The Porsche Macan range driven in the Western Cape included all the derivatives of the rejigged line-up with all versions boasting more power. The entry-level Macan features an inline 2,0-litre turbocharged four cylinder that puts out 195 kW (+10 kW). A mid-level S features a twin-turbocharged V6 that is good for 280 kW (+20 kW). Porsche has not added a Turbo flagship to the range, with that title now going to the GTS. The new halo features the same power output as the outgoing Turbo: 324 kW/550 N.m.
Each engine is mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that drives all four wheels. As the sportiest variant in the line-up the GTS has a number of bespoke upgrades over its siblings. These include recalibrated dampers, sports air suspension, which lowers the body by 10 mm, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) and 21 inch alloys as standard.
On the road
The Porsche Macan range driven in the Western Cape included all three derivatives over long stretches of the Cape’s arterial roads, mostly around the Swartland area. While we got to experience all three, it was the Macan S that really got our attention and seems, to us anyway, to strike the ideal balance for sporting SUV.
For anyone reaching into Porsche ownership, and the sales stats suggest there are plenty, the entry level variant does a pretty good job. The inline four offers handy pace and a pretty comfy ride on its smaller alloys shod with plump tyre sidewalls. Once you step into the S version you quickly realise how addictive a punchy mid-range can be. The six-cylinder engine is able to zip you down the road, blasting by slower traffic, at a far speedier rate. And doing so with a more inspiring soundtrack.
We did spend a brief spell behind the wheel of the GTS and we could feel more urgency to its power delivery, and added volume to the soundtrack. We could also sense a tautness to the ride quality over the S. We are pretty certain that a GTS would deal with repeated racetrack punishment, but have to wonder if any owners ever will attempt that exercise.
The Macan S has excellent body control, even at speed, with a level of pliancy that is ideally suited to being a sporty family car. One would have to be a pretty enthusiastic driver to ably and effectively utilise the difference between the two variants. We also question the occasions/space to do so.
We were not surprised to learn that the vast majority of Macan owners are new to Porsche ownership. The smaller SUV offers enough space for a small/young family, both in terms of seating and rear seating room. In S guise it has a potentially license-zapping turn of speed. As much as we like the GTS we think that the S is a better all-round package, particular if you aren’t a budding race driver.
|0-100 km/h||Top speed||Power/Torque||Price|
|Macan||6,4 sec||232 km/h||195 kW/400 N.m||R1 050 000|
|Macan S||4,8 sec||259 km/h||280 kW/520 N.m||R1 271 000|
|Porsche Macan GTS||4,5 sec||272 km/h||324 kW/550 N.m||R1 551 000|