End of summer vibes while driving the Porsche Macan (S) 2019 across Mallorca.

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Sunday morning, 5:30 am, minus 2 degrees and I am on my way to cologne international airport. Luckily this time I have the pleasure to be heading somewhere south of Europe, those thoughts help me feel a little warmer and enjoy the sunrise across the runway where one plane after the other takes off – what a beautiful morning, and it is about to become even better!

We have proven that we do not follow trends, instead we write our own adventure stories. A compact SUV that inextricably combines sportiness, design and everyday practicality: the new Macan. – Porsche

I am heading to Mallorca, a Spanish Island located in the Mediterranean, together with Porsche. Why? The brand new Porsche Macan and Macan S are to be tested on road, experiencing the driving performance and learn a little about the newest technology Porsche integrated in this sporty SUV.

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Michael Mauer, Chief of Design, introduced the facelift Macan 2019 as follows: „The three most important things which mark a sports car are 1. Proportions 2. Proportions and 3. Proportions .“ Although the Macan isn’t a sports car in the traditional sense, it does look super sporty and the according proportions are to be found too.

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During the press launch of this facelifted model, a Porsche spokesperson reminded me that this rather small, sporty SUV is the company’s best-seller by  the long run. In 2017, the Macan outsold the 911, Boxster, Cayman and Panamera combined. The Porsche Macan is the model keeping the 911 alive!

A little technical background information:

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Engine

Aside the well-known basic 4-Cylinder engine with 250 hp are two new to the range engines available: the 3 ltr. V6-engine with mono Turbo producing 354 hp with 480 Nm and the 2,9 ltr. Biturbo V6-engine with 440hp.

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Both engines work with a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission and drive all four wheels. The transmission delivers millisecond shifts whenever a paddle is pulled, which serves to sharpen the tone of the drive, especially the Macan S.

These engines do result in rather big variants in Performance. The four-cylinder gets the riders to 100 kilometres an hour in 6.7 seconds — 6.5 seconds when the Sport Chrono Package is added to the mix. Drop the V6 under the hood and it sees the Macan S run to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds

Exterieur

The biggest changes of the exterieur mark the new air intakes and the standard rear spoiler and adding the red break 3D LED taillight strip across the rear, as to be found on other models such as the 911 – The Macan is officially added to Porsche’s sports family. Especially the rear of the car, which has always been sportier than standard SUV models, will now result in an elegant & sporty combination of beautiful backside of a car.

A slightly restyled front fascia, plus new colors and wheel designs round things out. Bearing its popularity in mind, it’s understandable why Porsche didn’t change styling much.

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The broad shoulders above its rear wheels are reminiscent of the 911. And a further visual demonstration of the roadhugging nature of the new Macan.

The Macan features now LED lights all around as a standard and a small additional investment can add adaptive light control.

Its flank is also typically Porsche. From this angle, every muscle appears to be energised – like a predator ready to pounce. Its roof line slopes to the rear just like a coupé, thereby creating a characteristic sports car contour with high aerodynamic quality.

The designers at Porsche call this the flyline.

A cool touch to the new design is the addition of more exotic exterior paint colors as shown in the photos above, Miami Blue, famously know to be a hot color on the Targa and other 911 models. Also included in the line up is Mamba Green Metallic, Dolomite Silver Metallic, Crayon.

Interieur

Inside the big change is front and center—a 10.9-inch infotainment screen shared with the new 911 running Porsche’s new infotainment system.

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The ignition is on the left – as is typical of Porsche.

The interieur is dominated by the big 11‘‘ screen in the middle of the dashboard. The newest version of connect plus is integrated and offers a permanent possibility to connect to the internet. A new feature is the stop & go function combined with ABSTANDSTEMPOMAT – a feature I probably won’t be testing too much but can be usefull in everyday traffic to work!

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My favourite feature is the Porsche typical button, well known through models such as the cayman or 911. The button at the steering wheel where the driver can adjust easily the driving modes and switch between „normal / sport / sport plus / individual“.

The three-dimensional arrangement of the controls lends the interior a cockpit like character. The distance between the standard multifunction steering wheel and the PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) gear selector, as well as the main vehicle functions, is extremely short – via the ascending centre console, characteristic of sports cars.

The windscreen is now heated and the air is ionised, meaning filtered, adding to the passengers health and comfort.

Chassis

The Goal:  Sharper feeling and a more neutral handling balance.

In order to realise the goal steel forks that connect the spring and damper to the front-axle carrier were replaced with stiffer aluminum units that reduce unsprung weight slightly. The widths for 19- and 21-inch wheels increase a half-inch at the front for better turn-in, and it has newly developed tires. The Macan S gets slightly larger front rotors than before, while the actual brake pedal hardware has been redesigned for better feel.

Porsche proudly announces that not much change was needed, only small setup changes have been adjusted. Why change a functional, running system? I am excited to find out about that…

 

And what about comfort? Also in plentiful supply, of course, with all the sporty and control features. The optional air suspension guarantees a constant ride height – on any terrain. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) also actively and continuously adjusts damping force. For each individual wheel. The result? Increased comfort and sportiness – in all seats.

 

How does the Macan perform on road?

 

Having arrived in Palma de Mallorca I get picked up and driven to a beautiful restaurant set up next to the beach. The car park in front is filled with Porsche Macan’s and Macan S‘, about 20 are lined up ready for us to jump in.

But first – relax! We get some time to drink a coffee and work a little away in this cosy end of summer atmosphere overseeing the ocean.

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Around midday we finally get the keys handed over, everyone can choose their favoured colour and off we go. I get to share the car with Benjamin Brodbeck from Automativ, who I know from the AMS drivers training at Nürburgring with Porsche a few months ago.

 

We choose the all new Macan S in Anthrazit, sadly not one of the new colours Porsche launched together with the Macan S, but a very elegant and subtle colour. As we take off to travel up north as the hotel is located at the other end of the island, we decide to head into the mountains stretching along the west coast of Palma de Mallorca. Soon enough the streets are becoming tighter and steeper and we both start smiling looking at the screen of the sat nav navigating us through hair pins.

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Although, at first one would think the Macan S isn’t the ideal car to climb up such windy mountain passes but it’s perfect to bring out the sporty side of the car and experience its true power. One doesn’t feel the weight of the car and with marking nearly 2000 kg it’s the first thing you would have on your radar as a driver. The car is sprinting up the mountains, the 3 ltr. V6 mono turbo engine is clearly producing enough energy for every situation the car might possibly be put in.

Within driving the first quick hair pins you can feel the energy and get filled with great pleasure driving this beast.

The Macan throws itself into the next corner, with only little side inclination permitted and even less understeer and powers under great load relentlessly to the curve exit. Traction problems? Not in the slightest, the four-wheel drive sets, when required, more torque on the front wheels, so no worries, even on damp curvy roads.

The only thing one can criticize is obviously the center of gravity being rather high and therefore the road performance is not comparable to a traditional sports car, which should be obvious. But I can tell you the Macan is NOT the traditional SUV and has more of a sports car than most traditional ones. I finally understand why Porsche is claiming this compact SUV as a sports car. This expression in itself is contradicting but once you had the chance to sit behind the steering wheel of the all new Macan S you will understand… it is a sports car in a wider sense and the mountain passes were its playground.

Turn-in is sharp, and unsurprisingly, I would never even found the grip limits of the tires. 

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Once those mountains passed, both beyond happy we arrive at the hotel – a beautiful Finca located in the middle of nowhere, overseeing the beautiful landscape of Mallorca. The press launch is being held where the technical experts of each department share their newest highlights and changes and later on being able to ask specific questions. Next day we have an early start, an early cold & wet start to be exact. We grab an umbrella and enter the wet streets of Mallorca. Thanks to the various road assistants we don’t have any issues going off-road, through the muddy country roads. That’s what an SUV is made for, it’s the surrounding it should behave best in and the Macan keeps this promise. No loss of traction control or other difficulties, leaving the driver super relaxed and confident with the car.

A Porsche delivers more than power alone. Such as the active all-wheel drive system Porsche Traction Management (PTM), traction, safety, outstanding steering and exceptional handling – clear evidence of traditional Porsche engineering.

One new addition is the Off-road Precision app. It works much like the Track Precision app and allows the driver to monitor their off-road progress using vehicle and GPS data. At the same time, the off-road trek can be recorded using a smartphone or external camera and shared through social media. There is even a dedicated off-road button on the centre console, which adapts the drivetrain to deliver the best traction.

But for all its sporting ability, the Macan makes no sacrifices to comfort. It’s an excellent cruiser, quiet and refined, with torquey engines that make passing effortless. If you needed an SUV to do a driving tour of Vermont tomorrow, you could do a lot worse than a Macan.

One can clearly see that Porsche wants to stick to its best selling model, and with every reason!

The experts on site:

Price Tag

Basis price to start with a Macan marls 58,763 Euro and can be added up to 91,964 Euro for the Macan Turbo with performance package.

The prices of the Macan with the base engine begins at 58.763 Euro. Both new petrol cars are known from Porsche Panamera. The Macan S starts at 64.356 Euro including the 354-HP- 3 ltr-Turbo-V6 engine under the bonnet: acceleration in under 5.1 seconds till 100 km/h and creates 254 km/h of  power output. The top model, the Macan Turbo comes with the 440-HP-Biturbo-V6 known from the Panamera with 2.9 litre cubic capacities. No more diesel among the Macan model range: this might be the beginning of the announced diesel turning away in the house Porsche.

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Thanks to Porsche for making this end of summer experience come true and letting me experience the full dynamical performance of both the new Porsche Macan and Macan S. 

Shots provided by Porsche:

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