“Macan” means “tiger” in Indonesian – combining suppleness, power, fascination and dynamics: core characteristics of this compact off-road car and adventurer. No surprises here. It’s a Porsche. There is a wild at heart creature hiding underneath that chassis. One that can be tamed, if needed. One that can teach you exactly how to spell the word “freedom” every single day of your life.
To teach me exactly what this car can actually do, and to learn how to drive safe at all times and under any possible conditions, John Konstantopoulos, Founder of 4Drivers was hired for two days, as my instructor. And after more than 16 hours behind the wheel, by his side, playing on and off road (drifting and donuts included, naturally), I must admit the obvious:
a) John is one of the absolute best drivers, I have ever met (I am not exaggerating, and I’ve even met my personal hero of a driver, Mr Jochen Mass)
b) The Porsche Macan offers the closest there is in driving absolution: it is indeed a powerful, proud tiger, but one that can be tamed on demand
c) If you do learn how to drive safe, you will be doing yourself a huge favor: driving is a thrilling game, but like all games, it has its own rules. Keep them, play fair, become better and I can guarantee that you shall have the time of your life.
About the PORSCHE MACAN:
Those who prefer to blaze a trail of their own, don’t need to follow the lead of others – which is almost exactly the very definition of a compact SUV. But SUVs lack a certain something that makes your heart skip a beat. Something that let’s you enjoy a more intimate relationship with the road ahead and the car itself, delivering a much more intense driving pleasure.
The Macan is a genuine Porsche: a sports car (top speed: 272 km/h). From the dynamic entry-level model to the ultra sporty S variant and the uprated GTS model. And this is a genuine Porsche heart beating underneath the chassis – from the efficient diesel marathon runner to the Turbo. Developed, tested and built in, keeping the racetrack performance from the racetrack, injected into everyday driving – with safety and comfort remaining a high priority.
Yes, it is setting performance standards in its vehicle class. Yes, this is it: life intensified.
The safety rules
You have a powerful, extremely intelligent car, and the certainty that you are one hell of a driver. So you push the pedal, accelerate, smile along, even think of drifting and calorie free donuts – and you know you’ll need enough power to spin the rare wheels and keep them spinning. You trust yourself as much as the machine. But trust comes with knowledge. Do you know everything there is to know? Are you familiar with the rules of this game?
#1 Give a woman the right shoes and she can conquer the world.
– Marilyn Monroe
Ladies, this may come as a shock (#not) but the right driving shoes are obviously flat. So keep your stilettos aside, and wear them shortly before you leave the vehicle.
You also shouldn’t drive barefoot. Or in flip-flops. Or in hiking boots.
Instead, choose thin soled, flexible but firm, well fitted with a closed toe and without a raised heel. Because you need to feel contact with the pedals, you need to know at all times where you are within that pedal’s range of movement, and no part of your footwear should be susceptible to catching or blocking the pedals.
Shoes versus tyres versus brakes. Well, this may be stating the obvious but sometimes the obvious can’t be overstated. The modern automobile is an extremely carefully designed piece of engineering, more of an ecosystem of symbiotic systems than just parts cobbled together. The tyres need to keep the car on the road under heavy braking, hard acceleration, fast cornering and uneven terrain.
As with any genuine sports car, the Macan is equipped with wider tyres at the rear – just like the 911. The visual impact is not the only effect: the larger footprint at the rear improves both stability and traction and also enhances agility for intensified contact with the road.
What they all have in common is their aluminium construction, which saves weight and increases agility. That’s particularly true of the forged 21-inch wheels.
The Macan is equipped, as standard, with 18-inch Macan wheels, the Macan S and Macan S Diesel with 18-inch Macan S wheels. The Macan Turbo is fitted with 19-inch Macan Turbo wheels as standard. The Macan GTS lines up on 20-inch RS Spyder Design wheels in satin black.
A golden rule for driving any car is that you have to check the tyre pressure once a week. As to make sure that you car’s “shoes” are also in perfect driving condition.
But this does not apply on driving a Porsche. Thanks to the Tyre Pressure Monitoring (TPM system). This sends warnings to the on-board computer’s display screen in the event of low tyre pressure or a gradual or sudden loss of pressure. The multifunction display in the instrument cluster gives you a quick and convenient way to check your tyre pressures.
#2 Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived. ― Eleanor Roosevelt
Sure, by now you must know how to successfully make the most out of your safety systems – the adaptive cruise control, the Porsche Stability Management system and the blind-spot monitors that are here to help you.
But a life well lived also yearns for some acceleration. The Macan can accelerate like a true dancer: from 0-100 km/h in 6,7 seconds, and a top speed of 229 km/h. Sounds perfect, right? This car transforms into a GTi – on demand.
And yet, to reach the by-product, Eleanor mentioned, you also need to know how to brake and stop your car safely in the shortest distance, while maintaining control.
So keep in mind the following:
- If you push your foot down on the pedal in a car with ABS, you will feel the brake pulsating under your foot, sometimes violently. Don’t be afraid of this or let go! That just means the brakes are doing their job.
- The key is to apply the brakes quickly and deeply, while applying pressure with the left foot against the footrest to stabilize the body.
- As the car’s speed is being scrubbed off, you can progressively and gently ease off of the brakes to keep them at the point of maximal efficiency.
- But for an emergency stop you should not fear using the brakes, even mid-corner: With ABS, depress the pedal all the way down.
- But, when slamming the brakes isn’t an option, try feathering, or tapping the brakes while maneuvering your vehicle out of the way of an obstacle.
- Always focus on where you want to go, not what you want to avoid.
- The most integral part of exemplary braking is keeping calm and not panicking.
#3 You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.
– Amelia Earhart
Maintaining control of your vehicle at all times begins with how you choose to hold the wheel and be sited. And I’m not even going to mention the seat belts – that is obviously mandatory. And life saving.
- The wheel is in your hands giving you control of the vehicle. So it is damn important to hold it right: hold the steering wheel at a “9 and 3” position. Imagine the steering wheel is the face of a clock. Place your left hand where 9 o’clock would be on the clock. Place your right hand where 3 o’clock would be on the clock. Maintaining this grip will give you the most control over the wheel.
- You gotta sit right: your back should be pressed against the backrest, and your bottom should be as far back in your seat as possible. If you can’t reach the pedals or steering wheel, adjust your seat, not your body. Tip: adjust your seat so that you can comfortably see the road and instruments and your hips are as high as your knees.