Porsche Macan aims for big performance in Korea

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 20, 2014 - 21:01
  • Updated : May 20, 2014 - 21:01
Porsche Korea unveiled the Macan compact SUV on Tuesday in Seoul, aiming to accelerate expansion beyond its traditional niche and lure first-time customers seeking a more practical Porsche.

“I wouldn’t call the Macan a baby Cayenne. It’s more like a big 911,” said Kim Geun-tak, managing director of Porsche Korea, at the car’s launch in Seoul.

The Macan, its name coming from the Indonesian word for tiger, is the second SUV model by the German sports car maker. With the first Cayenne now its best-selling model, Porsche is aiming high with the smaller but sportier new model. 
Models pose with the Porsche Macan at the car’s launch in Seoul on Tuesday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

According to a Porsche survey, the luxury small-crossover segment has grown 185 percent since 2007 to some 1.3 million units worldwide. The segment is expected to grow another 3.4 percent annually until 2024, the survey found.

In Korea, the market for compact SUVs, including mass-market models, more than doubled from 3,142 unit sales in 2011 to 6,322 vehicles last year.

Citing the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes-Benz GLK as the car’s key competitors, Porsche touted the Macan as the “first sports car in the segment.”

The styling is pure Porsche, with plenty of 911 and 918 touches, as well as Cayenne traits. Even though the platform is based on the Audi Q5, Porsche engineers had to develop the chassis almost from scratch to account for its engine power and extreme agility, officials said.

Two models ― the Macan Turbo and S ― are available here. The Turbo model comes equipped with the 3.6-liter V6 biturbo engine and churns out 400 horsepower and a maximum torque of 56.12 kilogram-meters. It takes only 4.6 seconds for the car to reach a speed of 100 kilometers per hour.

The diesel-powered version will hit the Korean market in June. Currently, almost half the Cayennes sold here are diesel models.

Some internal competition with the slightly more expansive Cayenne may be unavoidable, but Porsche spokesman Michael Lee predicted that there would be no serious impact.

“Depending on additional options, the Macan price could exceed that of the Cayenne. Drivers seeking sportier performance would choose the Macan,” he said.

The model has a starting price of 84.8 million won ($83,700) for the 340-horsepower Macan S and 107.4 million won for the Turbo trim. Its German price starts at 57,930 euros ($78,190).

By Lee Ji-yoon (