Porsche Macan S 2.9 PDK Review - Empowering Thoughts and Dreams
The latest Porsche Macan S comes to us as part of a streamlined lineup of new Macans, and will be the middle child between the Macan Base and the Macan GTS, offering consumers a good blend of value and performance. Porsche has previously said that this latest update to the Macan range will be its last as a petrol powered vehicle, with the Macan range set to go electric in the very near future. However, that doesn’t mean that the German automakers have dulled the experience in any way, and have instead opted to send the petrol engine in the Macan off with one last hoorah. To do end, all three Macans in the range will receive more power, with the Macan S inheriting the beautiful V6 from the Macan Turbo, pushing out 380 bhp in this iteration.
The Macan S inherits the brilliant 2.9L V6 turbocharged unit from the Macan Turbo, and its transference to the Macan S this time round bodes well for the car, ensuring that the Macan S is properly differentiated from the Macan Base, which sports the standard 2.0L 4-cylinder power plant. Combined with a 7-speed PDK (dual clutch) gearbox, the Macan S puts 520Nm of torque to its wheels, enabling it to achieve a 0-100km/h time of 4.8s. For buyers who are looking for a performance-oriented driving experience, but don’t really want to go all out with the GTS, the Macan S offers an extremely legitimate middle ground to the GTS, which is only marginally faster than the Macan S with a 0-100km/h time of 4.3s.
Getting into the car, it's clear that the Macan S remains a very driver oriented car, with little things like the crank key start reminding you that despite its stylish SUV exterior and pretty facade, you’re still getting into a proper and serious car. If that’s not enough - the exhaust note from a cold start sounds menacing, coming to life with a roar, a pop, and a bang, before settling into a low burble. It’s easy to get into a good driving position in the Macan S, with 14 way seat adjustment making it easy to find a vantage point that is both sporty and comfortable for cruising about. This will be particularly useful for ladies, and there is evidence to show that the Macan platform as a whole sits very well among the female demographic, accounting for just under 60% of sales in China, Porsche’s largest market for the Macan.
Tangibly, there really isn’t much to be said about the Macan S in terms of facts and figures - because this isn’t a car you buy based on a factsheet. The car has an excellent powerplant that provides more performance than you can ever utilise on a Singaporean road, has extremely defined driving modes that distinctly alter the engine response and suspension setup, it is beautiful to look at, and it will carry 4 people comfortably. Anything else is just additional information to a buyer who is likely to be more enthralled with the ownership experience of driving a Porsche, than they are about whether or not the car comes with Lane Departure Assist (it does).
In that regard, the Macan S offers buyers a rather unique ownership experience, serving as a gateway into the world of Porsche and its stable of wondrous driving instruments. In fact, Porsche has shared that around 80% of all Macan buyers are newly minted Porsche customers, who no doubt buy into the brand and into what it means to drive a Porsche, where the Macan is simply a right of passage in their journey. Truthfully, there are faster and more iconic cars than the Macan S in Porsche’s lineup, but perhaps the Macan platform more adequately sums up what is admirable about the Porsche brand.
You see, I’ve always viewed Porsche as the thinking man’s sports car, one that is proficient as much as it is beautiful, and as utilitarian as much as it is premium. In many ways, Porsches aren’t lavish and opulent for no apparent reason - they don’t scream for attention as much as other ultra luxury automakers. The cars they produce then, aren’t just pedestals, but instruments of success. As part of Porsche Asia Pacific’s 20th anniversary in the region, they chose to highlight and celebrate the power of dreams and believing in oneself, and the campaign centres itself around the theme of empowerment. Not luxury, not wealth, not opulence - but empowerment. The thought is an inspiring one, and the campaign video can be viewed here.
The video features the story of a young and aspiring artist, who rejects the typical measures of success and hustles in pursuit of her own dreams, eventually making it and receiving the recognition that she deserves. I like the fact that the video celebrates the hustle, and not the wealth that comes with success. This wasn’t some luxury video telling you that you deserve the finest things in life because of the wealth you have amassed for no apparent reason. Instead, it portrays grit and determination, as well as the unwavering belief in oneself - qualities that I feel are much better personified by the Macan owner. There is an assumption here, yes, but I think it's safe to assume that the majority of Macan owners share some of these traits. Successful in their own fields, driven and ambitious, and hustling in their pursuit of perfection. Those are qualities that will resonate with new and future owners of the Macan.