Porsche Macan spied

Undisguised prototype of Porsche's 'baby Cayenne' has been caught by our spy photographers

These are the very first undisguised pictures of the all-new Porsche Macan ahead of its launch next year. It's based on the same platform as the Audi Q5, and the Macan is a smaller and more fuel efficient SUV that will slot below the Porsche Cayenne in the range.

These pictures show that the Macan will look much like a shrunken Cayenne, but with a far lower and more curved roofline. There’s the same sculpted body, with elongated headlamps integrated into sculpted wheelarches, while the rear end has been covered up to obscure the detailing. Up front, the LED running lights beneath the headlamps and air intakes are the same as the Cayenne's, too.

The Macan will be wider than the Q5 to give it a sportier stance, while the rear end gets a more steeply raked windscreen. The curved windows in the C-pillars and decorative chrome surrounds are familiar cues from the Cayenne.

The model spied here has five doors, but a sportier three-door version is expected to be built to give Porsche a rival to the Range Rover Evoque Coupe.

The Macan will use more efficient, smaller capacity engines than its bigger brother. These are sourced from Audi but have been re-engineered by Porsche.

The flagship is likely to use a 345bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 sending power to all four wheels through a seven-speed PDK gearbox. Performance should be impressive and a sub-five second 0-62mph time can be expected.

The more efficient models will still be fast, and are likely to use a new 2.4-litre flat-four engine Porsche is busy developing for its 'baby Boxster' sports car. The flat-flour will be crucial in keeping the brand’s core identity while offering performance and efficiency, as well as a distinctive exhaust note.

Like the Cayenne, there will also be diesel and hybrid models. The latter is likely to use Audi's 2.0 TFSI petrol engine mated to an electric motor, just like the forthcoming Audi Q5 Hybrid.

Expect the Macan to use Porsche’s PASM and torque-vectoring technologies to offer class-leading grip and handling, plus a choice of ride height and suspension settings. There will be bigger brakes than the Q5, larger wheel and tyre combinations and quicker steering.

The Macan, which will be built on its own line in Leipzig in Germany, not only expands the Porsche range but will helps it hit EU emissions targets for niche manufacturers, which means reducing average emissions by 25 per cent, compared to 2007, by 2015.

The Porsche Macan goes on sale in late 2013, and is expected to start from around £35,000.

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