Augustman

STILL THE ONE TO BEAT

We took the new Porsche Macan for a spin around Melbourne

- WORDS LANCE LIM PHOTO PORSCHE

WHEN WORD GOT OUT that Porsche was releasing a new compact SUV back in 2014, the response was mixed. Porsche loyalists were uncomforta­ble with a crossover bearing a prestigiou­s motorsport badge that stood for a long history of producing highperfor­mance race cars.

Five years after its debut, the Porsche Macan has proven to fans and critics alike that a crossover can drive like a sports car. Today, the Macan is Porsche’s best-seller with 400,000 units sold. On the brink of releasing the latest Macan, Porsche invited AUGUSTMAN to Melbourne to push the car to its limits.

Hey Good Looking

The Macan’s front end welcomes redesigned headlamps. Four LED units are now arranged in a square, and comes with a built-in fog light function. The sides have been tweaked to improve air intake while also giving the car a sportier appearance.

Changes are more pronounced at the rear. A 3D Porsche logo can be found on the new three-part LED light panel, while the freshlydes­igned tail light contour also lengthens the vehicle visually.

The new Macan S (the one we drove) is equipped with a newly-developed turbocharg­ed V6 engine ‒ the same model used in the Panamera and Cayenne. With a displaceme­nt of three litres, it has a top speed of 254kph and achieves 0-100kph accelerati­on in 5.1 seconds, shaving a millisecon­d off its old time.

Another highlight from the performanc­e checklist is the Porsche dual-clutch transmissi­on (PDK). In Sport mode, the car is more responsive, capable of gear shifts in rapid-fire fashion. In Normal settings, the PDK shifts rapidly and comfortabl­y to higher gears at slightly lower speeds. This saves fuel and increases comfort when driving long distances.

A Bit Like Jarvis

The Porsche Communicat­ion Management (PCM) has always been stellar, and nothing has changed in this regard in the Macan. Everything is accessible via the 25-centimetre touchscree­n and the home screen can be personalis­ed easily and quickly. With the online voice recognitio­n feature, voice inputs are now more intuitive than before. You can input your destinatio­n, control music and tweak vehicle functions, all by just using your voice. It’s almost like having your personal Jarvis on board.

The Only Test That Ma ers

Beyond the upgrades and facelifts, it’s ultimately still the drive that will determine if the new Macan continues the model’s storied success. Its reputation as a sporty compact SUV is due to a chassis typically used in sports cars.

The newly tuned anti-roll bars and the directiona­l control is now designed for neutral handling, making the Macan feel more like a sports car than ever before. The vehicle tested well on our morning drive to the Mitchelton Hotel Nagambie; agility was impressive and throttle response was immediate on both straight and twisty roads.

On the way back to the airport, some of us took a little detour to enjoy some offroad driving, and it didn’t disappoint. The suspension, control, and handling kept up with the bumpy gravel trails even as we accelerate­d and decelerate­d.

The Macan is still the luxury crossover to beat, and the latest iteration is certainly keeping Porsche in front of the pack. AM

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