The Macan range comprises six models: the entry-level Macan, the standard S, the S Diesel, GTS, Turbo and the range-topping Turbo with Performance Package.
The Macan S uses Porsche’s own twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol unit with 335bhp and 339lb ft of torque, while the Macan Diesel S gets an Audi-sourced 3.0-litre turbodiesel with 254bhp and 427lb ft.At the top of the range sits the Macan Turbo, which is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre petrol engine, producing 394bhp and 405 lb ft of torque, while the sporty GTS has a 355bhp 3.0-litre V6 under its bonnet.
With a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds, a top speed of 158mph and the ability to return 31.4mpg on a combined cycle, the Macan S feels rapid enough to drive without burning a hole through your wallet.
Of course, it lacks the immediate supersonic feeling of the Turbo, but there’s virtually no lag from the turbocharger and it still feels pleasing and refined to drive. You also still get broadly the same level of equipment as the Turbo inside, too.
The Macan S Diesel is very much the same, although with more torquey performance. Able to hit 62mph in 6.3 seconds, and with a whopping 427lb ft of torque on offer, it feels by far like the most sporting of the various diesel-engined compact SUVs on offer at the moment.
Again, the S Diesel feels very refined and quick. It’s also very smooth, with Porsche’s seven-speed PDK gearbox working wonders under the bonnet. Perhaps it’s not quite to the 'sports car' level that Porsche’s marketing material would have you believe, but it’s still very good indeed.
It's the Turbo that really impresses, however. It’s been been well over a decade since Porsche attached its Turbo badge to a Cayenne and scrambled our understanding of just how well an SUV might be made to go in a straight line.
But, for all our familiarity with the experience, it is still difficult not to marvel at the irresistible physicality involved in propelling two tonnes of Macan Turbo from a standing start to a quarter mile down the road in less time than it takes to pour a pint.
The process is all the more impressive aboard the Macan, given that its new V6 develops about 100bhp less than the last gen Cayenne’s V8 in a car not a whole heap lighter. The end result, though, is much the same. Using launch control on dry ground, the new model tears away from the line without hesitation, succumbing to negligible pitch and barely any loss of traction.
The endlessly repeatable conclusion is 60mph in 4.7sec and 30-70mph in 4.3sec – making it marginally quicker than the much smaller, lighter Audi Q3 RS that had been our compact SUV performance benchmark.
Unlike that car’s growling five-pot, the Macan’s biturbo engine is intentionally muted – more interested in classy go than show. At very low speeds, an overly sensitive (and yet typically weighty) throttle pedal means that there is a tendency for the car to surge from creep to crawl if your inputs are too aggressive, but beyond this point the short-stroke V6 rewards an enthusiastic right foot with an obvious zeal for higher revs.
Although its final peak is short of the last-gasp exuberance exhibited by Porsche’s horizontally opposed line-up, its keenness and low-end overdose of torque combine with the PDK ’box to provide the kind of easy, endless grunt that makes the Macan seem not only handsomely amenable to pushing on but also often outright fast. A Turbo through and through, then.