Upcoming Porsche Macan shoo-in to break company sales records.

Photo from cars.com

Photo from cars.com

The “chosen one” of sales

Porsche is just a month away from the Los Angeles Auto Show unveiling of the Macan; the newest member of the Porsche family. The Macan is a sport compact SUV and Porsche hopes it will bring about increased sales in previously untapped markets for the company.

The  market will be younger and less affluent than buyers of the Cayenne. It will also likely lure away some buyers who would like to get into the Porsche lifetstyle, but want more every day practicality than a two seater Boxter or Cayman.

Car and Driver estimates the Macan will have a base price of $45,000.  That’s almost $5,000 less than the base Cayenne, making it the company’s least expensive model. Automotive News Europe quoted IHS as saying that Porsche would sell over 60,000 Macans in 2014. Porsche’s Sales and Marketing head, Berhard Maier, says that Porsche won’t even offer that many units. They are no doubt planning to avoid meeting demand in an effort to perpetuate the brand’s image of exclusivity.

Regardless, the Macan will give Porsche the model lineup it needs to bring it’s sales numbers to more than 200,000 units from just over 140,000 units sole in 2012. Many in the industry even expect the Macan to best the nearly 75,000 Cayennes the company sold in 2012, making it Porsche’s best seller.

What’s in a compact sports SUV?

Reports vary about the specs of the Macan, so for the real details we’ll just have to check out the Macan’s launch at the LA Auto Show in November. For now, we can dream.

Expect the Macan to launch for 2014 with an S model and a Turbo model. Both likely to sport the company’s well regarded PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) 7 speed dual-clutch transmission. They should also both have a V6 putting out 240 bhp in the S model and 350 bhp in the Tubo. A height adjustable suspension with sport and comfort modes  will likely be available. Don’t expect the Macan to go anywhere the Audi Allroad wouldn’t have though, it’s still pretty low to the ground.

In late 2014/early 2015, the lineup will likely expand to have a base model with the 2.0 litre 4 cyclinder found in the Audi Q5, as well as an Audi sourced diesel engine, and a potential plug-in hybrid.

Essentially by 2015, there should be a Porsche Macan for anyone with $50,000 to spend on a new car.

The competition

How will the Macan fare against it’s competition? Likely very well. The fact that it’s a Porsche and will be the only true sport compact SUV gives it a uniquely meaningful value proposition in the market. However it’s good to remember that it’s a late-comer to a niche market with well eastablished competition which includes:

  • The closely related Audi Q5 ($37,300 base)
  • Acura’s RDX ($34,520 base)
  • The BMW X3 ($39,800 base)
  • Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque ($42,040 base)
  • The Mercedes Benz GLK ($37,480 base)
  • And Inifiniti’s QX50 ($34,400 base)

In terms of value, the Porsche is going to have to be a cut above all the competition to justify it’s estimated starting price. It’s stiffest competition for performance will be the GLK, while the Acura will challenge it value-wise, and the Evoque will compete for overall cool factor/status symbol.

For updates leading up to the LA Auto Show, check out Porsche’s Macan microsite, here.

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