12 years ago when the Porsche Cayenne first debuted, it would have been hard to imagine that in the future journalists and fans alike would be excited at the news that a second SUV would be forthcoming from the brand. The 2015 Porsche Macan proves, if nothing else, that times change. After having been saved from sales doldrums by the Cayenne, Porsche's second attempt a sport-utility vehicle (one fitting into the compact segment, this time) is no longer viewed as the automaker 'selling out' by diverting from its core mission of building top-tier sports cars. The fully-featured lineup offered by Porsche has become an asset, not an albatross, and the Porsche Macan is the latest brick in the German company's new financial foundation.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2015 Porsche Macan.
01. The 2015 Porsche Macan Is An All-New Model
The 2015 Porsche Macan might be the second sport-utility vehicle to have been offered by the brand, but it’s the first time that Porsche has ventured outside of the mid-size segment to tackle entry-level buyers. The Porsche Macan's compact dimensions aren't all that much smaller than the Cayenne, but the overall package is one that is focused more on handling and performance rather than the off-road capability advertised by the first-generation edition of Porsche's larger SUV. The Macan squares off against a packed room of rivals, including the BMW X3, the Audi Q5, and the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class.
02. The 2015 Porsche Macan Features Familiar Styling
The 2015 Porsche Macan will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has seen a Porsche automobile in the past decade. By not straying too far from the fold, the Porsche Macan enjoys the brand recognition associated with Porsche. In some ways, the Macan could be said to resemble a 7/8ths Cayenne, but shrinking the larger SUV's cues down onto the Macan's smaller platform has actually improved the SUV's sporty first impression. Aggressive from the front, subtle from the side, and surprisingly traditional from the rear, the Porsche Macan fits in well with the rest of the automaker's sedans, coupes, and utility models.
03. The 2015 Porsche Macan Borrows From The Audi Q5
Remember the Audi Q5 that was mentioned as a competitor in the opening section of this article? Well, the 2015 Porsche Macan actually stems from the same bloodline as its in-house market-mate, as it rides on the Modular Longitudinal Platform (MLP) that has spread its tentacles throughout the Audi/Volkswagen/Porsche lineup. Although the Q5 is also based on the MLP, there are many key differences: aside from a shared floor pan, the Macan is longer, a bit lower, and somewhat wider than the Audi. It's also significantly lighter, and Porsche has made a substantial effort to avoid sharing any internal components, switches, or materials with the Q5.
04. The 2015 Porsche Macan Offers Two Turbocharged Motors
Although the European market will see its usual broad mix of drivetrains, for American buyers the 2015 Porsche Macan will come exclusively in two of its hottest configurations. The base Porsche Macan S delivers a 340 horsepower, 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine that is also rated to produce 339 lb-ft of torque. If that's not enough grunt for you, then feel free to step up to the Porsche Macan Turbo, which introduces a 3.6-liter V-6 that also makes use of twin-turbochargers to grind out an exceptional 400 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. Each of these motors features a dry-sump oil system, as well full aluminum construction for maximum weight savings.
05. The 2015 Porsche Macan Features An Advanced Transmission
Unlike most other compact luxury SUVs, the 2015 Porsche Macan forgoes a traditional automatic transmission in favor of something the company calls 'PDK.' Essentially an acronym for one of the longest German words you are likely to encounter, PDK is a dual-clutch automated manual transmission that offers ultra-rapid gear changes that are simply not possible with either a torque converter-equipped automatic or a standard manual gearbox. The PDK unit offers multiple shift modes dedicated to matching either sporty driving conditions or off-road situations, and steering wheel-mounted paddles shifters offer the chance to maintain manual control over gear changes. There's also a launch control feature available to help facilitate the quickest possible starts.
06. The 2015 Porsche Macan Comes Standard With All-Wheel Drive
You might have noticed two terms used in the previous section - 'off-road' and 'launch control' - that are typically indicators that an all-wheel drive system is part of a vehicle's package. The 2015 Porsche Macan does indeed offer a standard all-wheel drive system, but it's important to understand that while limited all-terrain capabilities are programmed into this feature, its primary purpose is to assist with on-tarmac traction and improve handling. The Porsche Traction Management all-wheel drive system is able to shuttle torque from the rear axles to the front and then back again according to what wheel spin might dictate, and it helps the SUV to achieve a 0-60-mph time of just five seconds (in Turbo trim).
07. The 2015 Porsche Macan Provides A Number Of Options
The 2015 Porsche Macan can of course be loaded up with a number of optional features designed to bolster its bottom line as well as coddle its passengers. Of note in the performance department is a torque-vectoring feature that includes a locking rear differential, as well as an available air suspension system. Safety gear that can be added to the Porsche Macan includes a blind spot monitoring system, a lane keeping system, and an adaptive cruise control feature with the ability to brake down to a complete stop and then accelerate again. Porsche also offers a panoramic sunroof and a high end audio system to round out the list of gear available with the Macan.
08. The 2015 Porsche Macan Seats Five, Offers Solid Practicality
The 2015 Porsche Macan might be a compact SUV focused on performance, but that doesn't mean it sacrifices practicality. The Porsche Macan offers two rows of seating, which together can accommodate as many as five passengers. Behind the back seat there's just under 18 cubic feet of cargo space, which is roughly competitive with the trunk of a full-size sedan, but fold that row forward and the Macan offers up 53 cubic feet of total storage room. Total payload capacity for the small SUV is 1,510 lbs, but Porsche doesn't offer a tow rating for the Macan.
09. The 2015 Porsche Macan Becomes The Most Affordable Porsche Model
The 2015 Porsche Macan's base MSRP has been set at $49,900, which displaces the entry-level Cayenne as the least-expensive model in the entire Porsche line-up. In fact, don’t be surprised to see the six-speed manual, naturally-aspirated six-cylinder edition of the Cayenne disappear for the 2015 model year as the Macan moves in to snag its spot in the Porsche showroom. Keep in mind that like all Porsches, it's possible to spend a considerable amount of money on the Macan if one is not careful with the options sheet. In fact, a fully-loaded Macan Turbo retails for more than $100,000 - a substantial sum to pay for a compact SUV, and a serious multiple of the Porsche's starting price.
10. The 2015 Porsche Macan Should Be A Sales Behemoth
The 2015 Porsche Macan is set to help pad Porsche's year-end sales totals, and not just because of its attractive base price. Yes, the sub-$50k tag will undoubtedly help the brand attract new buyers to the fold, but in reality most versions of the Macan will feature at least a few options packages that will push their cost substantially above the advertised sticker. The real surge will come in satisfying the hunger that Porsche customers have for sport-utility vehicles, one that reared its head when the Cayenne was introduced and made that vehicle such an enormous success. Even if the Macan manages only percentage of the Cayenne's business, it will provide Porsche with a welcome infusion of cash and a broader slice of the SUV market.