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Porsche woos young drivers with Macan crossover

Carmaker puts four-cylinder engine in new, entry-level Macan

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Published : 2014-08-31 20:53
Updated : 2014-08-31 20:53

Porsche, the manufacturer of the iconic 911 sports car, is wooing new customers with its latest crossover the Macan, its second sport utility vehicle following the hot-selling Cayenne.

While the Cayenne is targeted toward a 911 driver who wants a second, bigger Porsche, the Macan hopes to lure first-time, younger buyers who will eventually acquire a Cayenne or a 911 ― or both ― in the near future.

Porsche CEO Matthias Muller earlier predicted that the Macan will help the Stuttgart-based carmaker hit the 200,000 mark in sales next year.

The Macan, its name originating from the Indonesian word for tiger, is also stirring up the competition in the nation’s crowded premium crossover market, one of the hottest segments in the industry now.
The Porsche Macan. (Porsche Korea)

With strong competition from the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Range Rover Evoque and Mercedes-Benz GLK, Porsche touts the Macan as the first sports car in the soaring segment.

The Macan inherits the “Porsche DNA” both in styling and performance, so it is likely to appeal to the brand’s current customers.

Its styling is reminiscent of the Cayenne (in the front) and the 911 (in the rear). The acute slant of the rear window completes its sleeker and sportier look when compared to its rivals.

The interior also reflects Porsche’s recent upward trend. The steering wheel design is inspired by the 918 sports car, while the sloping center console allows easy access to a range of information, from navigation directions to torque split on the wheels.

Even though the platform is shared with the Audi Q5, the driving performance, boosted by the sporty seven-speed Porsche double clutch transmission, is almost unrivaled within the segment.

Four models ― the Macan S, Macan Diesel, Macan Turbo and New Macan ― are now available.

The S is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 340 horsepower, while the Turbo steps up with its 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, churning out 400 horsepower.

Porsche aims especially high with the latest, entry-level New Macan, which comes equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is also found in the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The new engine, the company said, shows the carmaker’s commitment to challenge what a sports car can do.

The petrol engine churns out 237 horsepower. It accelerates from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 6.9 seconds, 0.6 seconds behind the diesel and 1.5 seconds slower than the Macan S.

“The Macan, with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, is as powerful a sports car as the high-trim six-cylinder Macan,” said Porsche Korea chief executive Kim Geun-tak. “We hope to offer more diverse options for Korean customers.”

The Macan has already met with high demand here. Unlike the bigger Cayenne, favored by “soccer moms,” the smaller model is more appealing to thirtysomething entrepreneurs or young couples as their first Porsche, according to the Korean unit.

The starting price for the basic Macan is 75.6 million won ($74,500).

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)

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