Porsche Macan (2014) latest spy shots of 'mini-Cayenne'

Published: 05 December 2012

These are the very latest spy shots of Porsche's Macan SUV, testing in light camouflage.

The baby Cayenne will go on sale in late 2014, helped along its development cycle by virtue of its Audi-shared platform. However, Porsche is promising much sportier proportions for the Macan than its Audi sister, and better handling to match.

Porsche rarely do outlandish styling – what's different about the Macan?

Don't be fooled by the hacked front bumper, light cluster stickers and fake chrome kink on the rear D-pillar – that's just Cayenne-inspired disguise. 'We wanted to give the car its own Macan product identity,' Porsche design chief Michael Mauer told CAR. 'You will see elements on the Macan that you haven't seen on our other cars so far. The next step will be a decision on whether those product identity design cues remain on the Macan, or whether they walk into the family...'

Though this test mule is clearly a five-door, Porsche has touted the possibility of building a two-door 'coupe' Macan, much like the Range Rover Evoque. When questioned by CAR, Mauer simply answered: 'The Macan will be sporty because of its proportions, no matter if it has four doors or two doors. Will there be two doors? Wait and see...'

So will the Porsche Macan be more posing pouch than sporty SUV?

According to Mauer, the Macan will still put Porsche dynamics ahead of headline-grabbing looks. 'I'm not saying that a Cayenne or a Macan is a 911 sports car, but among its competitors [the Macan] is the sports car.

That's a subtle dig at the baby Range Rover which, for all its concept car looks, only gets four-cylinder power and a maximum of 240bhp. The Macan, meanwhile, will be offered with four- and six-pot powertrains, mated to either six-speed manual or seven-speed PDK twin-clutch gearboxes. Here's the expected engine range...

• 2.0 TDI 4-cyl, 187bhp/258lb ft
• 3.0 TDI V6, 261bhp/369lb ft

• 2.0 TFSI 4-cyl, 237bhp/258lb ft
• 3.0 TFSI V6, 288bhp/295lb ft

Naturally, there'll be a range-topping forced-induction version too: the Macan Turbo will pack a 345bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6. Also confirmed is a Macan Hybrid, which will share its drivetrain with the Audi Q5 Hybrid Quattro.

Isn't building a small SUV Audi or VW's job?

Not if Porsche wants to hit its future sales targets. Set to cost from around £35,000, the Macan will be Porsche's fifth model, and the cheapest five-door made by the company. Estimated sales of 75,000 units a year will push Porsche ever closer to its goal of building 200,000 vehicles a year by 2018. That's nearly double its current total.

Also helping toward that will be a smaller sports saloon to sit below the Panamera, nicknamed 'Pajun'. It'll arrive in 2016, spoiling for a fight with BMW's M5 and next year's Maserati Ghibli.