If the Macan wasn’t convincing enough as a diesel, the Turbo petrol will definitely make a believer out of you.
As an instrument of driving joy, the Porsche Macan is a whole different kind of special. It’s no mean feat achieving the title of Best Driving SUV in the World, but that’s just what we dubbed it when we first drove it in India back in August 2014. It’s not so much a sporty SUV as it is a somewhat tall sportscar. Porsche has done this by taking the Audi Q5 as a base and then promptly re-engineering it to the point of no recognition. And all that praise, believe it or not, was heaped on the diesel version! Good as Porsche’s 241bhp, 3.0-litre oil burner is, if we’re going to compare this to a sportscar, it should have a petrol engine, right? In the Indian line-up, the only petrol variant is the Turbo. Yes, I know, all Macans are turbocharged, but only the most powerful versions of Porsche’s cars get the privilege of wearing the Turbo badge, so this one has a lot to live up to.
395bhp 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 serves up all of its grunt instantly and then relentlessly.
It starts by packing in a large 3.6-litre V6 with two turbochargers strapped to it, a powertrain that is unique to the Macan. 395bhp and 56.1kgm is the result, and Porsche claims that’s good for 0-100kph in 4.6sec. It may be a relatively compact SUV, but it still weighs 1.9 tonnes, which makes that time just incredible.The engine and AWD system may take much of the credit for that, but you have to also acknowledge the brilliant seven-speed PDK dual-clutch auto; no slushbox like you get in the Cayenne. Sure, you might have to put up with the odd stutter from the gearbox when you’re just ambling, but let’s face it, you’re rarely going to amble in one of these. Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus are your driving mode options, and this alters not just the powertrain, but the steering, suspension stiffness and ride height too – unlike the Cayenne, where they can all be controlled independently. At anything more than half throttle, this thing just flies, accompanied by a slightly stifled growl. In full Sport Plus, it feels properly manic, and more akin to a 911 Turbo than a Cayenne Turbo – which is really saying something!