Porsche Macan review - engine, gearbox and technical highlights
Only petrol four-cylinder and V6 options remain, the latter now just the one 2.9-litre unit
The entry-level Porsche Macan uses the same 2-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine as before, but with a subtle 20bhp jump in power. Anyone familiar with VW-Group lingo will recognise the EA888 unit, which is found across the Volkswagen empire, but it’s an inherently good engine and makes a suitable starting point in the range. In this application it develops 262bhp at 5000rpm, and there's a meaty 295lb ft of torque available from 1800rpm, so performance is acceptable for something with a Porsche badge.
Step up to the petrol Macan S and things get more interesting. Its new 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 produces 375bhp and 383lb ft of torque, the latter from 1850rpm. The engine here is a marked step above the four-cylinder in performance, character and response, and feels much more suited to pushing the heavy Macan body along.
At the top of the range is now the GTS, the Turbo given the boot to simplify the range. Like the S, the GTS utilises the 2.9-litre V6, this time tuned to 434bhp, and 406lb ft from 1900 to 5600rpm.
The V6 engine itself is the unit co-developed between Porsche and Audi, so is also found in the RS4 and RS5. As such, it shares that car’s hot-V turbocharger layout, injection system (that’s the Audi bit) and extremely impressive thermal management considering its compact packaging.
All Macan’s utilise a seven-speed PDK twin-clutch auto that shares the similar over-long gearing that blights the Boxster and Cayman. The transmission itself works brilliantly, with shifts that are very smooth, very fast and particularly responsive to the paddles – PDK remains one of the best dual-clutch transmissions on the market.
While none of the turbocharged engines has quite the character of one of Porsche’s (increasingly rare) naturally aspirated flat-sixes, it’s hard to argue with the figures they produce, particularly given the size and weight of the Macan. A basic 2-litre Macan is 1845kg, rising to 1960kg for the Macan GTS.
This relatively high weight comes on account of its MLB-Evo chassis, which like the engine is co-developed with Audi. These underpinnings don’t yield a huge array of cars with particularly involving driving experiences, which is why Porsche’s ability to instill some real finesse into the Macan is all the more impressive. One reason for this is the Porsche’s double wishbones at both ends and on the GTS and Turbo, Porsche Active Suspension Management (it’s £816 on the others), with an air-sprung PASM set-up optional at £1860 on the Macan and S, or £1044 on the GTS. Ceramic brakes are also an option, at nearly £5700.