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

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.

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.


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.