This is the long-awaited Porsche Macan, which is set to become the company’s biggest-selling model after it goes on sale in less than 12 months’ time.
After originally suggesting sales might reach 55,000 units per year, some inside Porsche believe the all-new compact SUV could hit 75,000 units per year.
The range-topping model, Autocar has learnt, will be powered by a version of Porsche’s new twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine producing just under 400bhp.
Prices are expected to start at around £36,000 for entry-level V6 models. Later in the car’s life, four-cylinder engines, including 2.0-litre turbocharged petrols and diesels, will feature, making the Macan the first four-cylinder Porsche since the 968.
Despite the disguise worn by the car spied here, the Macan is a particularly lithe and sporting machine, with strong 911 overtones around the nose and tail. Although the model spied here is a five-door, Porsche is actively considering launching a three-door Macan, which looks like even more of a high-riding coupé than this variant. A concept version of a three-door Macan — based on a production package — was completed by Porsche-sponsored design student Julliana Cho in 2011.
Sources say the Macan has been engineered to be the most sporting SUV of this size. The model’s styling is closer to that of the Range Rover Evoque than it is to a mid-size SUV’s, but while it matches the Evoque’s style, the Macan promises to be a much more accomplished road car.
“We’ve surprised even ourselves,” said Porsche development boss Wolfgang Hatz when speaking last year. “It drives incredibly well and, from what we’ve seen from the competition, it will be the most sporting car in its class.”
The Macan is understood to be based on Audi’s new mixed-materials MLB platform, but Porsche sources say that its engineers have made extensive changes to the structure and the running gear. One highly placed source said: “Audi cannot believe how much we have changed it.”
The Macan’s engine is mounted longitudinally, driving an in-line transmission. Because it is based on the MLB platform, the Macan is natively front-wheel drive, but Porsche will only produce all-wheel-drive versions of the model. There will be a choice of either a seven-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. One of the more significant changes to the MLB underpinnings is said to be a wider-track front suspension set-up than Audi is planning to use.