Porsche's forthcoming sub-Cayenne sport utility was unofficially referred to as the Cajun, but as corporate officials have hinted for some time, that name won't stick. In fact, Porsche revealed the new SUV will officially be called the Macan.
What's a Macan? Technically, it's the Indonesian word for tiger, but Porsche suggests the name "combines suppleness, power, fascination, and dynamics."
"The Macan combines all sports car characteristics with the benefits of a SUV, and is a genuine Porsche," said Bernhard Maier, member of the executive board of sales and marketing at Porsche AG, in a prepared release. "The name of a new Porsche has to fit with the brand, sound good in very many languages and dialects, and evoke positive associations."
The official rendering shown here, which was released this morning, echoes our previous conceptual illustrations. The Macan bears a close resemblance to its larger sibling, the Cayenne, but also appears to look a little more like its sports car siblings, especially in the front clip. We're told the Macan and Q5 share hard points (i.e. pillar position, windshield angle, etc.), but the two share no exterior or interior body panel. The illustration shows a five-door model, although there's also a chance the Macan will be offered in a three-door form to counter the Range Rover Evoque.
As previously reported, the Macan will share its architecture with Audi's Q5. Powertrain offerings will likely include a 235-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, along with a form of Volkswagen/Audi's supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, perhaps producing between 333- and 350 hp. As we previously reported, a Macan Turbo S is also under consideration, and could use an even hotter Porsche-developed twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. The driveline will be based off Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system, but Macan models should receive Porsche-specific touches like launch control, optional carbon ceramic disc brakes, and a sport-tuned exhaust system.
We'll likely see more details emerge shortly, as Porsche says the Macan will launch in time for the 2013 model year. The automaker has invested nearly $691 million to add the Macan to its assembly plant in Leipzig, Germany; if all goes according to plan, Porsche hopes to sell nearly 50,000 units annually.