Exceptional siblings: Porsche Macan and Macan Sport
If there’s one thing that Germans can be counted on, it’s being deliberate and precise. So much so that when one sees the Porsche crest on a car, one expects a certain level of performance, luxury, and equipment.
On the Porsche Carrera sports car and Porsche Cayenne SUV, a car enthusiast will be able to delineate the different and similar driving and handling characteristics.
Now, for the Porsche Panamera, it gets tougher because there has been a deliberate merging of all the salient qualities of the Carrera and Cayenne.
The perfect fusion of the two has yielded a Porsche that’s huge but fast, cushy but agile, and with a low stance, but is spacious.
But what if you want a Porsche that offers all the qualities above, but just slightly off from the center?
For that very specific requirement, there is the Porsche Macan. Some view this handsome compact SUV as a junior Cayenne, and was nicknamed Cajun during the developmental stage, while also in reference to a hot chili pepper.
But once you’ve driven any variants of the Carrera and Cayenne, and then the Macan, you’ll realize the latter is also a fusion of the two, but leans more towards the sports car than the sporty SUV.
Macan, by the way, translates to tiger in the Indonesian language. And since we’re referring to powerful animals, the Cayenne is fast and powerful like a (refined) rampaging rhino, while the Macan can be compared to its namesake—more compact yet precisely swift and strong.
The Macan has several variants, and Porsche has a knack for having many for every nameplate.
What we have in our corner in Asia Pacific are the two Macans that are nearly identical in features, like two twin brothers, although one of them is decidedly the more outgoing, which would have to be the Macan Sport.
Both the standard Macan and Macan Sport are equipped with impressively powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four gasoline engines rated at 252 bhp and 370 Nm of torque that be harnessed at a low 1600 rpm for some delightfully heady acceleration, from standstill to 100 km/h at 6.7 seconds.
Top speed is 229 km/h, but that’s not where the exhilaration comes from.
Full compliant control of the Macan is via its 7-speed automatic transmission with the famed PDK (Porsche doppel kuplung or dual clutch system) for ultra-fast and smooth paddle-actuated gearshifts, and of course, surgically precise steering.
Both Macan variants are front-engine 4-wheel drive.
Attaching “Sport” to the Macan’s name is no superficial add-on, for on top of getting 20-inch RS Spyder design wheels (standard Macan has 18-inch wheels), the Macan Sport is equipped with an adaptive air suspension system which you can, with a flick of a button, adjust on the fly.
Increase the ride height if you’re adventurously venturing off the road for more clearance over ruts and other obstacles, or decrease it considerably for a more road-holding lower center of gravity during more spirited sprints on the pavement.
Among the long list of active safety and performance enhancing features, the Porsche active stability management system (PASM) is what enables you to tear out and enjoy at the height of control and safety.
Driving either variant of the Porsche Macans rewards you with a confident and sure-footed drive, whether you’re sifting through traffic (which its compact dimensions are perfect for) or carving through tight turns at speed.
The 8-way electronically adjustable driver’s seat is a boon, especially for long drives.
Interior amenities are just below opulent, tastefully exuding a sporty but luxurious feel but aesthetic throughout in a slightly-stern Porsche manner.
What I’m sure of is that the Macan, especially the Macan Sport, is tailored for those who want the best of both worlds—a bit of the sports car and a bit of the SUV, but none of the compromises to enjoying the drive, especially when immersed in the exceptional sound quality of the Bose surround system.
I may be a late bloomer in appreciating the convenience of Apple CarPlay (sorry, Android users) aboard on its interface, but it’s surely a delightful plus.
Connecting your iPhone is a breeze, and being able to access and play your music playlists and albums instantly is bliss.
Oh, and with Waze utilizing the high-resolution display on the dashboard (and sounding great through Bose speakers), the interface is an indispensable feature.
Both the Macan and Macan Sport will strongly resonate with discerning drivers looking for those qualities that only a Porsche can fulfill.
And as precise as precision can get, they’ve made two exceptional options for you.
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