CarAdvice's spy photographers have captured the Porsche Macan undergoing testing in Europe, exposing the shape of the new junior version of the Cayenne that is due in 2014.
Porsche has made some attempts to disguise the prototype to look like its larger sibling, though it is clear the Macan, which will be based on the Audi Q5 platform, will have unique dimensions and a notably different profile.
From the front, the Macan has a shorter and more rounded front overhang and a compact bonnet.
The most dramatic changes take place from the A-pillar back. While the Cayenne (silver car, above top) has a flat roof and a broad window area, the Macan features a sloping roof and a slimmer, tapering glass section – creating a coupe-style impression that is more reminiscent of the brand’s traditional sports cars.
The doors are more rounded and broadly contoured, adding character to the Macan’s profile where the Cayenne is more slab-sided.
The Macan’s rear-end design is also a significant departure from its big brother, with a visibly shorter rear overhang. The rear windscreen is compact and more heavily raked than the squarer Cayenne. The tailgate also bubbles out at the rear despite its short overhang.
Porsche has covered the Macan’s tail-lights with plastic cladding to make it look like the Cayenne, but the design sketch released by the German manufacturer in February suggests the production model will have slimmer fixtures similar to those of the new 911 sports car.
The Porsche Macan will enter production next year and will arrive in Australian showrooms in 2014, when it will become a rival for the likes of its Audi Q5 twin, the BMW X3, next-generation Mercedes-Benz GLK that will this time be available in right-hand drive, and the Range Rover Evoque.
The Macan, the name of which is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger, will share some components with the similarly sized Audi Q5, and potentially employ some of that car’s petrol and diesel engines in a higher state of tune.
A fuel-efficient Macan Hybrid is expected to join the line-up at some stage, while high-performance Macan Turbo and Macan Turbo S variants can also be expected.
Despite polarising many at its launch 10 years ago, the Cayenne has been an undeniable success for Porsche, quickly establishing itself as the brand’s best-selling model around the world.
Porsche hopes the Macan can capitalise on the Cayenne’s success and take a share of the rapidly expanding global market for smaller, more city friendly and more fuel-efficient SUVs.