The remaining mechanical modifications are more modest and run to a rear track that’s 3mm wider than a standard Macan’s, plus subtly recalibrated anti-roll bar settings and new, lighter aluminium spring forks that locate the springs and dampers to the front hubs. Of course our test car was fitted with the full gamut of suspension upgrades, including the height adjustable air suspension with its revised dampers and the Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) active rear differential. Finally, all Turbo models get the neat tungsten carbide coated cast iron brake discs that are a sort of halfway house between standard stoppers and the eye-wateringly expensive carbon ceramics. In all our car weighed in at in excess of £100,000. Yikes!
Visually the Turbo gets the latest car’s subtle sheet metal changes, yet it also receives a bespoke nose treatment that delivers a 12mm shorter overhang, helping giving the car a subtly stockier stance. The final go-faster addition is small double-decker spoiler at the top of the tailgate.
How does the Macan Turbo perform on the road?
On the move, the Turbo feels very familiar. For starters, apart from the larger 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system and some new materials the interior is pretty much identical. For an SUV you can sit remarkably low thanks to a wide range of seat adjustment, while the three-spoke steering is exactly the same as the one you get in a 911. As you’d expect, everything has a top notch look and feel, although the clunky digital displays for the climate control are a reminder of the old heart that beats under the new clothes.
Even the new engine sounds and feels similar to the one it replaces, delivering effortless, rapid acceleration but in the same slightly characterless way. An optional sports exhaust adds a distant baritone and some cracks and pops, but the combination of near flat torque curve, seamless seven-speed PDK and terrific four-wheel drive traction means even hard acceleration feels less dramatic than the numbers (0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, or 4.3 seconds with Sport Chrono) suggest. The V8 in the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 knocks it into a cocked hat for noise and drama, while in terms of raw outright pace the Turbo doesn’t have as decisive performance advantage over the S as you’d hope.
Still, as ever the Porsche’s abilities in the corners leave your head spinning. Such is the car’s ability to disguise its height and portly 1,945kg kerb weight that if Sir Issac Newton were around today then a quick blast in the Turbo would have him flicking through the pages of his Principia and frantically double-checking all his calculations about the laws of motion.
Point the stubbier nose into a corner and you’ll discover plenty of bite from the front axle, while the Macan rotates quickly and resists roll with a cast iron resolve, helping the car to scythe from entry to apex and onto the exit with uncanny grip and poise. Agility is further enhanced by the trick torque-vectoring rear differential that allows you to get on the throttle earlier by overdriving the outside rear wheel to have you pointing straighter sooner. And of course there’s typical Porsche weight and precision to the controls that makes it more involving than any other car of its type, while even the standard brakes tirelessly haul the Macan down from big speeds.
In the changeable conditions of our test route the Porsche’s sure-footedness was a real boon, and when the road is slippery and unfamiliar its ability to leave dedicated sports cars in its spray is pretty remarkable. You soon forget you’re pedalling a high-rise SUV with a two ton kerbweight and start throwing it around like a sports saloon. In the wet and with the stability control disengaged there’s even the opportunity for some power oversteer on the exit of hairpins.