A new Performance Package for Porsche’s Macan Turbo turns things up to 11, but is it worth the extra outlay?
SINGAPORE — If you bought a Porsche Macan Turbo at least a couple of months ago, you might want to look away. Look away now.
Good. Meet the Porsche Macan Turbo… with Performance Package! Yes, that is its actual name, and yes, it is a new model in the Macan lineup. It slots above the Macan Turbo as the new Big Kahuna of the range; if the Turbo variant is the Macan turned up to 10, the Performance Package cranks things up to 11.
It has the same 3.6-litre V6 twin-turbo, but a power kit adds 40 horsepower (for a total of 440hp), and the peak torque output is now 600Nm. I can remember when you had to buy a Ferrari if you wanted that much power.
Anyway, it’s enough to hurtle the car to 100km/h in pretty much the time it takes you to say, “Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance Package”, or 4.4 seconds if you’re not into the whole guesstimation thing. There’s a launch control system, and coupled with all-wheel drive, it blasts the Macan forward like the entire setup is powered by TNT.
The engine delivers its power in a fairly linear way, though, so once you’re on the move the acceleration doesn’t feel particularly violent. Instead, you get a steady, sustained surge of forward momentum, all the way to the V6’s 6,800rpm redline. It’s a gem of an engine, too, revving creamily and sounding the business while it’s at it.
One of the reasons the soundtrack is so delectable is that the Performance Package adds a sport exhaust (thus saving you the $9,782 it costs as an individual option). Another item in the bundle is the Sport Chrono Package ($4,456), which in turn adds a couple of important items: a dash-mounted chronograph (which adds show) and a “Sport Plus” driving mode (which adds go).
That brings us to something worth highlighting, which is that the Performance Package isn’t only about straight line speed. It has active dampers paired with steel springs that are lower (by 15mm) and stiffer, and they help to turn what is already a sharp Sports Utility Vehicle into a car that’s taut and precise around corners.
Some people buy an SUV because they have fantasies about driving off-road, but when you leave the showroom in the Macan you start to imagine what a trackday would be like in one, instead.
Anyway, push “Sport Plus” and the steering weights up (though it’s fairly hefty to begin with), the engine and transmission get a bit more sensitive to your right foot, and the dampers go into their stiffest setting. The exhaust roars a bit louder, and suddenly the Macan feels much more like a sportscar in SUV form than an SUV that happens to be sporty.
It conjures a thundering pace supremely easily (for which you can thank a set of surprisingly sticky Michelins), and behind the wheel of one, a half-decent driver ought to be able to keep up with a genuine sportscar being piloted in so-so fashion.
Bigger brakes round off the Performance Package bundle, and help you feel better about the $30,800 it costs to upgrade from a Macan Turbo to one of these. That’s because you can’t otherwise have the brakes, or the lowered suspension, or the more powerful engine.
Maybe you’d have wished for a bit more to shout about the car’s top status, but it’s otherwise fairly difficult to tell if a Macan has the Performance Package. There’s a grey engine cover, but it’s only sad people like motoring writers who want to peek under bonnets (and sadder people who lift bonnets to show people what their cars’ engines look like).
But maybe subtlety is the point of a car like this. What you have here is a car that seats five, with a boot that expands from 500 litres to 1,406 litres, and a shape that, while sporty, still shouts “young mum” more than “trackday hero”. Yet, take one to Sepang for a trackday, and it’ll hang with the fast group all day long.
People who can appreciate that sort of subversive streak in a car are who this Porsche is for. Other potential buyers? People who worship speed and SUVs, of course, and in that order. Whatever it is, the top Macan model does cost serious money, so it’s just as well that it’s seriously fast.
Most Macans tend to be the entry-level models, but if you were going for a Turbo for whatever reason, you might as well go all the way and get the Performance Package. You’ll be happy you did. Especially if you know someone you can show off to who recently bought a Turbo.
NEED TO KNOW Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance Package
Engine 3,604cc, 24V, V6, twin-turbo
Power 440hp at 6000rpm
Torque 600Nm at 1500-4000rpm
Gearbox 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Top Speed 272km/h
0-100km/h 4.4 seconds
Fuel efficiency 9.7L/100km
Price S$415,688 excluding Certificate Of Entitlement
Agent Porsche Centre Singapore