Mon. Jul 6th, 2020
2020 Porsche Macan Turbo

2020 Porsche Macan Turbo First Drive

The 2020 Porsche Macan Turbo proves to be incredibly surefooted when hammered through the treelined switchbacks around Stuttgart. With its upgraded suspension, now-standard 20-inch wheels and Porsche’s Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel-drive system, Macan Turbo’s handling greatly exceeds anything else labeled SUV. In reality, it can put a fair share of sports cars under pressure.

Among its various updates, the 2020 Porsche Macan Turbo gets a new 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 good for 434 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. Crucially, it’s a far more engaging engine than the powerful, yet soulless turbo V6 found in the otherwise invigorating Macan S. Having nearly 100 extra horses doesn’t hurt, either.

Both engines use a “Hot V” turbo placement with the turbocharger placed inside the cylinders’ V. This allows a much shorter path for the exhaust gases to reach the turbo, consequently quickening response. In the 2.9-liter Turbo, capital “T,” this means a 37% increase in power with the same amount of torque available over a larger rpm range.

Outside, the Macan Turbo gets the same updates as its lesser siblings, including a full-width LED taillight bar. However, to set it apart, the Turbo also receives several distinct visual upgrades designed to mark it as the top dog: a double “rear wing” roof spoiler, widened wheel arches, three enlarged air intakes up front and higher front lighting modules adjacent to the adaptive LED headlights. Sport Design side skirts, mirrors and “side blades” are also standard, while the aforementioned Sport Exhaust System brings with it quad pipes.

This may sound like a lot, but to these eyes, there’s just not enough of a visual difference between the Turbo and the S (or even the base Macan for that matter). If anything, having so many body-colored parts relative the lesser Macans makes it look less visually distinctive.

Pricing starts at $84,950, including a $1,350 destination charge. With many of the options available on the Macan S standard on the Turbo, a similarly equipped S would run $80,610, making the price premium for the Turbo’s extra 84 hp and various visual differences a perfectly reasonable $4,340. That said, a value buy the Macan Turbo is not. The 505-hp Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is about $3,000 less, while the 503-hp 2020 BMW X3M Competition starts at around $77,000.

Nevertheless, the Porsche Macan has always been a cut above its competitors, and the revised 2020 Turbo continues that tradition. Yes, it costs more, but it also drives like it should thanks to sports car-like handling and an impressive upgrade in power. If you like your SUVs to be able to run circles around everyone else, the Macan Turbo will fit the bill nicely.