The Porsche Cayenne SUV gains a younger brother in the 2015 Porsche Macan which makes its debut at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show this week. Based on the same platform as the Audi Q5, the Porsche Macan is a compact crossover that competes with other performance-oriented luxury SUVs like the BMW X3, the Infiniti QX70, and its own cousin the Audi SQ5.
Since we’ve seen numerous prototypes of the 2015 Porsche Macan testing over the past few months, we knew what to expect from the exterior styling. From most angles the Macan looks like a slightly shrunken Cayenne, although the more compact proportions do make for a more muscular look overall. The front end is typical Porsche with a sloped hood, large headlights, and a wide grille opening. Viewed from the side, the Macan displays a more rounded greenhouse than the Cayenne that leads to a steeply angled rear liftgate that’s sure to eat into the Macan’s cargo area.
Practicality is not a priority for this sporty crossover, though, which comes in two models at launch: the Macan S and the Macan Turbo. The S is powered by Porsche’s new twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 that makes 340 horsepower in this application. Macan Turbo models up the ante with a larger, 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 that puts out 400 horsepower. Both models come standard with all-wheel-drive and a seven-speed PDK gearbox, and Porsche quotes impressive 0-60 mph acceleration times of 5.2 seconds for the Macan S and 4.6 seconds for the Macan Turbo. We would expect other Macan models to fill out the range over the next year like a less-powerful base Macan and a range-topping Macan Turbo S.
Like the Cayenne, the 2015 Porsche Macan will have an impressive amount of off-road capability when properly equipped. There are three suspension setups available: a basic steel spring setup is standard, with a Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system available along with a full air suspension setup as the most configurable suspension option. This air suspension allows for ground clearance of just over 9 inches when in its highest setting, which can be activated at speeds up to 50 mph. For sportier on-road driving, the air suspension also has a lowered mode which gives the Macan a lower center of gravity.
The sporty theme continues inside, where the 2015 Porsche Macan has a cockpit similar to the Cayenne’s. Numerous buttons line the center console on either side of the shifter, and a large infotainment screen dominates the center stack. As always with Porsche, a multitude of expensive options like a panoramic sunroof, special sport seats, a Burmester sound system, and adaptive cruise control, along with leather, carbon fiber, Alcantara, and wood trim pieces will be available.
Porsche is also touting the active safety features available on the Macan, which include forward collision warning, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, and even a new lane keep assist system that uses the electromechanical power steering system to perform active steering interventions when necessary.
Given the huge investment Porsche has made in the Leipzig plant that’s expected to produce 50,000 Macans per year, Porsche is clearly expecting this model to sell well globally. We don’t yet know pricing for the 2015 Porsche Macan, but we expect to hear more information closer to when the Macan goes on sale in the U.S. in late spring 2014.