The Macan is scheduled to go on sale in 2013 with a big task: draw younger, mostly urban buyers to Porsche showrooms.

Photo credit: BRENDA PRIDDY & CO.
DAVID PHILLIPS

Porsche's new baby crossover uncovered, targets younger buyers

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David Phillips is deputy managing editor of autonews.com
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The newest Porsche, a baby crossover inspired by the larger Cayenne SUV and a key driver of the automaker's ambitious sales goals, has been spotted uncovered on the roads of Europe.

The Macan -- Indonesian for tiger -- goes on sale in 2013 as a 2014 model with a big job: draw younger, mostly urban customers to the Porsche fold.

Previously known by its codename of Cajun -- short for Cayenne Junior -- the Macan is decidedly smaller than the Cayenne, Porsche's first SUV.

The Macan will share a platform with Audi's Q5 and upcoming Q6 crossovers and is expected to be powered by Porsche's first four-cylinder engine since the 968 was phased out in 1995.

It was photographed undergoing prototype testing near Porsche's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

Porsche plans to build 50,000 Macans a year at a factory in Leipzig, Germany, starting next year.

In addition to the Audi Q5, the Macan will go head-to-head primarily with the Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz GLK and BMW X3.

The Macan will share a platform with Audi’s Q5 and upcoming Q6 crossovers and is expected to be powered by Porsche’s first four-cylinder engine since the 968 was phased out in 1995.

Photo credit: BRENDA PRIDDY & CO.

Porsche aims to increase annual worldwide sales to more than 200,000 units by 2018, up from 118,867 in 2011. Most of the growth is expected to occur in the United States, Europe, China and Russia – where Porsche is targeting growing upper class consumers.

While the Cayenne's introduction in 2003 dismayed some Porsche loyalists, it has become the automaker's top-selling model in the United States.

The Macan will become the automaker's sixth model line after the 911, Boxster roadster, Cayman coupe, Cayenne SUV and Panamera four-door coupe.

It will also join a slew of new and revamped models in Porsche's lineup.

The redesigned Porsche 911 coupe and convertible went on sale in February. The third-generation Boxster roadster debuts in June and a redesigned Cayman coupe will be introduced at year end.

In September, Porsche plans to begin selling a diesel-powered Cayenne SUV.

The 918 Spyder hybrid supercar and more variants of the 911 are also scheduled to hit U.S. showrooms over the next few years.

Porsche expects its U.S. sales to increase to about 50,000 units in the next five to six years, up from 29,023 in 2011.

Porsche's U.S. sales have climbed 4 percent this year to 10,596 through April.

You can reach David Phillips at dphillips@crain.com.

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