Porsche is broadening its line adding a compact crossover SUV (XSUV) beneath its highly successful Cayenne SUV. The Porsche Macan is named after an Indonesian tiger. Not so unusual since the Cayenne is named for a pepper and Cayman after an alligator. While Porsche purists may cringe that the brand is adding one more vehicle line that has four doors, the Macan will add volume to Porsche around the world and add greatly to its already heady profits. Limited to only 50,000 units a year from its Leipzig, Germany factory, the volume will be split roughly one-third for the USA, one third for the EU and one third for the rest of the world. With the USA limited to “only” about 15,000-18,000 units per year dealers can hold out for nice profits especially in its early years.
Factoid: More Porsches now sold have four doors than two.
Go to the Porsche Cars North America website and check out the configurator (http://www.porsche.com/usa/modelstart/all/?modelrange=macan) for the Macan. Sure, the vehicle starts at $49,900, but I quickly got one specced out the way I would want it up to $66,000. PCNA expects the median transaction price for the Macan to be around $73,000. For those of you who check all the boxes and choose the upmarket turbo model, you can spend over $100,000 for a Macan Turbo. Given the complexity of the Porsche configurator, the bet is that most of them will be ordered rather than bought from dealer stock.
The Macan S is priced similarly to the base Cayenne. This telegraphs Porsche’s strategy of adding a less pricey base Macan later. Following Porsche’s strategy of launching with the mid-range vehicle and then adding a lower priced version, expect a less expensive Macan down the road simply called “Macan”.
Macan is to be the sportiest compact XSUV on the market. The $49,900 model is the Macan S powered by a 340HP 3.0L Turbo V6. For those wanting even more power, the Macan Turbo has 400HP and adds about $16,000 to the price tag. All Macans have all wheel drive and Porsche’s 7-speed PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) transmission (automatic). The Macan S is no lightweight coming in at over 4000 pounds, but it can get up to 60mph in 5.2 seconds according to Porsche’s data.
The Macan is loosely based on the Audi Q5, but 70% of the parts are new to Porsche. The exterior is clearly all Porsche. Porsche DNA is evident in the face of the vehicle, the shape of the roof, the wheel openings, even the haunch over the rear wheels. To give the Macan a lower, sports car feel, the seating positions are a bit lower than in the Q5 and the rear seat is pretty tight. But being the sportiest compact XSUV, these things are expected. The interior is a special place indeed. The instrument panel is well-laid out and the switchgear on the console is reminiscent of the Porsche Panamera. The steering wheel comes from the 918 Spyder.
Other XSUVs were introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will be on the market at the same time as the Macan – the smaller 2015 Lincoln MKC and the mid-size 2015 Ford Edge. Compared with the new Edge, the Macan is about three-inches lower, and its wheelbase about 1.5 inches shorter, but the shadow of the two vehicles is nearly identical. For all intents and purposes the overall lengths and widths are the same. With the Ford getting a bit sportier for 2015 with a faster backlite, its silhouette is even similar to the compact XSUV sports car – the Macan. Checking all the boxes on the Ford can get its price up to the mid-forties. But even though the vehicles are similar specification- and style-wise, they will attract dramatically different buyers.
Which brings us to the Lincoln MKC. Based on the Escape platform, MKC has a starting price of $33,995 quite a difference from the Macan. Of course the Lincoln will not have the powertrain or performance chops of the Macan, and its price will not reach into the hundreds of thousands. Loading up the MKC might get its price over $50,000. Somehow, the well-equipped Macan at $66,000 seems like a better value.
Background of AutoPacific’s IVAs: AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Awards for 2o13 are given to brands and vehicles that best meet the expectations of their buyers. The person driving the car does not want it to be bigger or more powerful or have better info/entertainment systems. Based on the results of over 52,000 respondents, the IVAs are owner-based awards that can serve to give car and truck buyers an idea of how well manufacturers have designed vehicles with their customers in mind.
As you read through the brief descriptions of the winners’ results you will notice some similarities where owners of most vehicles want change. Visibility Among all cars about 29% of owners want better driver’s seat visibility. Too often visibility is sacrificed for swoopy styling. Roominess About 24% of car owners want more passenger roominess than now. Of course, some people bought a vehicle that may be smaller than they like so they want something bigger, but many are also reacting because passenger roominess has been sacrificed for style. Power vs Fuel Economy Even when talking about today’s high gas prices, owners want good power and acceleration. About 26% want more power and acceleration and only 7% of the respondents would sacrifice power and acceleration for better fuel economy. Ingress/Egress Going with the basic package challenges like roof height vs styling and rear seat room vs styling there is also ease of getting in and out. About 26% of all car owners want their vehicles to be easier to get in and out of. Info/Entertainment Technology Design of the info/entertainment technology is one of the most hotly contested areas of vehicle design today. Some manufacturers have a good handle on this, but 25% of car owners want more info/entertainment technology than they have now. These folks are offset by 13% who want their info/entertainment technology to be simpler and easier to use.
With that preamble in mind, here are the Ideal Vehicle Award winners for cars for 2013…
AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand. Winning an IVA shows the product planners, engineers and designers of the manufacturer understand what their target customers want and have created the vehicle to best meet their demands.
Porsche Cayenne Edges Audi Q7 for IVA Win: The 2012 Porsche Cayenne comes closest to the ideal of any Premium Luxury Crossover SUV (XSUV). The Cayenne edges out the second place Audi Q7 by 21 rating points to win in its class. Having eighty-percent or more of owners rating a characteristic ideal is outstanding. Achieving a score of ninety-percent is even more impressive. Ninety-percent or more of Cayenne owners rate its driver’s seat comfort and ride and handling ideal. Eighty-percent or more of Cayenne owners find these additional characteristics ideal: exterior size, interior lighting, driver’s seat visibility, passenger roominess, cargo space, exterior styling, tires, ease of getting in and out and safety features.
A Few Shortfalls – Some Could Have Been Offset by Selecting Available Options and Powertrains: About 30% of Cayenne owners want more interior storage compartments. About 23% of Cayenne owners want more power and acceleration. About 23% of Cayenne owners want more distinctive wheels than now. About 20% of Porsche Cayenne owners want more cargo space than now. About 20% want better infotainment technology than now.
You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/ideal-suvs-pickups-rated-by-owners-in-2012-iva-awards-112117/
For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact firstname.lastname@example.org and title your email “IVA Results”. A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.
The owners of the Porsche 911 rate the car so highly in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research that the car wins the IVA for the Sports Car Class and is also the top rated vehicle overall. As the overall and class winner, owners of the 911 do not want much changed. When pressed, about 20% say they want more cargo room, easier ingress/egress and more infotainment technology. They most like the seat comfort, ride and interior roominess. The Porsche Boxster/Cayman were in second place in the class. It was a Porsche sweep.
Cayenne is the top rated Premium Luxury XSUV based on owner ratings in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research. As the class winner, owners are pretty satisfied with the way the vehicle is executed with a few exceptions. Almost 35% want better interior storage in their Cayenne. About 25% want more cargo room and more infotainment technology. Over 20% want better visibility and more power. Owners like the ride, size and seat comfort. Cayenne edges out second place BMW X5 for its category win.
Last Thursday we were invited to attend what was called ‘The Porsche Aircraft Experience’. The event was held at an airport in Carlsbad California and was sponsored by private aviation companies and a local Porsche Dealership. Truth be told, we were not there to admire any overhead storage bins or lavatories in any aircraft and we don’t exactly have the funds to go out and purchase a new 911. But who would pass up the opportunity to indulge in Porsche road going machines? This was an experience not offered up to automotive journalists or analysts very often. So we jumped at the chance.
Sports Car: Porsche took over the first three spots in the Ideal Vehicle Awards Sports Car Segment, but it was the Porsche Cayman that owners found to be the overall winner. This mid-engine wonder convinced 100% of the owners surveyed that Porsche engineers could not improve upon the handling of the Cayman. Other ratings almost as high include exterior size and styling, ride and safety.
Porsche as a brand has been build upon specific tangible and authentic intangible attributes that have made it a first-rate manufacturer of automobiles. Porsche motorcars continue to provide owners with a sense of confidence, exclusivity and satisfaction that all fall within the parameters of being a premium brand. Therefore, it comes as little surprise that Porsche owners have scored their vehicles so high throughout the 2010 Ideal Vehicle Awards as to propel the brand to the top of the premium brand list. Porsche wins top premium brand for the 2010 IVAs. This must be what those in Zuffenhausen mean when they chime ‘ There is no substitute’.
In the Sports Car segment, the 2010 911 scores a repeat win, having taken top honors in 2009. What a great all-around sports car!
Following a facelift for Carrera models for 2009, the 2010 Turbo took the new look this year. Porsche did right by their owners with these changes. The 911 was rated 5.0 out of a possible 5.0 for fun to drive and handling. For years, known for exceptional braking performance, the 2010 911 scored highest in this important performance characteristic. Other ratings almost as high include power/acceleration, interior and exterior styling, and both brand and vehicle reputation.
Porsche knows what is important to their buyers, and the 911 delivers.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.