This is the latest new Porsche, the Macan. Yes, we know, it’s hard to keep up. The company didn’t make an SUV 10 years ago, but now it’s got a second one under its belt.
Little brother Macan joins big brother Cayenne - the theory perhaps being that in this austerity day and age you might want your Porsche SUV in slightly smaller and less in-your-face format. Never mind that its name sounds like a tropical type of nut, this is likely to become the best-selling Porsche.
Shown in a single, tricked-out turbo format here in Tokyo - the main launch was in LA, which we decided to give a miss this year in favour of Far Eastern promise - the Macan’s hardly going to rock the boat in terms of style.
But it isn’t a bad-looking thing for an SUV. It keeps those familiar Porsche cues - the 911-a-like face and that softly surfaced, pronounced rump. We loved the massive clamshell bonnet, which rises up leaving the lights left in place, like the first-gen BMW mini. And we love the rear lamps, which are simple LED bars fixed inside a carbon-detailed unit on this show car. Very 21st century.
Overall, it looks like an SUV worthy of the name - in that it’s sporty. It looks really low, squat and with a good deal of intent for an SUV. It might not quite have the visually arresting quality of a Range Rover Evoque, but nor is it quite as cartoonish.
Step inside the Macan, and if you’ve been in a 911, Cayenne or Panamera you’re going to feel at home. On the dash are three - rather than five - gauges. There’s that familiar Porsche touchscreen in the centre and a huge bank of switches, flanking the gearlever, a la Panamera. What we did really love is that the steering wheel’s the same one from the new 918 supercar - minus some of the crazy buttons for controlling the electric drive system.
The space in the back is hardly commodious, but will easily accommodate a couple of small kids, and the boot’s bigger than the Evoque’s is. The Macan’s got the small, well-to-do family thing all covered.
Underneath - the eagle-eyed may have spotted from the styling - the Macan’s based on an Audi Q5. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and Porsche assure us it’s been completely re-engineered and will feel like a Porsche.
The turbo version of this Motor Show car features a new, 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 but will be good for a sub 4.8 second 0-60 time. Handy if you want to make fido and the kids feel sick on the school run.
We bank that the big seller will be the 3-litre diesel - the same one that can already be found doing service in the Cayenne. There’ll be smaller petrols too - and expect the familiar normal, S, Turbo and somewhere further down the line GTS badging.
Of course, your primary reason for wanting a Macan is probably that it’s going to drive like a Porsche. With options that include Porsche active suspension management (PASM), Porsche vectoring control and carbon ceramic brakes, it ought not to be a disgrace to the family bloodline.
If you live in a well-to-do metropolitan area, expect Macans to start to clutter the roadside outside your local primary schools and Starbucks come mid 2014.