The Cayenne crossover has been quite the cash cow for Porsche since its introduction in 2003, and now the automaker is looking to build on that success with the compact Macan CUV. Set to begin production next year, the Macan has the potential to be an even higher-volume model than the Cayenne.
As our illustration shows, the Macan will borrow many of its design cues from the larger Cayenne, although it's similar in profile to the Infiniti EX. The Macan will ride on Volkswagen's recently-introduced MLB platform, and while Porsche has yet to release any other technical details, a report published by England's Autocar indicates that the range-topping Turbo-badged Macan model will be rated at no less than 370 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.
Power will come from an all-new 3.0-liter 90-degree V6 engine which will make its debut in the Macan. It was developed in-house at Porsche's research and development center in Weissach, Germany, and Autocar claims that it is a downsized variant of the 3.6-liter mill found in the Cayenne and in the Panamera.
The V6 will feature two sequential Borg Warner turbochargers, and an air-to-air intercooler.
Macan Turbo buyers will be able to pick between two 911-derived gearboxes: the first is a seven-speed manual, and the second is a seven-speed PDK unit.
The Macan's other engines will likely be slightly less glorious. The crossover is expected to borrow the Audi Q5's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 3.0-liter supercharged V6, which should make around 235 and 290 horsepower, respectively, in this application.
Oil-burning mills will also be on the menu, including a 190 horsepower 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder and a 250 horsepower Panamera-sourced 3.0 turbodiesel V6.
It is not out of the question to see some of the diesel motors in the United States, but Porsche is betting that customers there will be more interested in hybrids. To cater to that market, a Macan Hybrid that uses the same drivetrain found in the Q5 Hybrid is said to be in the works.
Although the Macan will share some of its underpinnings with the Q5, Porsche has gone to great lengths to give its SUV more dynamic handling.
"We've surprised even ourselves," said Porsche development boss Wolfgang Hatz. "It drives incredibly well and, from what we've seen from the competition, will be the most sporting car in its class."
In order to accommodate production of the Macan, Porsche says that it is expanding its facility in Saxony to be a full production location, complete with a body assembly line and paint shop. In all, Porsche is investing $653 million into the facility - the largest-ever single investment by the automaker. As a result of the substantial investments, Porsche is planning on creating about 1,000 jobs.
Look for the Porsche Macan to begin production during the second half of 2013.