Porsche Macan: the compact SUV

Porsche has just unveiled the new Macan Mini SUV at last week’s LA Auto Show. The mini SUV is fast taking off as a style, size and body shape that we want to be driving. 4WD options, good boot space, a bit of height, a bit of heft and plenty of room for your life (such as my neighbour who has a dog, three really cool kids and works as a homewares stylist, so you can imagine what she manages to fit into her car) and a lot more style than the ‘tanks’ is what these models are all about.

Let’s look quickly at the detail:

  • The Porsche Macan is hotly tipped to be the biggest-selling Porsche in Australia within the year. This is going to be THE car to drive.
  • It’s name is derived from the Indonesian word for Tiger. RAWR.
  • The Macan is 1.5 metres smaller and 200 kgs lighter than the Cayenne (who is getting a facelift next year).
  • It’s arriving in Australia in early 2014.
  • There are three models in the Macan range, all 7-speed and all 6-cylinder. These three hotties will comprise the S, Diesel S, and Turbo.
  • It’s pretty fast, with the Turbo having nailed the Nurburgring in the low-eight-minute range, which pitches it up against the BMW M3 for pace.
  • There are unconfirmed rumours that the Macan will come out in a 4-cylinder, lower-cost model, but no formal announcement has been made.
  • The buzz is that the interiors are what you’d expect from Porsche.
  • The price for the Australian market is yet to be confirmed.

So shall we perv on the Macan? From the images provided so far, glossy black, charcoal, cobalt and ruby red look to be the colour range, although final specs haven’t been released, and we don’t know if all options will be available in Australia yet.

Porsche Macan Lipstick and Gearsticks

The Porsche Macan

So what is the Macan, at the luxury level, lining up against? The Range Rover Evoque, the Audi Q5 (the Audi Q5 and Macan will be sharing a body platform), the BMW X3 and the yet-to-be-released Jaguar SUV.

Looking at the day-to-day major brands doing a good job of the fast-growing mini-SUVs, the Nissan Dualis is brilliant and a huge personal favourite of ours. I’ve got a creepy feeling the Dualis will be the next thing in my driveway. The brand-new Suzuki S-Cross is another goodie and the Skoda Yeti has definitely carved a place for itself. These three cars are similar in size and dimension to each other, and at just one foot longer than the Dualis, the Macan is undeniably Porsche in its styling.

Porsche and the female customer

Porsche is an iconic sportscar brand and has been actively been chasing the female driver (and enjoying record sales figures), having appointed Maria Sharapova as a global brand ambassador last year. While we’re talking marketing and branding, Porsche having moved into 4-door / SUV stylings with the Cayenne and Panamera has opened up the market for people who have always adored the brand and the excitement it stands for, but still have kids, dogs and groceries to deal with. The more female-centric, day-to-day approach has seen sales of Porsche’s to women nearly double from 8% to 15% in the last two years alone. The marketing has been all Porsche and stayed true to the brand.

We’d love to see more colour choice, actually scrap that, more innovative colours. Glamourous metallic red wines, or sexy petrol teals, or an Emerald green to drop jaws. Now that’s what would make the Macan a must-buy for me.

What do you think of Porsche heading into compact SUV territory? And what colour would you want to buy?

Maria Sharapova is a global brand ambassador for Porsche

Maria Sharapova is a global brand ambassador for Porsche

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