What It Is: Porsche’s upcoming mid-size SUV, the Macan, caught testing wearing almost no camouflage. The Macan, which carried a code name of Cajun—short for “Cayenne Junior”—is smaller than the Cayenne and designed to bring even more buyers into the Porsche fold. Our spy photographers previously captured a Macan prototype out for testing, but it had considerably more camouflage than the car you see here. We’ve also gleaned new details about the Macan’s powertrain in the interim.Why It Matters: Although brand purists will cry foul, the Macan is poised to become quite the moneymaker for Porsche. Of course, this cash flow will help bankroll the cars these purists love—the excellent Cayman, Boxster, and 911—in a similar fashion to the successful Cayenne and Panamera. The smaller, more affordable Macan also gives Porsche a seat at the table in the ultra-hot luxury-crossover segment.
Platform: If the Porsche Macan’s basic stance and profile seem familiar, that’s because underneath, it’s an Audi Q5. Some dimensions will be altered for the Porsche, including its width (which will grow) and height (which will shrink). As is visible in these photos, the Macan will have Porsche-specific styling, right down to its sporty door mirrors and intake-riddled front end. This prototype is wearing odd headlight and taillight stickers intended to throw off an examination of those critical styling elements, but the cut-line for the front peepers is visible and roughly mimics those of the Cayman and Panamera. The fascia carries a heavy Cayenne vibe, as do the body sides and roofline. Out back, the rear window is steeply raked, and the fast D-pillar is stylishly thick, if detrimental to blind-spot visibility. Overall, the car closely imitates the Cayenne, but with smaller, tighter, and even sportier proportions.
Powertrain: The Macan will come in two trim levels: S and Turbo. Both will be powered by versions of Porsche’s new twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine, which was introduced via the 2014 Panamera. Expect the base S variant to make 340 horsepower, while the more powerful and sportier Turbo will get a solid 400. (Based on the big wheels, red brake calipers, and quad exhaust outlets on the test car pictured here, it’s a good bet this is the zestier Turbo model.) Look for all-wheel drive to be standard, as it is in the Cayenne. As for the transmission, a seven-speed dual-clutch unit is most likely.
Competition: Audi Q5, BMW X3/X4, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz GLK-class.
Thanks to: Car and Driver