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First drive: Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.

First drive: Porsche Macan GTS
Porsche has launched an updated Macan ahead of the launch of the new electric Macan in 2023

   



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Porsche Macan GTS

4 4 4 4 4

Porsche announced that the next generation Macan SUV would be all-electric and would launch in 2023. Everyone was surprised, after all the Macan is sold all over the world, not just to people who have a driveway with a charging point in Battersea. Then Porsche itself realised that and announced it would launch a new Macan with an internal combustion engine that would sell alongside the electric Macan. Except the ICE Macan would be a facelifted current Macan and the electric Macan will be all new. So they won't be the same at all. Are you still with us? If you are, then here's our review of the new but no so new Macan GTS.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Porsche Macan GTS
Pricing: 64,770; Macan range starts at 47,480
Engine: 2.9.0-litre turbocharged V6
Transmission: Seven-speed PDK, all-wheel drive
Body style: five-door SUV
CO2 emissions: 265g/km (VED Band 255+: 2,245 in year one, 490 years 2-5)
Combined economy: 24.1mpg
Top speed: 169mph
0-62mph: 5.5 seconds (4.3 with Sport Chrono Package)
Power: 440hp at 5,700-6,600rpm
Torque: 550Nm at 1,900-5,600rpm
Boot space: 458-1,503 litres?

What's this?

Basically this is a facelifted Macan, designed and engineered to carry it through until the electric Macan can take over properly, everywhere. It has a few design tweaks such as the revised front bumper and wider air intake section, LED headlights and a few other bits. Inside, it gets the very nice new Porsche Communication Management 2.0 infotainment system, a new centre console panel with smooth, piano black haptic buttons and lots of GTS lettering, including embroidery on the seats.

Our test unit had been shipped over to the UK from Stuttgart so was left hand drive and it was packed with loads of extras, including a great alcantara-clad steering wheel, the Sport Chrono package, Bose surround system and Apple CarPlay, although surely that shouldn't be an option anymore.

Then there are the optional Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur air vents which are supposedly in the same colour as the exterior of the car. Not only do they seem to be a much brighter shade of red but they look like something you found in the back pages of Max Power magazine in 1992. If you like that sort of thing then we won't judge because we know your friends will do that for us. It's awful.

Aside from that the rest of the interior is comfortable and spacious and there's decent room in the boot for anything you might need to throw in. It's all very modern with plenty of available options to make things feel more individual to you and all the tech you might need without any of the gimmicks that you don't.

How does it drive?

We're guessing that the engineering team received a Friday afternoon memo from the boss saying that the Macan was going to continue and they needed to make a plan before they went home that evening. An hour later they were in a beer hall having taken the 2.9-litre V6 out of the now canned Macan Turbo and stuck it in the GTS. Where did the GTS' engine go you ask? Well that moved down to the S.

They also decided to make the adjustable air suspension standard and pulled a set of 21-inch RS Spyder Design wheels off the shelf and wrapped some Michelin 295/35 R21 rubber around them. Done. Bier o'clock.

Before we get irate letters from Porsche engineers, or any automotive engineers for that matter, we know it wasn't that simple but as we have said already, the changes are all about keeping the current Macan going a little bit longer.

The V6 winds up nicely and if you don't push any of the buttons, there's a fascinating whistling noise around 5,300rpm. Hit the active exhaust button and that goes away, replaced by a sporty growl. You'll get the same growl of course if you turn the drive mode selector on the steering wheel to Sport, Sport Plus or Individual.

Leave it in Normal and the Macan travels around comfortably with a degree of firmness on occasion but generally it's all rather pleasant. Dial things up a notch in one of the Sport modes and you can really have some fun. The engine response quickens, the steering firms up a bit and the suspension hunkers down. On a good road surface there's plenty of grip, but find somewhere with slightly bumpy tarmac and the GTS will feel as though it's trying to skip off the top of the crests of tar. Surprising too is that as precise as the steering is, it doesn't have the communicative feel that we expect in a Porsche.

It's also rather thirsty. In the fun stuff we achieved 15.9mpg, but combined with a good few miles of gentle motorway driving we improved that to 17.6mpg. It's a turbocharged V6 Porsche though, so fuel efficiency is unlikely to be top of anyone's list.

Verdict

The design changes might seem small but they ensure the Macan still looks good compared to many of its rivals and leaving aside those horrid air vents, the interior is well-designed, comfortable and has just the right amount of usable tech. On the road it might feel the bumps a bit but as a dynamic SUV it's superb, maintaining its position as the frontrunner in the segment.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Comfort

4 4 4 4 4 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


Mark Smyth - 11 Sep 2021



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2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.

2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.2021 Porsche Macan GTS. Image by Porsche.








 

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