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In Pictures: A first look at Porsche's newest SUV

Smaller than Porsche's Cayenne, the Macan bridges the gap between the company's popular large SUV and its iconic sports cars

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Although it’s based on the same platform as the Audi Q5, the Macan shares few components. The front end of this new Porsche SUV features signature large air intakes.

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Porsche designers tried to create a shape that combines utility with sports car design cues such as flared fenders wrapped around fat tires.

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The Macan is built in three versions - the most powerful is this top-of-the-range Turbo model, with 400 horsepower.

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Wide, low-profile tires and multilink independent suspension give the Macan significant cornering grip.

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The Macan’s interior follows the pattern established by the Panamera and the new 911. Following Porsche tradition, the ignition is to the left of the steering wheel.

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A test drive through the former East Germany gave me the opportunity to try the Macan in a series of environments, from the autobahn to the winding streets of ancient towns.

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Out on the German autobahn, the Macan was perfectly stable at speeds that would land you in jail back in Canada.

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The Porsche Macan in front of Porsche’s delivery centre in Liepzig, Germany.

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The Macan’s adjustable-height suspension and torque-vectoring power train worked well on an off-road test session.

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Despite its sports car-like road manners, the Macan can handle side slopes of up to 45 degrees.

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Although few drivers will use it, the Macan has an off-road mode that raises the suspension and lowers gearing.

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Macan SUVs ready for the Porsche test track at Liepzig.

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Fast laps on the track.

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Porsche predicts the company will sell 50,000 Macans in its first year.

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Porsche SUV division executive Oliver Laqua, shown here, says the compact SUV will bring a new generation of buyers to the iconic German brand.

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The Macan’s front suspension features a carefully calibrated electronic power steering rack and air-adjustable ride height.

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Porsche engineer Peter Steinkirchner with an iPad illustration of the Macan’s rear suspension setup.

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Yellow calipers indicate that this Macan is equipped with optional ceramic-composite brakes. They’re expensive, but have been a popular option on Porsche sports cars thanks to their reduced weight and ability to cope with the demands of high-performance driving.

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