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Once in this slow and technical right-left combo, thanks to the Macan’s quick transient response, sport-biased 4WD system and superior torque, I could exit on full bore and the Carrera was still unable to pull away until we were two thirds of the way down the main straight.

In fact, the only part of Leipzig’s neat but rather tight circuit where the lighter and more agile Carrera showed a distinct advantage, was in the very tight left-right sequence on the elevated section of the track that mimics the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca.

In all cases, if you are on the correct race line and trail brake to manage weight transfer correctly into a bend, the Macan simply goes where you point it, right to the limit of mechanical grip when the Torque Vectoring system engages to lend a helping hand. At the other end of the handling chain, the electro-mechanical power steering is spot on, with weight and response that feels instinctively right.

The instant-on throttle response of both S and Turbo is simply amazing. No turbo lag to speak of, just crisp and clean response to the throttle, even coming back into it after a big lift for hard braking towards a tight turn on the track. Power delivery is also very linear, with no perceptible extra rush of power at any particular engine speed.

As expected, braking is excellent. The Turbo’s larger 360×36mm front and 356×28mm rear vented disc brakes, denoted by their red brake calipers, were also noticeably more effective than the S model’s 350×34mm and 330×22mm vented discs. Both use six-pot front calipers, but the larger brakes had better sustained stopping power and seeming durability. PCCBs are, of course, an option.

While the 258-hp 3.0-liter V6 turbo-diesel motor is essentially the Audi unit with small changes to software and some other minor areas for the Macan, the 3.0- and 3.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engines are Porsche’s own in-house developments.

In reality, since all its engines are turbocharged—the only way to meet required power and emissions these days—Porsche is caught between a rock and a hard place with its traditional nomenclature of S and Turbo models.

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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