Porsche first announced development of a compact crossover SUV based on the Audi Q5 in late 2010. The model has been going by its project name Cajun since it was but a rumor but has now been upgraded with its official name – the Macan. As German automakers explains, the Macan name is derived from an Indonesian word for Tiger, intended to convey the suppleness, power, fascination and dynamics of the sport utility vehicle when it arrives. Releasing the first teaser sketch and video for the model, Porsche also confirmed that it will begin production in 2013, and is slated to arrive in the U.S later that year as a 2014 model.
Although highly stylized, the image reveals a similar styling treatment to that found on the current Cayenne, as well as a five-door body and very low ride height. The headlights also appear to carry the squared-off look seen on the new 2013 Porsche Boxster and which was first employed on the concept version of the upcoming 918 Spyder hybrid supercar.
The car will be assembled alongside the Cayenne at Porsche’s Leipzig plant, which is undergoing an extensive $650 million upgrade and expansion. The Macan is expected to be derived from the platform of the Audi Q5. Engines are said to include a pair of 3.0-liter V6s, with the normally aspirated version developing 290 horsepower and the twin-turbo unit making 350 hp.
Inside, the four-seater cabin promises more luxury than the Audi Q5. The centre console will be set higher, to cocoon the driver and give the car a small and nimble feel. Plus, the Panamera-inspired dash design and switchgear, set to appear in the new Boxster and Cayman, will ensure the model looks like a true Porsche.
The Macan is Porsche’s fifth model line, following in the tyre marks of the 911, the Boxster, the Cayman, the Cayenne and the Panamera. The latter two models have been somewhat divisive among Porsche enthusiasts, with the Cayenne SUV prompting questions as to whether an off-road vehicle is something that fits in with the company’s DNA, and the Panamera’s distinctive four-door styling not meeting with universal approval.
Below is the feel-good video teaser for the new Porsche Macan.