LEIPZIG, Germany -- Porsche executives pitch the Macan, on its way to U.S. dealerships, as a compact crossover. But to most eyes it looks more like a muscular hatchback.
What is not in dispute is that the Macan sticks to Porsche's performance ethos. Triple-digit speeds are no problem for the Macan.
The Macan's mission is to open up Porsche to upscale buyers with young families who have outgrown their 911s, Caymans and Boxsters.
The basics: The Macan shares a body structure with the Audi Q5.
The Macan S, starting at $50,985, is powered by a 340-hp 3.0-liter V-6 with a turbocharger. The $72,300 Macan Turbo has a 400-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 with two turbos. Maxed out, the Macan Turbo's price can approach $100,000. Prices include freight.
Both come with a dual clutch seven-speed transmission with paddle shifters. Porsche says the Macan S goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, while the Macan Turbo does it in 4.6. Next summer Porsche will offer a V-6 diesel with a 3.0-liter twin turbo engine rated at 258 hp. A hybrid is in the works. China will get an optional four-cylinder model.
Notable features: The Macan -- the word is Indonesian for tiger -- may be designed for performance, but it can also deliver respectable fuel economy. All models come with a stop-start system, which shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop. The seven-speed dual clutch automatic helps keep the engine in an efficient rpm range.
The standard all-wheel-drive system automatically adjusts power sent to the wheels based on the amount of traction detected at each wheel. The rear wheels drive the vehicle most of the time.
Options include an air suspension system that lowers the vehicle height; a lighting system that continually adjusts the headlight level; torque vectoring to improve high-speed handling; and the Sport Chrono package, which changes the engine tuning to improve performance and changes the sound of the exhaust.