Macan 4-banger: Porsche’s new base SUV
Porsche fans better get used to four-bangers.
On the heels of news that the six-cylinder mills in Cayman and Boxster sports cars will be replaced by turbocharged fours, Porsche will unveil a base model Macan crossover at the New York auto show this week that will also be powered by a four-pot turbo. Until now, the base Macan has been the 340-horsepower, six-cylinder Macan S.
The four-cylinder will save at the pump and in the wallet. The base Macan will improve fuel efficiency by 15 percent over the S (20 mpg city vs. 17) and sport a lower price of $48,550 — a whopping $7 grand below the Macan S. It also sheds 210 pounds over its six-cylinder brother.
Before they get too excited, Porsche fans should know the 2.0-liter turbo is not the same 300-horsepower, flat-four “boxer” gorilla found in the Cayman and Boxster sports cars (now called the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster to indicate the new, four-cylinder direction). The Macan’s 4 comes off parent VW’s corporate shelf, but will still pump out a healthy 252 ponies and 273 pound-feet of torque (it’s been knocking around Europe for a couple of years). The base engine will be mated to Porsche’s quick-shifting, dual-clutch, seven-speed PDK gearbox. The 3,902-pound ute should go from 0 to 60 in just 6.1 seconds with a top speed of 142 mph.
Visually, the Macan four will look little different than its sibling S, Turbo and GTS models. It will come standard with all-wheel drive (optional air suspension), Bi-Xenon headlights, eight-way power front seats, Alcantara seat centers and a lane-departure warning system.
For more ferocious acceleration, Macan shoppers can opt for a 400-horsepower turbo. Porsche promises a sippier, diesel six will be added once the VW group’s Dieselgate storm passes. The new Macan will compete against the Mercedes-Benz GLC, BMW X3 and Audi Q5, and will hit showrooms this summer.
In addition to the Macan Porsche will be showing the 718 Boxster — with 300- and 350-horsepower engine options — in the U.S. for the first time as well as the 500-horsepower 911 R track weapon.
Henry Payne is auto critic for The Detroit News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or Twitter: @HenryEPayne