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by Tim Beissmann

An entry-level Porsche Macan powered by a four-cylinder engine shared with Volkswagen Group budget brands Skoda and Seat has been revealed at the 2014 Beijing auto show.

The new base model Macan is equipped with parent company Volkswagen’s turbocharged 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder EA888 engine rather than the unique ‘boxer’ four-cylinder design recently confirmed for the Boxster and Cayman. The Macan engine has instead been featured in various states of tune in the previous-generation Skoda Octavia, Seat Leon, and a number of other Volkswagen and Audi models.

The version powering Porsche’s baby SUV produces 174kW of power and 350Nm of torque, claiming a 6.9-second 0-100km/h acceleration time and combined cycle fuel consumption of 7.7 litres per 100km.

The four-cylinder engine will be teamed exclusively with the brand’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Distinguishing the base Macan is unique 18-inch alloy wheels and twin trapezoidal-shaped exhaust outlets.

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Porsche says the four-cylinder Macan – the first four-cylinder Porsche in about two decades – will initially be sold in select Asian markets only, though UK publication AutoExpress reports it will be available in Europe by special order.

Porsche Australia public relations director Paul Ellis told CarAdvice the four-cylinder engine would not be part of the Macan range that launches locally in June and revealed it wasn’t currently part of the brand’s plans to be introduced at all.

Ellis said strong demand for the six-cylinder variants in Australia meant Porsche would focus on those models in our market for the foreseeable future.

Porsche boss Matthias Muller confirmed last month the German luxury car maker was developing a new four-cylinder ‘boxer’ engine, which is destined for future variants of its compact models such as the Boxster and Cayman, and potentially also the Macan.

It’s possible developed markets like Europe and Australia may hold off for a four-cylinder boxer-powered Macan, leaving the EA888 unit for Asia.

The Australian Porsche Macan line-up will initially include the $84,900 Macan S Diesel, $87,200 Macan S and the $122,900 Macan Turbo.

Porsche has also confirmed there will be Turbo S and GTS variants of the Macan.




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