Super Ute

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In aesthetic terms, the Macan is a handsome car, which I and many others think is a tauter and better-looking design than the Cayenne. While it may not immediately appear as dashing as the Evoque, a design that you either love or hate, the Macan benefits from perfect proportions from all angles and a more beefy, purposeful stance on the tarmac.

The clamshell bonnet helps to give the front end its clean and unbroken upper surface contours, allowing a unique look that so neatly incorporates the teardrop-shaped light units.

At the rear, the horizontal light units are crisper than the Cayenne’s, too, and the shape of the inset center not only gives prominence to the LED bars but also helps to keep the lights cleaner in bad weather.

Take your place in the Macan’s beautifully crafted cabin, and you see the architecture takes its cues from other Porsche models, including the crisp, modern center console. The paddle-shift-enabled steering wheel is most un-SUV-like, its core coming straight from Porsche’s 918 Spyder hybrid supercar.

While the outer shell of the roof is over an inch (30mm) lower than the Q5’s, you would not know it, because Porsche reduced the rail height of the Cayenne-derived front seats and the depth of the roof lining to compensate. And because the rear seat does not require the sliding rail feature used on the Audi, the Macan’s rear seat is bolted to the floorpan. The resulting lower seating position (by almost two inches or 50mm) drops the center of gravity, making the car feel lower and more stable in fast cornering.

There are three possible suspension combinations. The base car has steel springs and conventional dampers to which you can add PASM. The third option of air suspension is a first for a compact SUV. As the Turbo already has the PASM option as standard, specifying air suspension is commensurately cheaper on the top model.

With self-levelling and ride height adjustment, the air suspension option has about a half-inch (15mm) lower static ride height, it can raise the car by 1.6 in. (40 mm) for ground clearance off road, and lower it a further 0.4 in. (10 mm) for improved aerodynamics and stability at speed.

Also from Issue 219

  • Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1
  • 1957 Carrera Speedster
  • Low-mileage 914/6
  • 356/911 SC mashup
  • 2014 Rolex Daytona 24
  • Tech Primer: Racing Wheels
  • Porsche’s South African Racing, Part II
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