It’s hard to imagine that car makers could dream up yet another new type of car. But Porsche has managed to wrestle out another niche vehicle, one that really does rewrite the rulebook and offer a genuinely new – and extremely impressive – driving experience.
The glib summary would be to call the Macan a Cayman on stilts, but that would fail to do justice to how exceptionally clever Porsche has been with the conception and execution of this car.
When news first emerged that Porsche was working on a baby sister for the fantastically successful Cayenne and that it was loosely based on the Audi Q5, there was concern. Would Porsche really adapt the natively front-wheel-drive Audi in the way that it had adapted the Volkswagen Touareg to create the Cayenne?
I was at the Porsche technical seminar where the Macan was first unveiled and I remember being bowled over by the audacity of Porsche’s engineers, who had simply fitted a proper rear-wheel transmission into the architecture.
It means that the longways-mounted engine is well back in the engine bay and, in normal situations, 80 per cent of the engine’s torque is sent to the rear wheels. Power for the front wheels is taken off the Macan’s transmission and piped forwards by a supplementary propshaft.