So, you think Porsche only makes sports cars? What, did you stop reading in 2003? That's when Porsche came out with its first SUV, the Cayenne. And without the Cayenne, we might not have today's 911s and Caymans and Boxsters. At all.
Porsche's sold so many Cayennes, it's building a follow-up act, a compact crossover SUV along the lines of the Audi Q5 and the new Mercedes GLC. It's pretty fast and fearsome in its own right--which is why we took aim at the north Georgia mountains for a day-long joy ride in the 400-horsepower Porsche Macan Turbo.
MORE: Read our 2015 Porsche Macan review
The Macan is a cousin of the Audi Q5, but there's enough Porsche in the body and the hardware to make you forget that other German crossover. For starters, there's the body: it's a tall-roof, short-wheelbase reworking of the Cayenne's look, with big front-end air intakes and a quickly sloping roof. At the rear, it's maybe at its most Porsche-like, with hulking rear quarters and slim LED taillamps and a wrap-around tailgate. Look at those exhaust tips: if they're round, you're following a lower-power Macan S. If they're squared-off, look out--it's a Turbo.
Of course, both the Macans on sale in the U.S. today are turbos. The Macan S sports a forced-induction 3.0-liter V-6 with 340 horsepower, good for 0-60 mph times of 5.2 seconds, and a top speed of 156 mph. It's a compelling piece of hardware--until you jump up to the full Turbo spec.
The Macan Turbo boosts everything--displacement, power, acceleration, and top speed. It generates 400 thrilling horsepower from 3.6 liters of displacement, rockets to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds, and lurches to a 164-mph top speed.
Both Macans get rear-biased all-wheel drive, a dual-clutch transmission, electric power steering, and stop/start for efficiency. That's a little German joke, we think, because there's no way gas mileage is on our agenda, once we drop the hammer on the Macan's throttle.