The international launch for the newcomer was held in the Western Cape. Porsche’s route dished up some of the most scenic and finest driving roads the province has to offer, as well as a mix of arterial and motorway cruising to evaluate the Macan Turbo’s full repertoire.
From Cape Town International Airport we made our way up the N2, then along the picturesque ocean-side Clarence Drive. On these pristine pieces of tarmac, the Macan proved an ideal companion, cruising effortlessly on that fat torque curve while we enjoyed the scenery. In such a scenario, it is the ideal family vehicle.
When space and traffic allowed, we wound the rotary selector on the steering wheel to Sport or Sport+ and turned up the pace to delve into the car’s dynamic capability, and it responded with enthusiasm. When unleashed, the engine really does shine. It revs with urgency, working in perfect unison with the transmission, and delivers a hard punch through the last 1,500rpm of the rev counter. My only gripe is that its soundtrack isn’t as evocative as it could be.
After a quick fuel stop in Hermanus, we made our way inland away from traffic-laden roads towards our overnight stop. On the incredible Franschhoek Pass, my co-pilot found plenty of grip and sure-footedness from the all-wheel drive set-up, much needed as we were being pelted by an afternoon rainstorm.
The next morning I resumed driving duties, thankfully in completely dry conditions. Through Du Toit’s Kloof Pass (that bypasses the Huguenot Tunnel on the N1) I experienced a set-up that is confidence inspiring and grippy at speeds most Macan owners will probably not attempt.
The electrically assisted steering action feels natural and is quick to react to inputs. All the units on the launch were fitted with optional air suspension, which did a great job of dealing with just about any surface we traversed. Standard fitment is steel coil springs with adaptive dampers.
The Macan Turbo can really be seen as Porsche’s hot hatch. It offers the practicality of five seats and a boot with good capacity. It can cruise along near silently while soaking up road imperfections with ease. When the need or mood arises, the driver can poke it out of its docile slumber to relish in the exploitable set-up with plenty of firepower provided by the force-fed motor.
As far as the “S” part of the SUV equation goes, few, if any, rivals can match the Macan Turbo.
• It is available to order in SA at R1.6m.