Lots of unlikely models have been described as 'sports cars' over the years: estates, People Carriers, Crossovers - even off roading 4x4s. In truth of course, the real thing is very different. Is this it? Welcome to the Porsche Macan.
At launch in 2014, the Zuffenhausen maker described this model as 'the first sports car in the compact SUV segment'- the ultimate multi-tasker. A car as ready for a circuit as it would be for a skiing trip, classy enough for the streets of Monte Carlo, soundly sensible on the school run, quietly capable on the rough stuff and potentially manic around Monza. The company's certainly well-placed to create such a thing, claiming the whole 'sporting all-wheel drive car' concept as its own invention. Back in 1900, Ferdinand Porsche designed the Lohner-Porsche racing model with its four electric wheelhub motors. By 1947, the brand was going further, developing a supercharged 12 cylinder 'Type 360' Cisitalia Grand Prix racer that introduced the concept of full four-wheel drive.
For all that though, the Stuttgart maker had never made a car quite like this before the Macan. Perhaps that's why it initially turned to Volkswagen Group partner Audi with the early idea of basing this car on that company's similarly-sized Q5. It wasn't long into the development process though, that Porsche decided it knew better. It alone could create the kind of compact sporting SUV that models like the Q5, Range Rover's Evoque and the BMW X4 could never be. So almost everything was re-invented. Almost everything was re-imagined. Almost everything was different. As this car is from just about everything else in its segment. It was substantially updated in late 2018, at which time diesel power was dropped. Here though, we're focusing on the pre-facelift models.