“Yes, you can,” replied Porsche’s chairman of the executive board, Matthias Muller, when CarAdvice asked if GTS and Turbo S derivatives could be expected.
“Derivatives you know from 911 that made Porsche successful … this strategy will be expanded to other model series.”
The Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Panamera sedan both feature the GTS and Turbo S badges, respectively representing a more road-focused variant and the flagship with the most powerful engine and fastest performance.
Four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines have been strongly rumoured for the Macan that Porsche expects to displace the Cayenne as it’s best-selling model.
Porsche, however, played down the chances of the Macan being powered by smaller engines than the three V6s being offered from launch.
“Our intention was to position the Macan above the [Audi] Q5, according to our brand’s position in the group of [Volkswagen-owned] companies,” said Muller, making the point that the Porsche needs to offer more performance than the Audi on which it’s loosely based.
“If it should be necessity cropping up to launch further engines to use [production] capacity [potential] then we’ll be able to do that. For time being we are happy with these three engines. We’ll certainly maintain this set-up for the foreseeable future.”
It’s possible a four-cylinder engine will be teamed with an electric motor – a drivetrain that Porsche will use in more potent form for its 2014 919 LMP1 race car (below).
The Porsche Macan will already be the company’s most affordable vehicle when it launches – with an $84,900 starting price for the model in Australia where it goes on sale mid-year.
It’s not clear how long it will take for the Macan to become Porsche’s most popular model, though.
Porsche has initially set an annual production rate of 50,000 Macans at its Leipzig, Germany, plant where it builds 80,000 Cayennes each year.
Porsche Australia also sold more than 1100 Cayennes in 2013 and for now isn’t certain how many Macans it will eventually sell annually. The local subsidiary already has 200 paid deposits for the model, though.
The company expects little customer overlap with the bigger Cayenne.
“There will be some [cannibalisation] but very small – about a five per cent substitution,” said Porsche Australia spokesman Paul Ellis.
“The Macan is not as generous a family car as the Cayenne. But not everyone needs that space.”
Ellis said Australian Cayenne sales indicated the Macan V6 turbo diesel that starts the range is expected to be the best-selling model. The petrol choices are two twin-turbo V6s in 3.0-litre and 3.6-litre sizes – in the $87,200 Macan S and $122,900 Macan Turbo.