We've taken the wraps off the upcoming 2014 Porsche Macan, the German automaker's smaller luxury SUV scheduled to slot beneath the larger and more expensive Cayenne. These artist illustrations provide an excellent sneak preview of Porsche's more `petite' sport-utility, ahead of its long-awaited arrival next year, as a 2014 model. As you'd expect, the Macan's front fascia and much of its side profile looks like a scaled-down version of the existing Cayenne. At the back, however, a single piece light bar replicates the taillight design used on the 911 sports car. It's a slick touch, and one we hope makes it to production.
Based on the Audi Q5, the Porsche Macan will share many of the mechanical and powertrain components of its corporate cousin. This means a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and, possibly, a turbocharged version of the 3.2-liter V-6 used in the Q5 will make their way into the Macan. Both engines are certain to make more power than the 211 bhp and 270 bhp they currently provide in the Audi SUV. We've already speculated a range-topping turbo V-6-powered Macan could produce somewhere in the region of 300 to 350 bhp.
An optional diesel engine is certainly in the works for European markets, though it's not certain whether Porsche might opt to bring that variant stateside. The Cayenne Diesel is on sale here, however, so it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
Taking Aim at the X3, Evoque, and GLK
It will be interesting to see how Porsche markets the Macan, and whether a priority is placed on off-road prowess or apex-clipping dynamics. This being a Porsche, after all, our guess is on the latter attribute taking precedence. Ride height will be lowered, compared to the Q5, and the suspension tuned for sharper handling and a firmer ride. All-wheel-drive will be fitted as standard, especially considering all versions of the Q5 sold in the U.S. come with Audi's Quattro hardware.
Electronically programmable settings for driving on dirt, snow and gravel should give the Macan a modicum of off-road credentials – though the Range Rover Evoque will still reign as the best mini mud-plugger of this market segment. A 6-speed manual should be offered on the base 4-cylinder models, while an 8-speed semi-automatic will be fitted to more powerful V-6 versions. Pricing for the Macan will have to be north of the Q5, to avoid cross-brand sales cannibalization – though not too high, which might overlap with entry-level versions of the Cayenne. Expect the Macan to start around $45,000 to $50,000, with turbo V-6 models commanding a premium of $10,000 to $15,000.