Potent Porsche Macan debuts in SA

Porsche is synonymous with offering car enthusiasts what has been considered to be a quintessential German sports car, one of their greatest hits has to be the 911 but as we approach 2020 it is no secret that SUV's rule the roost with much emphasis being placed on these cars.

At the turn of the century, Porsche joined the SUV segment with the Cayenne and with demand for more variety in this segment, Porsche introduced the Macan, a smaller and more compact SUV. Now in its second generation, I headed down to Cape Town for the international launch of the Macan Turbo, otherwise known as, the fast one.

Enabling me to compare, I was privileged to experience the Macan S a few months ago. I was left impressed with how the car delivered its power and its impressive connection with the road. The new Turbo offering has elevated the experience to greater heights. On a side note, all the Macan models feature turbocharged engines, however, the Turbo nomenclature on the rear of the new Macan Turbo is just to identify that the car is the high-performance derivative.


The looks

The event, which as mentioned forms part of the international media launch which, will see media guests from across the globe visit the picturesque Western Cape which offers up the ideal setting to fully exploit the performance of the Macan Turbo. Considering that it is the fastest Macan, it needs to look the part and the designers have certainly succeeded and subtly promoted the performance credentials. The car’s bespoke front-end has a smaller overhang which means the Turbo is 12 mm shorter than other Macan models.

The car also features headlights bespoke to the Turbo model and when looking at the side profile you will notice large 20-inch wheels that compliment the overall look, however, my test unit came fitted with the optional 21-inch Sport Classic rims finished in black which complimented the Sapphire Blue bodycolour and yellow brake callipers. At the rear-end, the car comes fitted with quad tailpipes at the lower ends of the bumper, an extended light bar which runs the length of the tailgate and a more functional roof spoiler.

The interior

Inside the Macan Turbo, I was greeted by a similar interior layout I saw on the Macan S although the Turbo saw the addition of carbon fibre inlays and the optional Alcantara on the steering wheel and gear lever which added a level of sportiness to the interior, a must tick on the options box when purchasing your Macan. The centre console is raised but I found the buttons to be somewhat distracting, I would have preferred the simpler design found in the new Cayenne. That said, the interior quality is noteworthy as is the driving position, albeit on the wrong side of the car. At this particular event as the cars were sent over from Germany and thus were left-hand drive.

A highlight for me is the infotainment system or as Porsche calls it Porsche Communication Management (PCM) which features a 10.9-inch full HD touchscreen connected to a BOSE Surround Sound system as standard. The 14 loudspeakers are controlled via a 14 channel amplifier and have a total output of 665 watts. Throw in the wireless Apple CarPlay and a wireless charging dock and it becomes a rather enjoyable place. The Macan Turbo is also quite practical with the rear seats folded down, providing for around 1500-litres of luggage space.

It gets better, sort of

Under the bonnet, the Porsche Macan Turbo has been fitted with a familiar 2.9-litre bi-turbo V6 engine that develops 324 kW and 550 N.m of torque. Porsche claims a 0-100km time of around 4.6 seconds, however, my test unit was fitted with the optional Sports Chrono package which reduces that number down to 4.3 seconds. The package includes a dial on the steering wheel which enables you to adjust driving modes and a Sport Response button which provides an extra boost when needed. Sending power to all four wheels is a 7-speed PDK gearbox which is somewhat telepathic in its approach to changing gears.

The car offers impressive levels of grip, even when driving spiritedly up a tight and twisty Western Cape mountain pass in the rain. Regardless of the conditions you find yourself in, any form of forwarding propulsion from the Macan Turbo remains potent, and the launch control system is violent, to say the least. I will, however, point out a big issue and that is, despite having a sports exhaust fitted the car remains subdued in the aural department. I believe the car could do with more pops and bangs and some more theatre when changing gears. This would just make my already big smile a little bit bigger.


Having spent a decent amount of time behind the wheel I can comfortably say that the Porsche Macan Turbo is exactly what you would expect it to be. It’s potent, good looking, has the off-road driving capability while remaining practical and well-built. The car has superb handling and the power delivery is spot on. It’s a sharper tool than what most of the competitors have on offer, however, you do pay for that added sharpness.

Prices for the Macan Turbo starts at around R1 600 000 with a three-year drive plan and R1 650 000 when you opt for the five-year plan. Despite coming with a host of standard features there is still a long and costly options list waiting for prospective buyers. That said though, the Macan Turbo is an immensely flattering vehicle and well worth considering when buying within this segment.

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