2013 Los Angeles - Porsche Macan debuts, joins Cayenne as the brand's second crossover

Sports car manufacturers occupy a rarefied space in the automotive spectrum. After all, they play in a segment where atrocious price tags, ridiculous power outputs, staggering torque figures, an extremely loyal customer base and new models selling out on debut are commonplace. Who wouldn't like to build a sports car that's pre-booked for months together with each of them raking in huge profits and customers loving what they get? Brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche have been doing just that for ages and the legacies they have built up is phenomenal.

While it's rivals continue to do so and build just sports cars, Porsche went off the beaten track when it introduced the Cayenne crossover in 2002. A SUV from Porsche generated shock waves across the industry, with loyalists, enthusiasts and journalists heaping collective criticism against the German brand. For a brand hitherto known for its unrivaled expertise in sports cars and God-like handling, venturing into crossovers was seen as a backward step. Two generations into its life cycle though, the Cayenne is now not only Porsche's best-seller but also a significant contributor to the company's bottom-line.

So, when Porsche took the wraps off the Macan at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show a couple of weeks back, there was no skepticism in the air. The Cayenne has silenced the critics and Porsche's ambitions with the Macan, its second and much-smaller crossover, is clear. God save the true-blue Porsche loyalists who, we are sure, would be sobbing in some corner of the world.

Borrowing cues from the more-expensive Cayenne and the brand's iconic 911, the Macan looks pretty good. We are particularly fond of its profile, with the coupe-ish window-line and steeply-raked rear windscreen giving the Macan a sense of athleticism that's normally missing in crossovers. In typical Porsche style, the interiors are flashy yet classy with the centrally-mounted tachometer signalling the sporty intentions of the Macan. The center console that mounts the gear-shifter amidst a plethora of buttons and the nicely-detailed, three-spoke steering wheel complete the sporty ambiance.

The Macan will be available with two engine options, the base 'S' and the top-end 'Turbo'. The Macan S has a choice of a 340 hp, 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 petrol or a 258 hp, 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine while the Macan Turbo is powered by a 400 hp, 3.6-liter, twin-turbo petrol mill. All these engines are mated to the company's high-performance 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) automatic transmission. That's Dual Clutch Transmission to you and me. Also standard across the Macan range is the Off-road mode that can be activated at the touch of a button in the center console and the 'Porsche Traction Management (PTM) System' that includes active all-wheel drive, Automatic Brake Differential (ABD) and Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR).

Given that the Macan retails for a significantly-lower price tag vis-a-vis Cayenne, we expect it to comfortably outsell its bigger sibling to become the largest-selling model in Porsche's lineup. A tip to the brand loyalists - Stop, do not sob. All the money that Porsche rakes in through the Cayenne and Macan is going to help develop the next-generation 911, Boxster and Cayman. Isn't that a good deal? Think over.

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