Porsche has earned such a rich and storied history as a premier global automobile brand with a reputation for beautiful design and incredible power. In mid-February, I was lucky enough to test drive the 2015 Porsche Macan S for a week. Inserting the keys and turning the ignition (on the left side of the steering wheel, in classic Porsche style), produced that ear-pleasing Porsche growl.
I was like a kid at Christmas.
Driving that car was like getting the entire original Transformers toy collection, a ’54 Fender Stratocaster and a ’50 Fender Broadcaster.
Porsche has quite intentionally created the best of both worlds in the Macan, without sacrificing anything along the way.
The Macan S offers Porsche’s famous precise handling, brisk steering, a light yet sturdy driving feel, and paddle shifters paired to a 3.0-litre V6 motor harvesting 340 enthusiastic wild horses—or perhaps tigers, since macan is Indonesian for tiger—along with elegant and traditional design lines and an overall fun factor of 11 out of 10.
To me, it’s the auto equivalent of Stevie Ray Vaughn playing “Little Wing” on his legendary Stratocaster.
On the practical side, it offers comfortable seating for five, an array of safety features including Porsche Stability Management, Porsche Dynamic Lighting System, Porsche Communication Management, a Burmester High-End Surround Sound System, an army of full-sized and curtain airbags, plus plenty of storage and seats that feel like they were custom made for you.
Or in musical terms, it’s like Bruce Springsteen playing “Human Touch” on his iconic Telecaster.
While still in its infancy, the Macan S hits all the right notes, including design, performance, starting price point and nearly everything in between. Minor tweaks are likely being made in next year’s model; perhaps a diesel model will be available in the Great White North sooner than later.
As you build your Macan S, you’ll notice that the option sheet has room for several checkmarks, each of which can slowly but surely intensify your drive-away cost. The flip side, however, is that you get exactly what your palate reflects. And if you’re toting around the town and country in a Porsche, it’s good to have everything you want with it, right?
While I’m not a certified over-the-phone fortune teller, I predict that the Macan will represent a healthy amount of Porsche Canada’s sales over the next few years. There’s a fine line between producing a luxury vehicle for the masses and potentially watering down the brand. The folks at Porsche have found a sound strategy in the Macan by maintaining Porsche’s integrity and making it easy to get behind the wheel, by blending sport, utility and everyday usage.
I received several long stares at red lights at what I can only think was me having a week’s worth of great hair days (maybe the Porsche helped). I even got the “guy nod of approval” from a guy in another luxury SUV! There were plenty of head-turning looks in my neighbourhood, in all the parking lots I stopped in, and along the streets of the GTA. To be honest, I’d probably stare too!
I’m always looking for ways to improve, innovate and evolve as a person, writer and a professional. It’s not a one shot deal—it’s a lifelong commitment. Porsche has followed a parallel path with the Macan by building upon its previous successes and evolving what it has to offer Canadian drivers. I think “Never forget your roots as you march forward” is an appropriate idiom here, given what the Macan’s marketplace impact will surely have.
So Porsche, you and I are kind of similar in a roundabout way: I have great hair, you have a great body, and we both look remarkable together. Let’s get together again soon, shall we? We can go for a drive and talk about what’s next for us.