Once upon a time there was a company from Stuttgart that made sports cars. Little ones that weren’t the most powerful beasts and had droopy butts when everyone else was making sleek and sexy, or butch and macho machines. Nevertheless, those little sports cars captured the hearts and imaginations of racers and enthusiasts (and those desiring an image boost) the world over, and have done so for many generations.
Other sports cars came from this company too. Some were bigger and heavier and more comfortable and others have been smaller and cheaper, but nearly all possessed a certain level of performance, panache and driver engagement found in only a rarefied assemblage of machines.
But then a time came when specializing in sports and GT cars wasn’t enough. A shift in desires happened in the marketplace and herds of buyers followed one another nose-to-tail into dealerships that offered premium-brand Sport Utility Vehicles and making premium little sports cars no longer paid all the bills. Thus, that little Stuttgart company decided to take a piece of that SUV action and so began the love-hate relationship with Porsche’s wildly prosperous venture into making SUVs – first with the Cayenne mid-sizer, and then with the Macan compact ute.
And by gum, they’ve done one heck of a job making those SUVs genuine Porsches in all their physics-defying glory, capitalizing on their popularity (not to mention aggressive cost-recovery on the options sheets) all the way to the bank.
The Macan has been around for a few years now. When given a first opportunity to drive the Macan S a few years ago, I was stunned by how deep its bag of tricks was. Push the right console buttons and the Macan squats down, shifts aggressively and acquits itself impressively around a road course. Change the setting for off-road duty and the Macan stands up on its tippy-toes to claw its way back to the tarmac if one has an ‘off’ on said road course and ends up a few kilometres into the woods.
At the time, that was the entry-level Macan (and since then a non-S model that starts at $52,700 and offers a 252 hp V6 has been introduced below the S) and there’s also the fierce $85,800 Macan Turbo that takes SUV performance to a whole ’nother level.
The $26,600 gulf between the S and the Turbo left Porsche with a gaping opportunity to offer up a GTS model, and that’s exactly what you see here, starting at $73,100.
Of course you’ll never find a Macan GTS for $73,100 because a Macan GTS at that price doesn’t even include heated seats or navigation. My tester featured both of those necessities, a few other minor (though pricey) details and a $3,500 paint job and tallying around 85-large. I spent a bit of time playing with the online configurator and if one throws out caution (and good taste – you need matching red wheels, dash inserts and seatbelts, don’t you?), it’s possible to build a Macan GTS that rings in at $140,000 before fees and taxes. Yowza!
Sibling Rivalry? 2015 Porsche Macan Turbo (and Macan S Video)
Porsches are expensive – this should be news to absolutely no one – and with that cost of admission comes some exclusivity and certainly some snob appeal.
But much more importantly, that is also the cost of Porsche engineering, quality and legitimate performance chops, even from an SUV like this.