by Iñigo Roces
Itineraries that encompass traversing winding mountain roads with light traffic, and scenic stops are typical fare for an international test drive event. Such ideal conditions do well to highlight a vehicle’s performance, comfort and ergonomics. Yet the typical automobile buyer likely seldom experiences such delightful days to drive. In fact, most of the time, these vehicles will be used in the city, driving through traffic, and often hardly ever put through their paces.
It’s in these conditions in Singapore that Porsche Asia Pacific, through PGA Cars, Inc., had invited us to experience the Porsche Macan Turbo with the Performance Package. The improvement adds an impressive 40-hp to the already intimidating 400-hp Macan Turbo and another 50-Nm of torque to its current stump-pulling 550-Nm. However, as is often the case, performance increases like these typically compromise a vehicle’s comfort and luxury — factors that are key particularly for those that still wish to enjoy their exotic SUVs in the city.
The Macan Turbo with Performance Package (PP) is the new top-of-the-line model in the Macan line. Besides the improved power figures, the upgrade also grants the vehicle a broad rev range, returning palpable power between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm. It reduces its 0-100 acceleration time from 4.8 to just 4.4 seconds, and bumps its top speed up to 272 km/h.
To reign in the increase in power is the newly developed brake system, lowered body, controlled sports chassis, Sport Chrono Package and sports exhaust system, all fitted as standard. The front axle features larger, grooved brake discs with red calipers. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is available at the push of a button, delivering a comfortable, stiff or sporty height and damping on the road.
Naturally, there are also optional extras like the Sport Chrono Package, which includes an even more emotional sound from the sports exhaust system, and quicker and more aggressive response times from the seven-speed PDK double-clutch transmission. The Turbo Exterior Package bestows the SUV with 21-inch high-gloss black wheels, blacked out LED headlights and other black elements. The Turbo Interior Package adds on a black leather interior with Alcantara elements, colour appliqué in numerous areas and carbon elements.
With such a dizzying array of additions and options, Porsche provided us with an entire day to experience and enjoy the vehicle, unsupervised, around Singapore. They suggested a number of locations to visit, to further enhance our exploration of Singapore.
Among those stops were the Kent Ridge Park, situated on the ridge overlooking Singapore’s expansive docks. The green space features paths for hiking, mountain biking, or just a place to sit back and enjoy the view.
Lunch was waiting at La Ventana, a Spanish restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chefs in Dempsey Hill, which was a former military base converted into a new lifestyle and dining destination.
Our last stop was SungeiBuloh Wetland Reserve in Neo Tiew, in the north of the island. The park hopes to educated younger generations about the fragile ecosystems in mangroves, allowing visitors to tour through the unique landscape through special paths and in some cases, see the wildlife up close and personal.
Being automotive enthusiasts, we couldn’t help but drive by parts of the famous Singapore Grand Prix street circuit on the way back to our hotel. The route can be difficult to discern with daily traffic, yet its landmarks, like the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay Sands hotel make it easy to find your bearings.
The short tour around Singapore provided an interest glimpse into what a potential Macan Turbo PP owner would experience on a daily basis. Despite the impressive performance upgrades, the vehicle still remains comfortable, luxurious, and remarkably easy to drive in city streets and traffic. Best of all, the power is always on stand-by, eager to be let loose and make its presence felt with just a light touch of the pedal and the sound from its throaty exhaust.
It’s this kind of flexibility that truly sets it apart from other SUVs, able to transform from genteel city cruiser to midnight bruiser at just the press of a button.
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