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01 May 2019
LIFESTYLE

Driving the 2019 Macan across the German countryside

WEALTH Arabia takes the new Porsche Macan across cities and villages in northern Europe to find the car is one of Porsche’s best ever

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WEALTH Arabia is in Hamburg, Germany with the 2019 Porsche Macan. Our plan is to drive the new model across the German countryside, all the way up to the northern coast, to a small port town to the east of Denmark we couldn’t pronounce correctly if we tried. We’re to see exactly what the latest model can do, and how well it handles all that this landscape can throw at it.

Hamburg itself is Europe’s third largest port city, connected to the river Elbe all the way up to the North Sea. Renowned for its media, entertainment. science and education, the city has a peaceful ambiance, with the warm lights of the buildings beautiful to watch reflect along the river’s surface.

We’re driving in the other direction, and as soon as we take the Macan out of the city, we reach Germany’s beautiful countryside, with small villages spread out between long stretches of farm and open fields lined with tall trees.

There’s a tranquility to it, which makes the Macan the right car for the ride, as though it maintains the sporty heart that the model has always had, it has come forward in terms of design, comfort and connectivity, making it a car both for long stretches of empty road and the small town day to day. Getting behind the wheel, we immediately notice the upgrade.

A new 10.9-inch touchscreen (previously 7.2) of the new Porsche Communication Management (PCM) is the centrepiece, eye-catching and supremely functional, which also gives access to new digital functions such as intelligent voice control, which can control music and vehicle functions as well as navigation, and the standard online navigation.

Apple Carplay is also optional, but anyone with an iPhone should consider it essential. That phone will be put to good use too—the Porsche Connect app and Porsche Car Connect app enable the driver to communicate with the Macan via their smartphone. The Offroad Precision app, which premiered with the 2019 Porsche Cayenne, is now also available with the Macan.

Along the side of the interior, newly arranged and designed air vents and the optional GT Sport steering wheel have been added, details that can also be found in the 911. The range of comfort equipment is extended by a new Traffic Jam Assist feature, which serves as an extension of Adaptive Cruise Control— another reason the latest Macan is built for every day life.

Two other options are available, one you might not need in the Middle East but one that you shouldn’t hesitate to get: a heated windshield and an ioniser for enhanced cabin air filtration. In the S model, there’s a new engine—a new 3.0-liter turbocharged V6.

It uses a single twin-scroll turbocharger located centrally within the ‘inner V’ of the engine, which has a power output of 348 hp from 5,400 to 6,400 RPM and 354 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,340 and 4,800 RPM. Porsche first implemented this engine in the Panamera and then in the Cayenne shortly after.

The short exhaust gas paths between the combustion chambers and the turbocharger ensure strong and immediate responsiveness, providing peak torque earlier in the rev range than the engine in the previous Macan S. In addition reducing weight and using fewer components, this design allows the exhaust manifold to be integrated into the cooling circuit, which increases efficiency at high loads.

How does the car handle? It’s just as stable as previous models, but the chassis has been revamped, giving it a more neutral response and making the drive overall more comfortable. The driving dynamics of the Macan remains its core feature. The new Macan again features staggered tires, which is unusual for the segment and helps you exploit the driving dynamics advantages of the intelligent PTM all-wheel drive.

The tires, however, have been redesigned with improved performance characteristics, which also permit improved lateral dynamics. The brakes, as well, have been overhauled and improved. The pedal feel is a lot stronger—an organic sheet pedal made of molded, fiberglassreinforced thermoplastic sheet material with a back-injected plastic rib structure replaces the previous equipment.

Because of this, the pedal weighs around 300g less than the previous steel part and connects to the brake master cylinder via a shortened lever arm, making it more responsive and the driver feels a precise pressure point through the very rigid connection. How does Traffic Jam Assist work? Well, first, it extends the stop-and-go function by steering assistance.

It makes use of optimised radar and video sensor systems, detecting lane markings and vehicles driving ahead in the same lane or adjacent lane in a speed range from zero to 65 kph. When the system is active, the vehicle can be kept in lane by targeted steering interventions. When in a traffic jam or slow-moving traffic, this leads to a considerable reduction in the strain on the driver and significantly increased comfort.

The reduced stopping distance function is part of the adaptive cruise control system and thus also of Traffic Jam Assist. This function provides multi-level warnings and braking interventions if there is a risk of collision with pedestrians or vehicles. Other assistance systems for lane keeping and lane changes as well as speed limit display are also still optionally available.

We make the drive to the coast of Germany, and back to Hamburg over a few days, and through it all, it was hard to imagine another car that would have improved the experience, or another Porsche model that was superior. The 2019 Porsche Macan might be the best city to countryside car we’re driven this year—an excellent and welcome upgrade that pushes the Macan to the forefront.

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