Sporty performer

The Macan Turbo’s 918 Spyder steering wheel takes centre stage in a cockpit with analogue switches.
The Macan Turbo’s 918 Spyder steering wheel takes centre stage in a cockpit with analogue switches. PHOTO: PORSCHE ASIA PACIFIC
PHOTO: PORSCHE ASIA PACIFIC

A Performance Package gives the Porsche Macan Turbo even more oomph

Porsche has introduced a Performance Package for its Macan Turbo. What this means is more power and torque, allowing the compact SUV to hit 100kmh in a 911-rivalling 4.4 seconds, compared with 4.6 seconds for the standard Macan Turbo.

Underneath its motorsportinspired livery, the car is not dramatically different. Its air intakes and front brake discs are bigger. A high-gloss black rear spoiler and blacked out tailpipes help it stand out too.

Even without this package, the Macan is hardly showing its age, even though it was launched in 2014.

A 918 Spyder steering wheel takes centre stage in a distinctly sporty cockpit with analogue switches.

The mechanical clicking of physical buttons - to control everything from climate to drive modes to exhaust volume - is tactile and more engaging than tapping on a touchscreen.

Alcantara roof lining and 18-way adaptive sports seats are included in the Performance Package. For an extra $918, you can have the seats in black-red leather.

I wish the cabin were less insulated from external noises, so that I can enjoy the powertrain's raspy growls and high-pitched blips.

Besides its height, there is little to remind you of an SUV. The Macan is sure-footed and well planted.

Its 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 makes 440bhp (40bhp more than regular Turbo) and 600Nm (50Nm more). The car unleashes this with the subtlest of inputs - a flick of the wrist on its speed-sensitive steering or a tap of the foot on the throttle.

Anyone can toss a powerful engine under the bonnet, but to make a car that is engaging requires finesse.

The car comes with Porsche's Sport Chrono Package. Its beefy engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which is highly responsive.

This is one car that I am content to leave in Normal drive mode, even if its racing streak is clearly more apparent in Sport and Sport Plus.

Its all-wheel-drive system, along with an active suspension which lowers ride height by 15mm, allows the driver to exploit the car's dynamism with less effort.

Be it sharp corners, humps or bumps, this Macan maintains its composure whatever comes its way.

Like all Macans, it has all the amenities and space for school runs and other chores. Its sportiness certainly takes the mundanity out of domestic errands.

Still, Singapore's quickest Macan begs the inevitable question: Do you need so much speed and power in a compact SUV?

That, to me, is akin to asking whether you need so many rooms in a home. And the answer is, if you have cash to spare, why not?

• The writer contributes to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline 'Sporty performer'. Print Edition | Subscribe