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2023 Porsche Macan T offers incomplete upgrades – Car Planet
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    2023 Porsche Macan T offers incomplete upgrades

    The Porsche Macan already qualifies as one of the best compromises between family practicality and sports car fun. Now, a new variant of the small SUV looks to nudge the dial toward the fun side: the 2023 Macan T.

    This is the third model in the Porsche lineup to get a T designation (it stands for “Touring”), a name that signifies a vehicle’s focus on driving pleasure and dynamics over raw power and speed. The original 911 T launched in 1968, and the nameplate was revived by Porsche a few years ago on a modern 911, as well as on the 718.

    I spent a morning with the Macan T around Los Angeles to see how these changes shake out on the same canyon roads where I tested the Macan GTS last fall. The vehicle I drove was a European-spec model with a 2022 model year designation, but we won’t get the Macan T in the U.S. until the 2023 model year. Otherwise, the equipment on the two models is analogous.

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    Porsche positions the Macan T between the base Macan and the sporty Macan S, and fits it with the former’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4. This engine delivers a peak 261 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and comes mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive. Porsche’s Sport Chrono package, which adds a steering wheel-mounted drive mode selector, an additional Sport Plus drive mode, and a digital and analog dashboard clock, is also included. Performance claims include 0-60 mph acceleration in 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 144 mph.

    Two big dynamic upgrades over the base Macan consist of standard adaptive dampers and traction control re-tuned with a greater rear bias. Buyers also have the option to choose an air suspension that also adds stiffer anti-roll bars specific to the model. Porsche’s Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system, designed to apply extra braking force on the inside rear wheel during cornering, is also available. My test vehicle came with each of those performance boxes checked and also added the GT Sport steering wheel covered in synthetic suede. It’s a worthy upgrade as the wheel is perfectly sized and the Porsche’s Race-Tex material feels much better in the hand than traditional leather.

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    With those suspension upgrades, the Macan T has essentially the same suspension as the Macan GTS, but is just way down on power. It has a lot less weight over the front axle; it shed 129 pounds with the turbo-4 versus the twin-turbo V-6. 

    In the corners, the Macan T feels agile in the nose, especially with the suspension stiffened up in its Sport setting. The steering feel is as good as you’ll find in any crossover with lots of feel and sharp responses. The suspension controls body roll well in corners and keeps the Macan T flat during hard braking.

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    While the Macan T is a clear handling upgrade over the base Macan, it’s missing one thing from the Macan GTS that I wish it had: better rubber. The GTS comes with much stickier Pirelli P Zero Corsa summer performance tires versus the standard all-seasons found on the Macan T. Initial turn-in between the Macan T and the GTS feels pretty close, but midway through the corner the tires under the T start to complain much earlier and the lower grip threshold makes you dial it back earlier. 

    Upgrading the handling makes the engine feel like it has been left behind. This is less of a problem in the 911 T and 718 Boxster/Cayman T (both of which I love), because those are both much lighter than the Macan T’s 4,191 lb. The Macan T has a 15.9:1 weight-to-hp ratio, while in the 718 Boxster T that’s just 10.4:1 with the automatic transmission.

    This was also the first time I’ve had some disagreements with Porsche’s 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. It wouldn’t hold gears on its own long enough to keep the engine high up in the rev range (max hp arrives at 5,000 rpm). I’d try to use the paddles to hold a gear temporarily, but it transitioned back to standard drive and upshifted mid-corner on multiple occasions. The manual mode button mounted on the steering wheel was a necessity on the hilly canyon road to maintain momentum.

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    2023 Porsche Macan T

    Spotting the Macan T is easiest by picking out its Agate gray body accents on the mirror caps, grille surrounds, 20-inch wheels, side blades, and roof spoiler. Sport tailpipes also come standard, along with window surrounds in gloss black. Inside, buyers will find 8-way adjustable sport seats up front, plus a sport steering wheel, and door sills in black aluminum with a “Macan T” script.

    Pricing is not yet finalized, but the Macan T will sit somewhere between the base Macan and the Macan S, which start at $56,250 and $66,750 (both prices include destination charges), respectively. The 2023 Macan T goes on sale this spring

    When it arrives, the Macan T will be better to drive than any other crossover in this class. Porsche’s emphasis on steering feel and the crossover’s balance are unmatched. But I’d take some extra weight over the nose for the added power of the V-6 engines that better match the Macan’s handling prowess. 

    Porsche provided a Macan T for Motor Authority to bring you this firsthand drive report.

    https://images.hgmsites.net/hug/porsche-macan_100834603_h.jpg

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