We’re big fans of the Porsche Macan and Cayenne SUVs here. “But Justin!” shrieks the purist garage-queen owning hedge fund managers, “those aren’t real Porsches. They are a dilution of a brand, a pox upon the most revered name in Stuttgart!” they say before falling into an epileptic seizure over their complete disdain for a four-doored Porsche.
But you know what? The Cayenne, Macan, and to a lesser extent the Panamera are the only reasons that Porsche can continue to offer the same people cars like the 911 R (or any 911 at all), the 918, or a Cayman GT4. Because Porsche doesn’t make its R&D dollars in sports cars; it makes it in the Grand Canyon-sized margins on its sport utilities.
Porsche must be working on something pretty cool in that case, because it’s throwing a four-cylinder engine into the Macan which will form a new base model for the crossover ute. It still won’t be cheap. But it will sell very well. It’s a Porsche, after all.
Despite being down two cylinders, the new Macan (one sans letter designation like the S) still produces a stout 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. That’s much less than the 340 horsepower Macan S, but it’s still about 10 more ponies (and equal torque-wise) to a comparable Mercedes-Benz GLC. Fuel is anticipated to fall around 20 city and 25 highway — down from the Merc’s 22/28 though up from the Macan S’ 17/23. Notably, however, the Porsche is equipped with all-wheel drive; the GLC 4Matic’s numbers are marginally closer, at 21 and 28, respectively.
The Macan is the latest Porsche to get the four-cylinder treatment, after the 718 — nee Boxster — was given one for 2017. Although you can bet it will be performance-centric and love to rev, it’s like a more suitable fit for the Macan, which sees far more traffic than track-time.
Unless you know what you’re looking for, the four-cylinder Macan will look largely like the more powerful Macan S. Blacked-out window trim, black brake calipers, and stainless-steel exhaust tips are really the only external cues that’ll tell you that you’re not driving a faster version. The front fascia, normally the most obvious giveaway, remains the same.
To get it, buyers will have to cough up $48,550 with destination. Though this comes over the Merc by about $10K, it’s still roughly $7,000 less than a Macan S. You will, however, get bi-xenon headlights, power front seats, lane-departure warning, and black interior trim as standard equipment.
If you’re still suffering from track-day aspirations, however, and the four-cylinder won’t cut it, Porsche can still sell you the Macan GTS for $67,000, or the 400 horsepower Turbo for a hefty $76,000. But just do us a favor — don’t drive it like an SUV. Drive it how it was supposed to be driven. It’ll help soften the purists.