Let me start this off by saying that I've been a Porsche guy since before I was born.
I've loved them since I was small enough to fit under the dash of my Dad's '76 914. I put my foot through the leather on his '82 911SC, (the very same 911 that transported my mother to the hospital to give birth to yours truly) by accident and I almost committed toddler seppuku out of embarrassment for hurting the beautiful beast. I first broke 100 mph in his '76 911S at the age of 16, resulting in the immediate and costly replacement of the transmission (how was I supposed to know that he had drained the tranny fluid the night before?).
Long story short, if Porsche makes it, I want to touch it with my body. The new Porsche Macan Turbo is no exception.
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"It looks sharp as hell, but is it really a Porsche? Does it give you that feeling in your gut? That feeling you had right before you toasted my transmission?"
I waited 'til the end of the weekend to reply to my Dad's text. His feeling of concern isn't dissimilar to a lifelong groupie who's favorite band just released a new album. Of course he's gonna buy it, but he's gotta sniff around to make sure it's the genuine article first.
In the diehard Porsche fanbase, there is a consistent grumble any time Stuttgart moves away from the canon (rear engine sports cars). To these people, and my father, I say rest easy—the Macan Turbo is 100% Porsche.
The interior is well composed: supple leather paired with cold aluminum, punctuated by heavy grade plastic. Every button has that Porsche feel, a deep press with solid feedback—which is important, as you'll be fondling the Sport Plus mode frequently.
It's a little button that goes a long way, literally unlocking a whole different car. Sport suspension, ride height, engine rev limits, and launch control all come out to play. I'd even swear the exhaust notes change, a bit more of a crackling growl than the typical purr. All of this adds up to a 4.4 second zero to sixty time, and an incredibly happy Teddy.
The 3.0L Twin Turbo V6 has its vital signs monitored by one of the most technologically advanced Porsche dashboards that I've ever seen. The right register is entirely digital, powered by a super high-res screen and controlled entirely by a jog dial on the steering wheel.
Depending on what mode you select, you've got a whole range of information at your fingertips. For the first time in a while, someone's gotten this part right: the display is responsive, the navigation is smooth, the information it gives to you is valuable, and in some cases, fun—there's a G-Force meter that comes with the Sport Chrono package.
Obviously you get the Sport Chrono with the Sport Chrono package. This is what it looks like.
Everything feels decidedly Porsche, which is to say that everything feels tight. The steering, tight. The engine response, tight. The Burmester™ High-End surround sound, tight. The hyper adjustable bucket seats, tight. The air conditioner for my butt, tight.
The magic of it isn't just that the whole thing feels well crafted and considered; the magic is that it does so in the nuanced, understated, confident way that Porsche has become known for. You're not turning heads, you're getting knowing nods from passersby. I've never felt that from other compact SUVs in the segment. People can tell that the Macan S is, in some way, a larger statement about who you are, and who you are isn't just another guy in a boilerplate compact SUV.
If I'm being honest, I had a tough time giving the Macan Turbo back on Monday morning. Tallying the numbers, I'd spent a total of 20 hours in the car over the weekend.
I took my friends to dim sum in the pouring rain. We drove around Chinatown for two hours looking for a garage in gridlock traffic. I kissed 90 mph going over the Williamsburg bridge. I gave a ride to a beautiful woman who was late to an appointment. I watched planes line up to land at JFK through the massive sunroof. I explored parts of New York City that I'd been neglecting due to laziness.
Most of these aren't things that I would have done in my Dad's '76 911, not by a long shot. But that feeling he was talking about, that feeling of bonding with a machine, having an intimate moment with someone else's creation, was right there the whole time.