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All hybrid: the new Porsche Macan is an SUV with racing technology and goes green in city traffic

Porsche is the iconic German sports car manufacturer and sales of its 911, Boxter, and Cayman models are growing worldwide. But it’s not just racy sports cars are doing well. Sales for Porsche SUVs are even higher and growing faster, according to Jan Weisser, after-sales manager at Porsche Cambodia.

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The new Macan is spacious, safe, and sporty. Photo Supplied

“The fast growing markets such as the Middle East, Far East and Asia mostly demand SUVs because of the missing road infrastructure,” Weisser said.

In highly urbanised cities like Phnom Penh, there is also a demand for compact and fuel-efficient automobile that can handle tough road conditions. Porsche’s answer to this demand is the new Macan; a compact SUV that is available as eco-friendly hybrid with electric plug-in.

Though green compact SUVs seem reasonable for Cambodia, one might ask how this new generation of Porsche cars has still anything to do with motor sports.

Post Special reporter Julius Thiemann gets the layman’s view of how the hybrid Porsche Macan SUV operates with Porsche’s unique sports car technology and why it is well suited to Phnom Penh’s roads.

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Jan Weisser

The trained motor mechanic worked on the development of the Porsche Cayenne in Germany for two years before he opened two Porsche salons in Dubai. After 10 years in the Middle East, Weisser moved to Cambodia in 2013. With experience on the race track as a driver, Weisser knows what distinguishes the Macan and Cayenne from other SUVs in their classes: they are sports cars full of patented racing technology.

Note: all Porsche owners in Cambodia are invited to get a free check-up of their vehicle in the certified Porsche garage near the Pochentong Airport.

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Air suspension
“The air suspension is another of our unique selling points – none of our competitors offers this option in this class.” Weisser said.

The car can be lifted to increase the ground clearance. The vehicles suspension adjusts its dumping rate automatically according to underground surface, with enhanced range of comfortably or sportiness.

 In order to have perfect grip whether on or off-road, Porsche’s all-wheel drive is 100 per cent variable. This means that in tough driving terrain, if any of the wheels are slightly off, the power delivery is relocated to other wheels immediately through the Porsche Traction Management. Any possible power combination is possible. 

Result: The Porsche Macan provides you with the right traction regardless of terrain.

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PDK – running in two gears
When most cars shift gears with the torque converter, the engine runs idle for a short moment as it shifts up. The result is an automatic slowdown and more time to reach the ideal torque for highest acceleration.

The Porsche Doppelkupplung (double clutch) replaces the usual torque converter and allows for the engine to already run in the next higher gear without interrupting the drag force. The Macan Turbo has eight gears!

“This enables extremely short shift times and the system is so technically mature that manual gear shifting cannot compete with that,” Weisser said. Additionally drivers can switch between a “comfort” and a “sport” mode. In the latter the engine runs a higher rev which allows a much more aggressive driving style – as used on race tracks.

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Dynamic Chassis control-always on track
Porsche’s dynamic chassis control compensates chassis movements when cornering, making the car “travel steadily like a train on rails”, according to Weisser.

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Slimmed and fast –Magnesium and aluminum alloy
The same rule applies to cars as to people: the less weight you carry the faster you can run. Instead of steel, Porsche uses much lighter magnesium and aluminum alloys for parts of the car’s body shell.

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Plug in – hybrid motor with socket support
Porsche combines racing technology with green efficiency. The SUV’s engine can be charged overnight just like a smartphone. Weisser said an electric engine is “perfect for Cambodia”, as the electric motor runs for up to 36 kilometres without emissions.

“You spend a lot of time in Phnom Penh traffic without moving big distances,” he said. Weisser estimated that a full charge doesn’t cost more than $3, the same as running your air conditioner overnight.

Racing aerodynamics hood scoop
Porsche fronts are particularly permeable to air to reduce the aerodynamic drag, according to Weisser. But there is more to the front of a Porsche: Sophisticated components like the hood intake catch the head wind and press it right into the motor so it may “breathe” in combustion and support the thermal management. Porsche doesn’t only reduce the aerodynamic drag – but turns a physical obstacle into a power-enhancing advantage.

“It all leads to either combustion or aero dynamical optimisation,” Weisser said.

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