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With its longer throw crank and connecting rods, the 3604cc M4635 engine derivative has a bore and stroke of 96.0 × 83.0 mm, and ends up with exactly 4.0 cc more than the iconic 3600cc 911 flat-six.

Running a higher compression ratio of 10.5:1, the inherently more torque-rich motor produces 400 hp at 6000 rpm with 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque between 1350 and 5500 rpm. Once again, it’s in a very mild state of tune, the specific output of 110.9 hp/liter even lower than its smaller stablemate. This motor should be capable of an easy 500 hp with 540 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque, but that would no doubt send the marketing department into a tizzy.

Despite a slightly worse drag coefficient of 0.37 (Macan S on 18-in. wheels: 0.36) thanks to its standard 19-in. wheels and larger air intakes, the Turbo is still significantly faster against all measures. In SCP form, it scorches to 60 mph in just 4.4 sec. (4.6 without SCP), to 100 mph (160 km/h) in 10.9 sec, and on to a 266 km/h (U.S.: 164 mph) Vmax.

It was not that long ago that a car was considered quick if it could reach 160km/h (100 mph) in under 20 sec. from rest, so the idea of an SUV taking just over half that time is mind-boggling. In fact, just to put things in perspective, the Macan Turbo almost exactly splits the 0-160km/h times of 7.8 sec. and 13.6 sec. recorded by the Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 and the Golf GTI Mk 7, respectively!

My Diesel S test car had the PASM option, which delivered an impressively taut and well-damped ride, even on the optional 20-in. wheels. Porsche rightly expects the Diesel S to make up a big chunk of its European sales, and anyone who buys this model will find it a rapid, relaxed and economical daily driver.

More European diesel models are finding their ways to the U.S. market, and Porsche will add to the crowd with the Macan S Diesel, which will join its gas-powered siblings there early in 2015.

The latest generation Audi-derived oil-burning V6 motor is quiet, smooth and powerful. In fact, I found it even more refined in the Macan than when I last drove it in the Audi A6, and this is a testament to the refining work that Porsche’s engineers have done on the Macan Diesel’s engine-bay encapsulation. Another positive byproduct of this work is the Diesel’s Cd of 0.35, the best in the Macan range.

Driving a diesel in a sporting manner requires a quite different mind-set; the motor does not rev as fast or as high as a gas motor. The iron block, alloy head 2968cc V6 is under-square, with an 83.0 × 91.4 mm bore and stroke. The 258 hp is developed between 4000 and 4250 rpm, and this torque rich motor has a peak twisting force of 428 lb-ft (580 Nm) from 1750 to 2500 rpm.

While the 0-62-mph (0-100km/h) time of 6.1 sec with the optional SCP is not going to set the world alight, it equals the lighter (by about 1,500 lb) Carrera 3.0 of 1977, while its 16.5 sec 0-100-mph (0-160 km/h) time is faster than all the early 1980s hot hatches. Top speed is 230 km/h (143 mph).

For high-mileage drivers, the great combination of performance, refinement and fuel economy will be the Macan S Diesel’s chief attraction. The 6.1 to 6.3 L/100km average, dependant on the wheel/tire sizes chosen, is impressive for a car weighing 1,880kg (DIN).

The Porsche Macan rewrites the rules for compact SUVs. It is a large enough car for most people and will attract customers who already own a Porsche sports car but for whom the Cayenne is too big as a daily car.

It will definitely pull customers away from rival manufacturers, and Porsche expects up to 80 percent of the volume to be conquest sales, with up to 20 percent cannibalization from the Cayenne. The Macan goes on sale in Europe in April, followed by the USA in June and China in July.

In creating its sixth model line to capitalize on the fastest growing segment in the automotive world, Porsche has made yet another great commercial decision that will ensure a bright future. But the Macan is far more than just another SUV. A car that finally validates the Sports label in SUV, it is also an authentic Porsche.

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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