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Porsche-only performance engine for new Macan SUV

The real Macan: Porsche’s new mid-size SUV is being developed with sportiness in mind.

New Q5-based mid-size Porsche Macan SUV to get red-hot special Porsche engine

26 Jun 2012

THE upcoming mid-size Porsche Macan SUV is being armed with a high-performance engine developed by the German sportscar-maker to set it apart from its Audi Q5 origins.

Porsche is in the final stages of developing the new SUV, which will go on sale in Europe next year and is expected to reach Australia in early 2014.

A senior Porsche engineer has confirmed the pinnacle engine of the Macan range will not come from the Q5 or from the Volkswagen Group.

“It will be a Porsche engine,” said Porsche engine engineering manager Arno Bogl.

GoAuto understands it will be a new twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol unit, which is understood to be currently under development at Porsche.

The boosted six-cylinder is crucial to the Macan’s positioning as a ‘real’ Porsche, rather than a high-volume affordable SUV.

Porsche SUV chassis manager Markus Schieritz told GoAuto the Macan was being developed to outpace its rivals.

“That must be our goal,” said Mr Schieritz.

“Porsche must be every time the fastest car.”

There are few high-performance medium SUVs in the market, with BMW’s cracking 220kW twin-turbo petrol six-cylinder Twinpower X3 the current standout, although it is currently only available in the US.

The Macan will also have to fend off an attack from within the VW Group, with Audi last week announcing a potent SQ5 version of the Q5 powered by a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel with 230kW and 650Nm, which will be introduced next year.

There is also speculation a turbo-petrol version of Q5 could also be on the way.

Asked whether the Macan could be a fast and great-handling model given it is based on the Q5, Mr Schieritz said: “We are also very impressed about this car.”

He admitted that developing the Macan has been a challenge because Porsche wants different things from the vehicle than Audi.

“A challenge? Yes, the goals are different. We put other goals in the focus.”

The final shape of the Macan is yet to be revealed, with prototypes running different sheetmetal to keep the design secret.

Porsche has revealed artist’s impressions, which suggest a sleek low-slung design, but these early sketches often have little in common with the final product.

While unashamedly biased, Mr Schieritz believes the Macan design will impress. “The first time in the Macan you will have an open mouth,” he said. “It’s perfect”.

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