The Macan Turbo has an astonishing turn of speed for an SUV. Twin-turbochargers give its 3.6L V-6 strong torque from relatively low crankshaft speeds, while a 4WD chassis set up for handling and grip allows it to deploy its power most effectively.
Porsche was not kidding when it told us the Macan is the world's first true Sport Utility Vehicle to live up to the first word in its name. When I chased a Carrera 4S driven by one of Porsche's drivers around the company's Leipzig test track on the press launch, he was unable to open any significant distance, least of all in the long, fast, double-apex right-hand bend leading to the "Bus Stop" chicane.
Now, starting from this high point, TechArt has turned the Macan Turbo into a real weapons grade SUV by further upping its game in the engine, suspension, and wheel and tire departments-while also adding even greater luxury to its already fine cabin.
The heart of the conversion is the TechArt engine upgrade package. Known as the Techtronic Powerkit TA B95/T1, this plug-and-play add-on power module comes with a wiring harness extension and full fitting instructions, and can be installed by a workshop or even a competent DIY owner anywhere in the world.
While its TA B95/T1 internal designation makes no sense to an outsider, what counts is that this module takes the power of the twin-turbo V-6 from 400 hp to 450 hp, and peak torque from 406 lb-ft to 457 lb-ft.
The power module is programmed so that the engine remains under full control of the factory ECU mapping until the driver presses the Sport button on the center console. Thus, in normal driving, every single performance parameter remains standard, including fuel economy and emissions. However, once the driver pushes the Sport button, the TechArt mapping for fueling, spark and turbo boost takes over and the Macan Turbo bares its sharpened claws. In full noise mode, you now have a further enhanced high-performance SUV capable of covering the 0-62-mph sprint in just 4.4 seconds, passing 100 mph in an astonishing 10.6 seconds, and topping out at 168 mph.
When you consider that a 991 Carrera 4S takes 4.3 seconds and 9.4 seconds to touch the 0-62-mph and 0-100-mph acceleration benchmarks and goes on to 186 mph (300 kmh) thanks to its smaller frontal area, the performance of the TechArt Macan is nearly knocking on the door of junior league supercar performance. To put it another way, it used to be that any car capable of 0-100 mph in less than 20 seconds was considered quick. So to have an SUV that halves that old benchmark time, and blows most hot hatches in the known universe into the weeds, shows how much things have changed.
On the country roads around TechArt's Leonberg-Hoefingen base, the company's Macan Turbo consistently impressed with sports car-like speed, rocketing out of bends on full throttle like its tail was on fire. The extra horses reach the tarmac without any drama thanks to the fabulous all-wheel-drive chassis, which gets on with its job seamlessly.
The top-end power is only of consequence when you are really motoring on, aiming for the boisterous V-6 engine's 6,800-rpm redline in the intermediate gears. The rest of the time, it is the beefier midrange thrust that makes the real difference to your perception of the car's palpably more aggressive performance. The same engine used in the Panamera will chase the redline all day, but you never need to.
The extra 50 hp is 12.5 percent on top of the factory output, while the additional 50 lb-ft roughly equates to 13 percent more torque. These modest increases barely stress the drivetrain in normal driving where full-throttle use is limited to short bursts. Only a sustained flat-out run on the German autobahn is of consequence, but unlike some other manufacturers, Porsche builds sufficient extra headroom into its intercooling and oil cooling systems. TechArt still feels it went for conservative numbers with this conversion. A more significant upgrade will include uprated intercooler and oil cooling systems, but still won't place any undue stress on the engine's internals.
While a cross-plane crank V-8 makes an evocative sound in the deep, rumbling NASCAR sense, a good V-6 also gives off a mellifluous soundtrack of its own. A good one sounds a bit like a toned-down V-10, or like silk ripping. In full battle cry, it can inspire the hair on the back of your neck to stand.
Apart from lowering backpressure and uncorking more of the engine's built-in potential, the valve-controlled sports exhaust sounds fantastic this way. It makes you want to roll down the windows and hit the loud pedal whenever you encounter a tunnel or a long wall on a country road.
While you can have this boisterous engine and exhaust conversion all by itself, most owners would want to shout about it and go for some outward signs of individuality as well. As wheels really make a car, a good place to start is with the 22x10.5-inch wheels shod with 295/30-22 tires that provide the dual plusses of greater eye appeal and sheer grip.
A good partner in crime for these wheels is the electronic lowering module for cars equipped with the air suspension option. This also features a special super-low mode for the ultimate "low rider" effect when the car is parked and locked. This compromise will seem foreign to most tuning fans, but at least you can stare at your over-lowered car in the parking lot, without having to drive a compromised car on the road.
The more extrovert owner will want the aero kit as well, which brings subtly wider wheel arch extensions, a front spoiler, side skirts, tail and roof spoilers, and rear diffuser. As fitted to the show car, the wheels, suspension, and aero kit give the TechArt Macan Turbo a lower, wider, and more purposeful appearance that turns heads without looking like a Vin Diesel movie set piece.
A well-specified Macan interior is a very nice place to be with a quality of trim design, fit, and finish that belies the price class of the basic car. However, people come to TechArt looking for something even more individual. They are, in essence, looking for the automotive equivalent of haute couture tailoring.
TechArt's roots lie in the skills of its interior trim craftsmen, and while it slowly extended its remit to cover all aspects of tuning Porsche cars, the company has never strayed from this core value. This Macan Turbo showcases the custom two-tone Nougat/Black leather upholstery, which features silver piping and silver diamond stitching. Even the matching carbon-fiber trim was made just for this car.
Examine the leatherwork up close and you will see amazing attention to detail in the way everything comes together. There is even a color-coded Nougat insert at the 12 o'clock position of the TechArt sports steering wheel as a reference to the white or yellow "this way up" line seen on race car steering wheels.
And if, like most people, you have difficulty quickly finding the Sport button amidst the row of buttons on the center console, the wafer-thin covering of fire engine red leather is the cure.
If you love the Macan Turbo but want a more individual car, then you should make a long pit stop at TechArt. A full conversion like its show car is icing on an already rich cake, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that the resulting car was built just for you.