A Feistier Tiger

Behind the wheel of the new 440-hp Macan Turbo Performance Package.

May 18, 2017
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In the three years since its debut, the 95B-generation Porsche Macan (derived from the Indonesian word for tiger) has become somewhat of a legend in the compact SUV segment. Not content with merely building a sporting SUV with decent off-road capability, Porsche set out to create one that rivals many sports sedans on the race track with little compromise in other areas. And it succeeded. So how can an already impressive, class-leading machine be improved?

The Rundown

Based on the Audi-designed MLB/ MLP modular-longitudinal platform, the Macan launched in 2014 with a range of V6 engines that started with the punchy and efficient 258-hp 3.0-liter in the Diesel (in non-U.S. markets), extending through the 340-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter in the Macan S, up to the 400-hp twin-turbo 3.6-liter in the Turbo.

The year after, to help mitigate high local taxes in China and some other Far East countries, Porsche added an entry-level 252-hp 2.0-liter turbo inline-four model. Initially unique to those territories, this engine option was later rolled out in other global markets, where its price and smaller displacement is also considered tax friendly.

Building on this already comprehensive range, Porsche introduced the 360-hp Macan GTS in late 2015. Based on the Macan S, its uprated chassis and brakes delivered sharper handling without corrupting comfort or drivability. Keeping with Porsche’s standard product strategy, the long game is to fill all the gaps in the range. With the GTS established as the sportiest (but not the fastest) Macan, it is now time to take the flagship Turbo to the next level.

On the face of it, the standard Macan Turbo’s 400 hp at 6,000 rpm and 406 lb-ft of torque from 1,350 to 4,500 rpm is plenty of power and grunt for a small SUV—even one with a 4,244-pound curb weight. Its stopwatch numbers bear this out. In a Macan Turbo with the Sport Chrono Package, 60 mph arrives in 4.4 seconds, it takes just 10.9 seconds to reach 100 mph, and the top speed is 165 mph. Those are figures many a high-performance sedan would like to own. However, as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes continue to raise the bar in this ultra-competitive segment, it was time for Porsche to add a range-topping 440-hp Macan Turbo Performance Package model. While you may expect this boost in output to come from different hardware like bigger turbos, it comes from software upgrades done by Porsche.

The more powerful 3.6-liter V6’s 440 horses arrive at the same 6,000 rpm as the standard Turbo. And its peak torque of 443 lb-ft (up 37 lb-ft over the regular Turbo) is served up on a generous plateau that begins an imperceptible 150 rpm higher at 1,500 rpm and ends at the same 4,500 rpm. These bigger output figures translate into superior straight-line performance. The 0-60 mph sprint takes just 4.2 seconds, 100 mph comes in just 10.4 seconds, and max speed is 169 mph.

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