that go into any of the brand’s cars render the arrival of new ones set far apart. So when a new model does appear, it creates quite a stir.

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The Porsche Macan does exactly that.

It’s the second sport-ute in the Porsche stable, and only the sixth distinct model (although there’s a multitude of variants across the brand’s range) after the Boxster, Cayman, 911, Panamera and Cayenne—the other SUV.

Porsche foisted the Macan to the car planet at the LA and Tokyo motor shows in November last year, and since then the carmaker never fails to stress the model is the “sports car in the SUV segment.” When Porsche introduced the Macan in this part of Asia, held in May in Taiwan (which Fast Times attended), the case was no different. At a recent program marking the Macan’s arrival in the Philippines, Porsche Philippines Managing Director Roberto Coyiuto 3rd was just as unequivocal, saying; “The Macan, without doubt, stands for the ‘S’ in ‘SUV.’ It is the exclusive super sports car in its segment. It combines the driving qualities of a Porsche sports car with all the advantages of a compact SUV’s daily usability.”

The key reason for this incessant sports-car-SUV pitch is that, simply, the Macan packs the most potent engines among sport-utes of its size and posh, along with an equally sporty gearbox to accompany the power plants.

There are four variants of the Macan, two of which have landed in Porsche’s local showroom, with the other two expected to arrive as well. Topping the range is the Macan Turbo, followed by the gasoline- and diesel-burning Macan S pair, and the standard Macan. The Macan S gas and the Macan Turbo are the first to get here.

The Macan Turbo is hurtled along by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that’s boosted by two turbos, helping it spin out 400hp at 6,000rpm and 550Nm of torque at 4,500rpm. This V6 is sourced from the 3.0-liter propelling the gas-drinking Macan S, which despite not having a “Turbo” in its name, also boasts a pair. Porsche rates the 3.0-liter engine’s power at 340hp from 5,500rpm to 6,500rpm and 460Nm from 1,450rpm to 5,000rpm.

Bolted to the engines is Porsche’s sequential, seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox called PDK. Porsche said the system lets for a seamless link with the Macan’s automatic engine start/stop system, as well as with a “coast” function that drops engine revs when the car is, well, coasting. Another thing going for the PDK are instantaneous upshifts and downshifts, and this, according to Porsche, benefits the Macan’s off-road abilities, thanks to the absence of shift lag.

Regarding all-terrain capability, the Macan is fitted with Porsche Traction Management (taken from the 911 Carrera 4), which can send 100 percent of the engine power to either of the car’s axles, with computerized wizardry determining which of the two has better grip underneath. An off-road mode button on the Macan’s dash can be activated at speeds of up to 80kph.

The Macan also gets Porsche Active Suspension Management (an adaptive damper control system), Porsche Torque Vectoring that sees to it that any given wheel won’t slip, six-pot brakes (exotic ceramics are available for variants fitted with 19-inch and 20-inch wheels), a tire-pressure monitor, and electro-mechanical steering lifted straight off the 911. Further boosting the Macan’s sports-car credentials are staggered-size tires. The Macan S rolls on 235/60 R18 rubbers up in front and 255/55 R18 in the rear while the Macan Turbo wears 235/55 R19 and 255/50 R19 front and back.

In its cabin, the Macan flaunts a panoramic moonroof, Bose audio, a touch-screen multimedia system that is also a monitor for the reversing camera, power-operated everything (tailgate included), and dual-zone climate control, among an extensive list of other premium equipment.

Like with all Porsches and their premium-car ilk, the Macans’ price tags rest on what one ticks in the model’s long list of optional equipment—figure something in the range of P5 million to P8 million. At these prices, one gets the sportiest sport-ute on the planet.

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