A new Porsche For Purists To Hate On

Advance notice – I should advise that I bought a Porsche a few days ago. I’m extremely happy and somewhat frustrated. Happy, because the car is absolutely epic. Frustrated because right now I can’t get it down my driveway. I’ll explain in another post.

I point this out because some people know about my purchase and they’ll see this first post in a long time and think “Oh no, he’s going all Porsche now.” Well, no I’m not.

What’s prompted this post is that I’ve just seen the new photos of the Porsche Macan online and I have to say…… I like it.

Porsche Macan

Saab fans will probably want to stab me in the throat for saying this, but the first thought I had when seeing the Macan was the Saab 9X concept. I’m not saying the Macan looks like the 9X, but the proportions and the intention of the design reminds me of the Saab 9X: a more sporting and car-like utility vehicle. Saabophiles will know that Saab’s former design chief, Michael Mauer, has been at Porsche for around a decade now, so maybe the resemblance is not merely imagined.

Autocar went for a ride in a Macan with a Porsche test team and they came away quite impressed (note: it was a ride and not a drive). The Mecan Turbo they got a ride in had a twin-turbo version of Porsche’s 3.6 litre boxer engine making just short of 400hp. There’s also talk of a V6 petrol and an unspecified turbo-diesel. There’s even talk of a 4-cylinder turbo version, which Autocar notes would be the first Porsche with a 4-cylinder since the 968 (which, incidentally, just happens to be the car I bought a few days ago).

Porsche Macan

A word from Autocar:

What strikes me most about its on-road characteristics, once we leave the wide boulevards of Los Angeles behind, is its sheer agility. The Macan corners with all the eagerness of a well sorted sporting estate, displaying sharp turn-in, remarkably little body roll and an ability to accept lateral forces without any discernible understeer, even at the limit. There appears to be abundant levels of mid-corner grip, and the four-wheel drive system ensures that there’s always loads of traction and, in combination with the Turbo’s deep reserves of torque, terrific drive out 
of low-speed corners.

There seems to be lots of Volkswagen Group links here. The basics of the car seem to be derived from the Audi Q5, though with plenty of Porsche-specific mechanicals to make it distinct. The V6 engine will be from the Q5, too, and you can bet your underpants that any turbocharged 2-litre will have seen service in a hot Golf in a previous life.

People, especially Porsche people, love to hate on Porsches that aren’t 911’s. It’s perfectly normal and very close to being understandable – the 911 is one hell of an icon. The people who own and love their non-911 Porsches couldn’t give a rat’s tossbag about it, however, and I’m sure there will be plenty of people putting their hands up for some Porsche-hate in the form of Macan ownership over the next few years.

The Macan is due to debut at the LA Auto Show next month, at which time the full specs and interior shots will become available.

Bring it on.

Click the pics in the gallery below to enlargify.


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  1. I understand the thought about the 9x vs. Macan. Different time, different aim, but the truth of the matter is that shape seems to provide a great deal of utility while keeping the car low and nimble. Form follows function is the same with any badge on the hood.

    I am also not opposed to parts-bin engineering. Why wouldn’t you use the Audi power plants? They are very, very good. Why wouldn’t you use the famous quattro system from Audi? It’s very, very good. Put the time and money into making the car different from anything else on the road.

    I’m somewhat mixed on hotted up SUVs and CUVs. It seems to go against the purpose of the vehicle, but I understand the want to maximize every car. It’s just that for the cost of this (or any) new Porsche SUV/CUV one could buy a perfectly competent SUV/CUV and have enough left over for a real sporting car with fewer compromises. My thoughts.

    1. I was writing off the top of my head and I was pretty sure when I whipped this together last night that MM was there, Thomas. I know YOU would have been at Saab at the time, though, so feel free to set the record straight if I’m wrong and I’ll correct it here. (Then I’ll do my research more thoroughly in the future, I promise 🙂 )

  2. > The V6 engine will be from the Q5, too, and you can bet your underpants that any turbocharged 2-litre > will have seen service in a hot Golf in a previous life.

    Swade, you’ve got that wrong……the V6 in the Porsche will be much “upgraded” from the Audi and the 4 cylinder engine in any Porsche (Macan or other) will eventually find in it’s way into a hot Golf. Porsche does a lot of development work for the VAG empire.

    Then again, it has been proven many times in the past that a Porsche is only a tricked up VeeDub…….

    And this Saab fan absolves of the 9x reference. At least the 9x would have been FWD or the AWD of the TurboX of recent Saabs.

    1. “Then again, it has been proven many times in the past that a Porsche is only a tricked up VeeDub…….”

      Don’t forget where the origins of VW were, and what was done in the garage at 48 Feuerbacher Weg in Stuttgart. VW was more Porsche long before it was a VW..

  3. Congrats on the Porsche purchase. Looking forward to seeing & hearing more about it.

    This Macan looks more like the 9-2x than anything else to me. Not a fan. I would rather have a full-on Estate, than any of these SUVs/CUVs.

    I liked my 2008 9-5 SC Aero very much, and only wish that SAAB had survived to produce the AWD version. I would have gotten one of them in a nano-second.

    There are so many great Estates available from most of the non-US manufacturers, but unfortunately, the US gets almost none of them. Too bad.

    1. I think the grille of the car looks really strange in the pictures, like it was an afterthought. Maybe it’s just the grey body color, and that it looks better in person.

  4. Swade,
    Congratulations on the Porsche purchase. Guessing it was one of the 944s you were writing about recently. Regarding the Macan, I can see a lot of 9X in it as well.
    Look forward to photos and comments on your new car.

    1. Here’s the new car, John. This is the only photo I’ve got at the moment but hopefully I’ll take a bunch on Sunday.

      1995 Porsche 968 CS 🙂


        1. I look forward to seeing those photos! But looks nice so far from this angle. Ahh….5-spoke wheels. Any fun car should have such wheels…takes us back to days of childhood, playing with Hot Wheels die-cast cars and dreaming of what cars we might drive some day.

  5. In keeping with most non-911s that Porsche have released, my initial impression of this new baby SUV is negative. But then I did not like the Cayenne when it first came out, but now really like it, nor did I particularly like the Panamera at first, but it is now on the list of “if I won the lottery” cars and I really like it. So, maybe this one is a grower but for the time being, the wheels look far too big for the body.

  6. Porsche fans hate on anything that’s not a 911 like Saab fans hate on anything that’s not a FWD turbo hatch made in Trollhättan.

    It’s probably not “right”, but it’s understandable.