By Sala Masindane
Having recently launched the updated Macan, Porsche has wasted little time with the addition of a Turbo model in the Macan range and this is what you can expect from the SUV.
At the front, the nose of the Macan Turbo is sharper and possibly more expressive then the entry level Macan. This is seen by the lower three-part air intakes that makes the car sportier. The width is emphasised by the dual light units which are the hallmark of the Macan Turbo. These will easily differentiate the Turbo from the rest of the range at night. When it’s dark, the view of the driver is enhanced by the standard Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS), these are LED headlights where the four-point signature has been turned into a three-dimensional that is drawn back towards the rear. The entire theme gives the Turbo a very determined look. When driving behind the Turbo, you will notice a double-wing spoiler that is specific to the Turbo. Naturally, the Macan Turbo has the prominent taillight strip which all other Macan models have. Also, at the rear there’s a standard sports exhaust with two-twin tailpipes.
Generally, the inside of a Porsche seems is well thought out and well designed. This is no different from the Macan Turbo. The 18-way sports seats, the Alcantara roof lining and the brushed aluminium interior package are all standard in the new Macan Turbo. The new comfort options include an ioniser, which cleans the air inside the Macan, a heated windscreen and the 360 mm-diameter heated GT sports steering wheel that will be familiar from the 911. An all models of the Macan are fitted with the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with a 10.9 – inch full HD touchscreen. Over and above this, the Macan Turbo is equipped with the BOSE Surround Sound System as standard. It includes 14 loudspeakers that are controlled via 14 amplifier channels with a total output of 665 watts. However, the real music is from the beastly engine via the sports exhaust.
The Macan Turbo gains a completely new engine (although it is shared with the Cayenne S and the Panamera 4S). The 2.9-litre, six-cylinder, bi-turbo engine, delivers a meaty 324KW and 550Nm of torque. Uprated with two turbochargers installed inside the vee in parallel means the exhaust has much shorter distance to travel from combustion to the turbochargers and that equates to an improved responsiveness. In terms of figures, it develops 30kW more than its predecessor which will lead to a significantly better road performance.The new Macan Turbo accelerates from zero-100km/h in 4.5 seconds but improves this to 4.3 seconds Sports Chrono Package (which is 0.3 seconds faster than the previous Macan Turbo). Top speed increases by 4 km/h to 270 km/h.
Look, the law in South Africa is that we pass right and keep left. This is all well if you are in a right-hand drive car, but it all changes if you are driving on the other side. It’s as if the car is never within your designated lanes. It was an international launch after all and the Macans were flown in for this special event. After a couple of kilometres, we were all well acquainted with being on the wrong side and we proceeded to with task at hand. The test route was made of open road, a bit of town driving and some juicy mountain passes with challenging corners. You might be fooled into thinking that the 2.9-litre, six-cylinder, bi-turbo engine is not powerful, because of its size. That is not the case. In the Macan Turbo it allows the car to take off like if it’s a rocket spaceship. It handled all the passes with relative ease and the seven-speed dual-clutch PDK gearbox and all-wheel drive system complimenting the engine all the way.
We were particularly happy with it when the Macan Turbo was on sports mode as it held on to gears and could predict that we were going to overtake. The feedback from the steering wheel when driving is what we have come to expect from Porsche and you always feel control. Thanks to the Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB), stopping the Macan was not an issue and these brakes are very responsive. Turbo is one of the best compact SUVs on the road.
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