Porsche has touted its 2014 Macan as a "true Porsche" with sporty DNA, and this is made obvious through the details present in the design of the Compact Sport Utility. The design culture of Porsche in recent years has been typified by two words: broad, and low. Sportiness and precision, combined with lightweight construction, conspire to make the Macan a sports car when compared to the other options in its market segment. The Macan endeavors to crib much of its design from past and contemporary Porsches alike, mimicking the side view silhouette and rear fender shape of the 991 Carrera, the headlamp shape from the 918 Spyder, and obviously borrowing heavily from the Cayenne and Panamera lineups.
2014 Porsche Macan Exterior
The Macan, when viewed in profile, carries the swooping front-to-back arc of the window openings that has become the signature of recent Porsche designs, known internally as the car's "flyline". The rear hatch begins directly above the rear wheel well, sloping dramatically toward the tail lamps before dropping to the rear bumper, giving the profile more of a smooth fastback, rather than a traditional hatch, certainly more dramatically than that of the Cayenne. The comparison to the sloping back of the 911 is dubious, at best, but you can tell at a glance that the designers tried to infuse the Macan with some of the 991's traditional beauty.
Further down the side of the car, an interesting feature emerges in the form of the "side blades" that are said to be inspired by the lower door seams on the 918 Spyder. The inlaid black cladding gives the Macan a more raking visual extension, creating the illusion that it is hunched forward, awaiting the sprinter's starting gun. Combined with the blacked out lower door sills, the Macan has a visually smaller appearance, drawing the eye upward at the same time. The large wheel wells with bulged surrounding sheetmetal give the Macan a muscular stance, and the Macan Turbo 19" wheels certainly look the part.
At the rear, the Macan has some excellent features, befitting those of a true Porsche. The new design recessed LED tail lamps are said to be an indication of elements to be found on future Porsche models, and are truly striking. The gloss black rear spoiler with integrated high mount third brake light brings attention to itself, perhaps not in the best way. The twin dual exit exhaust tips, round on the Macan S and trapezoidal on the Macan Turbo, are powerful statements, and accent the diffuser section of the tail panel quite well. The rear running light and reverse lamp assemblies are cleanly integrated at the break between the body colored upper section of the bumper and the lower matte portion. Similar to the Panamera, the license plate recess has been located below the bumper, as opposed to the center of the hatch, as on the Cayenne.
The most compelling angle of this little Porsche, however, is the front. The Macan S (shown above left) and the Macan Turbo (shown above right) have distinctly different front sections. The S model shows a wide gaping front grille, two sculpted front side inlets (likely for the twin intercoolers), a single strip of LED front turn signal on either side, and a 3" round fog lamp in the lower quarters of the bumper. The Turbo features an even larger central grill opening flanked on either side by massive inlets, a pair of LED signal indicators are mounted within those inlets, and larger lower foglamps. The Turbo also features a sculpted lower front section that gives it a more muscular appearance. When so equipped, either will feature the infrared adaptive cruise control sensor in the center of the grille opening.
Also shown at the front of the car, a new feature on all Macan models; the new design hood with seamless shutlines. By extending the surface of the hood out over the extremities of the front of the car, Porsche has managed to erase the traditional gaps between hood and fender completely. By essentially forming the tops of the fenders with the hood, the entire section lifts up with the hood open, even the sections below the headlamps move upward, as the hood has a hole for each of the headlamps. MINI has been using this type of hood opening since the early 2000s, and Porsche could soon be expanding this design element across their model lineup.
2014 Porsche Macan Interior
Inside the Macan, the interior is instantly familiar as Porsche. The 'waterfall' center console that began in the Panamera has now extended across the entire model lineup, and is rapidly becoming the signature piece of a Porsche interior. As in other models, this center console houses all of the buttons related to how the car drives. The air suspension controls, sport mode controls, and PDK controls are all found here. All Macan will come standard with a "sport" button.
It seems that Porsche has been listening to us, as the standard Macan steering wheel incorporates both the best aspects of the multi-function wheel and the Sport Design wheel. This new wheel, apparently designed on the back of the wheel found in the 918, eschews the fiddly PDK buttons, and uses honest-to-goodness paddle shifters. While the Sport Design wheel found in other Porsches also has these paddles, it loses the radio, phone, and display control buttons of the standard multi-function wheel. The new Macan wheel does not force you to make such concessions.
The driver's display features three round dials, including the requisite center-mounted tachometer. The right pod, as in other models, takes the form of a 4.8 inch multi-purpose color display. The ignition, as we have grown accustomed to, is in the traditional LeMans inspired position, left of the steering wheel. Dash accents come standard in piano black, but are also available in optional Dark Walnut and Carbon Fiber. The standard seats are the 18-way adaptive power sport seats with standard Alcantara center inserts, which are amazingly comfortable.
The Macan also introduces a calming optional two-piece Panoramic Roof System. The front glass element can be opened independently of the rear, and an electrical rolling shade dims the panel when required. Offering near-targa levels of roof opening and skyward vistas, perfect for a summer evening or fall afternoon drive.
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[Special Thanks to Marc Urbano for the Macan photos from the LA Auto Show]