Porsche’s rival to the Range Rover Evoque will be called the Porsche Macan and is due to arrive in 2013. Early reports had suggested the Stuttgart firm’s new vehicle would carry the Porsche Cajun monicker.
According to Porsche, the name Macan is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger. The Evoque-chasing Macan will be launched next year and will be based on the Audi Q5 SUV.
As well as a five-door Macan, shown in a rendering released by Porsche, Autocar understands that Porsche has already started work on a three-door coupé version.
The Macan coupé draws heavily on 911 design cues. Elements of the design are clearly influenced by the iconic 959 rally-raid racer, distinguished by its raised ride height, which will ensure that the three-door Macan is markedly different from its five-door sister car.
The Macan will also get a bespoke interior design to distinguish it from the Q5. Much of the interior — such as the instrument pack, climate controls and ancillary switchgear — is likely to be shared with the new-for-2012 Boxster.
Reports from Germany suggest that the Macan will get a range of Porsche-tweaked Audi engines, including four-cylinder and six-cylinder petrol and diesel units. The Macan will come with the sole option of Audi’s rear-biased permanent four-wheel drive system.
Autocar first uncovered plans for a Porsche compact SUV coupé as far back as early 2006. An inside source revealed that a full-sized clay model had been built for assessment in late 2005 and, at the Geneva show in February 2006, a senior Porsche boss confirmed to Autocar that the three-door SUV was under consideration.
It is thought that Porsche’s engineering arm completed the body engineering for the Q5 and had the option of building its own version of the model, but the project was canned. It’s not known why, but the arrival of the dramatically styled Evoque may well have contributed to the change of heart.
The Macan will be Porsche’s fifth model line, and is part of the company’s Strategy 2018 plan to expand its product range and move towards a 150,000 annual sales target.
The new car will start coming off the production lines at the Porsche factory in Leipzig, Saxony, in 2013. The site is currently being expanded into a fully fledged production plant including body assembly line and paint shop; with more than £400m of investment, it is one of the biggest building projects in the corporate history of Porsche. In the medium-term, the sports car manufacturer will be creating more than 1000 new jobs.