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New Porsche mini-SUV will have 275kW

The cybergarage is buzzing right now with leaks, cryptic factory bulletins and outright speculation about the upcoming Porsche 'entry-level' SUV, now officially named the Macan, from the Indonesian word for a tiger.

It'll be based on the Q5 platform, and will be built in a €500 million (R5.1 billion) extension to the Porsche plant at Leipzig in Saxony, starting in 2013; that much is official.

This is the closest Porsche has yet come to an official picture of the Macan.

But wait: there's more - lots more.

According to Autocar, the flagship Macan will be the first application for an (until now) top secret, brand new, twin-turbo, three-litre V6 developed at Porsche's R&D centre in Weissach from the naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre V6 that motivates the current entry-level Cayenne and Panamera derivatives, but with a slightly lower compression ratio and a whole bunch more revs.

We're talking about 275kW and 540Nm from a 90-degree Vee with dual sequential Borg Warner hair-driers and air-to-air intercoolers, which will make it the hottest kid on the compact-SUV block and then some.

It'll drive through a version of the Audi quattro all-wheel drive setup with the usual Torsen centre diff, biased in this case to favour the rear wheels.

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There are rumours of a seven-speed manual gearbox but it seems more likely that it will be fitted with an eight-speed auto tranny, given that the driver in the official Porsche Macan promo video (click-through below) is seen flicking paddles.

We do know that it will be wider, shorter and significantly lower than the Q5, and that the inside will be all Porsche, including a raised centre console not unlike the Panamera, but in this case borrowed from the new Boxster.

It will initially be produced only in three-door 'coupé' format; don't expect a five-door bodyshell until at least 2015. It would seem Porsche is taking a leaf out of the Evoque book - although nobody's expecting a 275kW Evoque anytime soon.

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