► Hottest Macan of all tested
► Performance Pack boosts power and more
► £69,505 puts one on your drive
The car you see here is the fastest, most powerful and most expensive Porsche Macan you can currently buy. It’s also an SUV that’s a strong contender for the coveted ‘longest name in the car industry’ title, as Porsche’s hottest baby SUV has been christened the Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance Pack.
Think of it more as a Macan Turbo S and you’re not far off the mark – in fact, we’re wondering why Porsche didn’t just call it that in the first place.
Read on for our full review on the sportiest Macan yet, priced from £69,505.
So what does the Performance Pack bring to the table?
It mainly comprises a light fettling of the already powerful 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 from the regular Turbo, so power is up by 40bhp (to 434bhp) and there’s 34lb ft extra in the torque department (now at 443lb ft). That makes for a 0.2-second quicker 0-62mph launch time, down to 4.4sec.
Other subtle tweaks include larger diameter steel brake discs with grooves on both sides as standard (our test car had optional carbon ceramic brakes at £5682) and the suspension has been lowered by 15mm, while the Sport Chrono pack (dash-mounted stopwatch, driving stat displays and additional Sport Plus driving mode) and sports exhaust system are standard.
Other than those choice additions, it’s still standard Porsche fare, so expect to add at least £10k to the price if you want any other significant luxuries.
Is it still a sports car on stilts to drive?
You betcha. Twist the car-shaped key in its slot and you’re greeted by a brief bark from the sports exhaust before the engine settles down to a meaty burble.
In its regular driving mode, the Macan is well-behaved enough to avoid drawing too much attention; the sports exhaust is off, upshifts are as early as they can be to save fuel and the start-stop function borders on being eager to switch the engine off before you’ve entirely come to a halt. The ride is damped well enough but the arch-filling 21s and low-profile tyres don’t have to move much to let you know about imperfections in the road.
In ‘Sport’, PASM drops the air suspension by 10mm and stiffens the shocks slightly, the PDK ’box leaves the car in a lower gear for longer and the sports exhaust broadcasts the V6’s surprisingly sonorous soundtrack to its fullest.
Stamp on the gas in the right gear and you’ll quickly believe the 4.4sec 0-62mph claim; a surge of power sharp enough to push you back into the seat with max power hitting at 6000rpm – just 700rpm away from the redline. There’s a slight step at about 4000rpm when the turbos are fully spooled but it’s so flexible that you’d barely notice it’s a turbocharged engine at all if it weren’t for a faint whistling backing the exhaust note.
Porsche has also managed to tune the Macan’s electric power steering spookily well; there’s so much more weight to it than almost any of its rivals (I’m particularly looking at you, Audi SQ5) and it’s pin sharp.
Body roll is virtually non-existent, too, which almost makes you think you’re driving something smaller than a high-riding SUV, and the optional carbon ceramic brakes can provide mammoth stopping power when you’ve got a lick on.
‘Sport Plus’ cranks things up even more; the ride is at its firmest and the PDK ’box is in maximum attack mode. This is also the switch you want if you must use the Macan’s launch control system.
How is the interior?
Straightforward but finely finished. The design isn’t dramatic but all of the buttons, paddles and levers you’ll be prodding/pushing/pulling feel very robust. A particular highlight – the smooth all-metal gearshift paddles on the steering wheel; they’ve a weighty clunk to them that makes changing gear yourself a joy.
Our car had an optional two-tone grey and near-white interior colour combo which really looked the part but already showed signs of colour transfer in the drivers’ seat bolsters.
The centre console is a buttonfest but we don’t think we’d have it any other way; you quickly build up motor memory to find the switches you need most, and it makes life easier than fiddling around on a sub-menu in the touchscreen.
Porsche’s infotainment is reminiscent of most other current VW Group systems but runs its own overlays, and has its own quirks. The screen senses when your finger approaches and opens up more buttons to press, the navigation is commendably clear, and it had no issue connecting to an Android smartphone. There’s also the option for the system to completely hijack your phone’s sim card – whether it be virtually through the Bluetooth connection or physically by actually inserting the card itself – and use the data plan to access internet-enabled apps and services.
Plus, since it’s an SUV, you can fit three people in the back with ease, child seat Isofix points are present and correct, and interior storage is surprisingly generous. At 500 litres, the boot isn’t as large as a Q5 or an Evoque, although you can lower the suspension via a button in the boot to make loading large items easier.
There’s no denying the Macan’s breadth of talent. The awkwardly named ‘Turbo with Performance Pack’ is expensive compared to an Audi SQ5 or a Jaguar F-Pace S, but what you get for the money is a fully-fledged family car that can thrill you any day of the week.
Juicy steering, a well-finished interior and all-out pace are three strong pillars that make this car a joy to drive no matter the time or season.