Porsche is readying its new Macan, aka the Cajun, short for Cayenne junior. Every bit as spicy as its bigger brother, the Macan CUV (compact utility vehicle or coupé ute) is scheduled to go into production in spring 2013 - but you can see it two years early in our artist's impression.
The sporty crossover is based on the-then facelifted Audi Q5. Audi would reportedly prefer Porsche to concentrate on an even more dynamic standalone three-door version, but the Weissach dream team claims it needs the volume generated by the four-door model to warrant the postulated double-digit profit margin.
Uh-oh. So with the Macan Porsche is moving further away from sports cars and building yet more SUVs?
Yep. While the old regime was strictly against the Macan, warning that it would cannibalise the even more profitable Cayenne, the new boss Mathias Müller sees the car as a licence to print money and as an opportunity to boost the output by approximately 50,000 units a year. According to the still provisional launch plan, we shall first see the full-size four-door coupé and then in late 2014 the two-door version based on a shortened platform.
The Macan will be derived from a components set known as MLB wide which is broader and thus potentially more aggressive than the Q5. Having said that, the key dimensions don't vary dramatically.
So how big is the new 2013 Porsche Macan?
The rear overhang will be cut by 30mm, the roof comes down by 20mm, and the width increases by 15mm. What makes a difference are the bigger tyres with a strong emphasis on redesigned 19- and 20-inch rims. All exterior and interior panels will of course be styled from scratch, but the windscreen angle, the firewall and the roof pillars have to remain as they are. CAR's artist's impression shows what to expect.
To ensure a sports car-like driving position, the Macan receives bespoke seats, a less steeply raked steering column and the dashboard of the new Boxster complete with instrumentation, infotainment and the traditional offset ignition lock. The substantial centre stack rises at an angle, Panamera-style.
Although the base model is a four-seater, a 4+1 rear seat will be available as an option. The head- and taillights are of the high-intensity LED matrix beam kind. Together with the body structure of the Q5, the Porsche Macan will carry over the chassis, steering, axles, quattro drivetrain, six- and seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions as well as the engines, albeit in modified form.
What's under the bonnet of the new Porsche Macan?
Here is an exclusive rundown of the four designated powerplants:
• 2.0 TFSI, 240bhp/258lb ft
• 3.0 TFSI V6, 292bhp/295lb ft
• 2.0 TDI, 190bhp/258lb ft
• 3.0 TDI V6, 265bhp/369lb ft
As you can see, the Swabians have increased the power output of the Q5 units by 20bhp across the board. In addition, there is a Macan Turbo S in the works. It features Porsche´s own twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 rated at 350bhp. Also in the making is a Macan Hybrid fitted with the same 211bhp four-cylinder-plus-47bhp-electric-motor kit as the Q5.
Porsche-specific tweaks include the Sport Chrono pack with launch control, stronger brakes with optional carbon-ceramic discs, wheels/tyres and the complete exhaust system including a switchable free-flow sports muffler.
As soon as the Cayenne receives the more powerful 300bhp TDI unit, Porsche will start marketing the diesel more aggressively on a global basis, and there is a good chance that the Macan V6 TDI, too, is going to be offered in America.
Where will Porsche build the new Macan?
In an ideal world, the CUV will be built in Ingolstadt alongside the Q5. But since the Bavarian plant is already running at 105% capacity, it will be built in Leipzig, the home of the Cayenne.
Pricing is expected to exceed the Q5 by about 15%.