Porsche unveils Macan, company's new SUV model

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Some of the hottest selling cars right now are luxury compact SUVs. Porsche is out with its new model, the Macan. (KABC)

Some of the hottest selling cars right now are luxury compact SUVs. Porsche is out with its new model, the Macan. The first batch is already sold out.

Just over 10 years ago, Porsche shocked the car world by introducing its first SUV, the Cayenne. Now, Porsche's got a second SUV model, the Macan.

"The sports car segment, while that's our heritage, really is not that big of a market, and the SUVs really is the growing market in America," said Porsche Spokesman Mark Fruechtnicht. "That's really where Porsche decided to go."

The Macan is smaller and nimbler than the Cayenne, and it enters a segment that's on the rise.

"The 'B' SUV segment, or the small SUV segment as we call it, is definitely growing in America," said Fruechtnicht. "It's one of the hottest segments right now out there, and it's the perfect timing for Porsche to launch the Macan."

While most Macans will spend most of their time on normal streets, Porsche is only too happy to show it off on the race track. It may look like an SUV, but it can perform like a car.

And while it might be smaller than the Cayenne, it isn't really cheaper. The base "S" model starts at around $50,000 before options, and the model called Turbo has a base price of $73,000. The extra 13 grand is for more power and more features.

At 400 horsepower, the Macan Turbo is the most powerful SUV in its class. At over $100,000 fully loaded, it's also the most expensive. With Porsche, the options can really add up.

Porsche likes to point out that the Macan has Porsche sports car DNA, but they also say that they're an engineering company, and since this is an SUV, they've engineered it to be fully capable off road.

Not far from the race track, these Macans are also tackling some steep off-road trails.

Along with the all-wheel drive system, electronic aids like off-road mode and hill descent control combine to keep this Porsche sure-footed in the rough stuff -- even though very few Macans will ever be used like this.

But a few are likely to be used off-road or on the track, or at least they could -- in between grocery runs.

"It's a sports car at heart. Its genes come from the race track, but it's great enough for everyday usability," said Fruechtnicht.

Everyday usability -- at a Porsche price, that is.

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