Stuttgart – With the announcement of its name, Porsche AG has confirmed production of Stuttgart’s new ‘sports car’ in the SUV segment. Tagged ‘Macan’, which is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger, Porsche’s intent is to convey “suppleness, power, fascination and dynamics” as core characteristics of its new road car.
As the new Porsche will reportedly share its basic platform with Audi’s Q5, we can expect a lighter, more nimble package than its SUV ‘sports car’ predecessor, the Cayenne. That, of course, generated a huge amount of consternation at the time of its launch among Porsche loyalists, offended by its footprint, curb weight and (presumably) the lack of a swingarm rear suspension. With the sales success of the Cayenne, however, that criticism has been muted; even current 356 owners recognize the need for a sustainable business model in Porsche showrooms.
The new Porsche Macan will constitute the fifth distinct Porsche model, preceded by the 911, Boxster, Cayenne (sports car SUV) and Panamera (sports car luxury hatch). According to Porsche’s release, the Macan will constitute the central plan of Porsche’s Strategy 2018, which outlines an expanded model portfolio. The Macan will be built in Leipzig, beginning in 2013, although one suspects that if – as rumored – Audi begins production of at least some models in North America Macan production could be transferred to the U.S. (Macon, Georgia?) or Mexico.
No word on whether the company founder, Ferdinand Porsche, remained face down in his grave or (with this announcement) has subsequently rolled over. Any similarity to the Kia Soul Track’ster concept recently shown in Chicago is – we’re assured – purely coincidental.