The car that tripled Porsche Singapore’s sales volume in one night* is back

Porsche’s biggest seller, the Macan SUV, is back in Singapore with a mid-life facelift and looks to open another strong year for the sports car brand *Not at the Motorshow 2019 la, sorry


Porsche’s most popular, and populus, model is back in Singapore with less of a bang, but with the slow, underlying boom of strong historical sales under it.

The Macan mid-sized sport utility vehicle (SUV), which has been facelifted, took its bow at the Singapore Motorshow 2018 today.

It’s the car that allowed Porsche to bite off a much larger chunk of the luxury car pie by being a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that slots in under the Cayenne in size, but also being the least expensive car in Porsche’s lineup.

Two models kick off the model range proceedings: the Macan, and Macan S, priced at $250,088 without COE and $288,788 without COE respectively. The next least expensive Porsche is the 718 Cayman sports car, at $273,988 without COE.

The more powerful and sporty Macan GTS and Macan Turbo will follow later this year.

Macan – $250,099 without COE, options
1,984cc inline 4, turbocharged engine
252hp at 5000 to 6800rpm
370Nm at 1600 to 4500rpm
0-100km/h 6.7 seconds, 227km/h top speed
8.9L/100km, 205g CO2, VES C2

Macan S – $288,788 without COE, options
2,995cc, V6, turbocharged
354hp at 5400 to 6400rpm
480Nm at 1360 to 4800rpm
0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds, 254km/h top speed
9.6L/100km, 219g/km CO2, VES C2

The visual evolution is gradual, at least from the front, but the rear now has a unified LED light segment spanning the entire backside, along with a 3D encased Porsche logo, just like its big brother the Cayenne.

A 10.9-inch infotainment display replaces the old 7.0-inch unit, but it’s also capable of not just displaying clearer graphics, but also voice control and Apple CarPlay integration (optional).

The Macan has an improved versions of its previous 2.0-litre engine, while the Macan S adopts the Audi/Porsche/VW 3.0-litre single-turbo V6. Both have a tad more power, and they both have a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, with all-wheel drive.

As is typical of Porsche models, they arrive pared-down, spec-wise, and you have to add on (and pay for, obviously) all the goodies yourself. That certainly won’t be cheap but personalisation is central to the Porsche experience – Porsche itself says more than half of its customers opt for custom touches on their cars .

There are also new body colours and wheel options – try this if you like Smurfs: 21-inch Sport Classic wheels in exterior body colour ($17,411) Miami Blue ($8,672).

We’d recommend the active air suspension (PASM, $9,632), torque vectoring (PTV, $5,448), seat ventilation ($3,399), and Sport Chrono Package ($4,160), especially since the latter adds launch control and driving modes.

Like we said, not cheap, but as we know, a fully-loaded Porsche Macan with all the handling goodies is pretty much able to defy the laws of physics you previously thought applied to SUVs.

The first generation Macan, debuted in Singapore in June 2014. As covered in CarBuyer, the Macan was a sales hit even before its high-profile launch at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where it racked up pre-launch orders of 200 units, basically tripling Porsche Singapore’s sales volume in one night.

While the facelifted car that appeared at the show probably won’t be pulling off the same feat, Porsche remains quietly optimistic – primarily because it’s sold 1,300 Macans here to date. In other words, Porsche could’ve had two very good years here by selling Macans alone. 

“The launch of the Macan in 2014 at the Indoor Stadium was the biggest event we ever held, and while the car isn’t all-new this year, the stage (at the Motorshow) is arguably a bigger one. So we’re expecting a very good response to the Macan at the show,” Dr Henrik Drier (pictured below), the general manager for Singapore at Porsche Asia Pacific, told CarBuyer.

History seems to back that up: In 2015, following the Macan’s launch, SUVs made up 74 percent of Porsches sold here, or 436 of 589 units. The global percentage was, in comparison, 68 percent, or 153,335 units out of 225,121.

While December 2018’s registration figures haven’t been published, Porsche looks set for another good year – it sold 520 cars in the first 11 months of the year. 2017 was its best year to date here, with 677 units registered, with 57 percent of the cars sold being SUVs (i.e. either Cayenne or Macan).  

It may sound bizarre, a ‘sports car company’ selling mostly soft-roaders. But Porsche sees it differently when it comes to the Macan.

“It’s an entry to the brand and this is how a lot of people realise their dream (of owning a Porsche),” said Dr Drier, “but it’s also the other way around, as we have say, some 911 owners who want a fun and agile family car, and they buy a Macan.”

There’s more than just a sales benefit to selling cars with more mainstream appeal – it’s a ‘gateway drug’ to Porsche’s blend of high engineering, German design, and surprising practicality, which also seems to breed notable customer loyalty in this fickle age.

“When you buy a Porsche: we say it’s customer for life, car for life. A car for every stage in life, and whatever they need,” continues Drier, “so we have a very high customer retention for the brand overall.”

In that way you could say the Macan isn’t just the least-expensive Porsche, but one that’s designed to deliver a bite to buyers that never really lets go.

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.