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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my 2017 Macan S not long ago, and i had to drop it off at the dealer for tire replacement.
They gave me a 2019 Macan base as the loaner car. That car felt pretty peppy when put into sports mode, and when I am at the right RPM.
Now that got me wonder what is the actual difference in performance between S and Base model. And was there any performance update for the 2019 Macan Base? (AFAIK, it should be identical to a 2017 one, but I might be wrong)

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Before I purchased my 2020 base I test drove the S and base. When in Sport, the base is plenty peppy enough. I liked the S more because it didn't have the turbo lag the base does but that is a split second and didn't seem worth the extra 8K in my opinion. I chose to spend that money on other features that made it more unique to me. I know this isn't the technical answer you are looking for but for me, I felt the base and S were close enough, it talked me out of the S.
 

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Before I purchased my 2020 base I test drove the S and base. When in Sport, the base is plenty peppy enough. I liked the S more because it didn't have the turbo lag the base does but that is a split second and didn't seem worth the extra 8K in my opinion. I chose to spend that money on other features that made it more unique to me. I know this isn't the technical answer you are looking for but for me, I felt the base and S were close enough, it talked me out of the S.
Macan Base: 2.0 liter, inline 4-cylinder engine and 248 horsepower.
Macan S: 3.0-liter, V-6 engine that and 348 horsepower.

In my view that is the same as flying on coach vs business class.
 

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Under the hood, the Base engine looks like a baby compared to the S.

I dunno about engine components, but the Base only has one air intake vs the S has dual intakes.

I’m not sure if it’s a 2015 vs 2020 differences, but with the Base you can see the pavement through the engine bay. The S, there is too much engineering magic and perhaps an underpanel that you can’t see the pavement at all.
 

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When I dropped off my 2015 S for service they gave me a 2020 Base. It was peppy in sport for around town driving say under 45 mph (it was almost more drivable than the laggy S in comfort). Where the base lacks grunt is on the freeway or on the higher end of the spectrum. On the highway on ramp I gave it a go, and it seemed to run out of steam fairly quickly. It also doesn't help that I have the Cobb Tune on my S. For 80% of the time though, the base would have been just fine. That new screen though is leaps and bounds better than the old PCM.
 

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Base is fine, you get into a Macan and it is even peppier in city-only driving. Plenty of power on the interstate if you give the turbo some pedal and about a second to build up rpm before mashing it, you'll buzz around anybody very quickly.

If you're doing a fair amount of interstate or country driving, strongly consider the S and above. For about the entire first month of owning the car, what always struck me was how good the PDK is. Was, and am, convinced Porsche could put a little lightweight 140 hp engine in and it would still be peppy and a blast to drive around town.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah! Definitely! It seems that it is widely agreed that PDK plays a big part in the “performance” of the Macans, regardless of which engine is under the hood. Not having driven too many cars, I could not tell exactly how much better it is compared to others. For example to my old 2017 c300 coupe. But I guess the difference is in the tenth of seconds. I will need to drive more to get a better feeling of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
When I dropped off my 2015 S for service they gave me a 2020 Base. It was peppy in sport for around town driving say under 45 mph (it was almost more drivable than the laggy S in comfort). Where the base lacks grunt is on the freeway or on the higher end of the spectrum. On the highway on ramp I gave it a go, and it seemed to run out of steam fairly quickly. It also doesn't help that I have the Cobb Tune on my S. For 80% of the time though, the base would have been just fine. That new screen though is leaps and bounds better than the old PCM.
Yeah.. that bigger screen, and the new front LED lights
 

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We are totally pleased with the performance of our '18 Macan SE. It is used mostly for around town trips and occasional short highway runs. Maybe the time to higher speeds takes a bit longer, but you don't really notice, as the Macan is just so nice to drive overall. Glad we saved the money and spent it on the air suspension, premium plus, etc. Remember, a 0-60 in about 6 seconds used to be very fast. If you don't want to put a lot of money into the Macan, get the 4-cyl engine, you will still love it.
Edit: Just want to add that the Macan is usually driven by the Mrs. I have a 911. I have to say that the Macan can be really fun to drive. It is tossable, makes great noises but manages a comfy ride. As most of you know, it is very well built, nothing feels second rate.
 

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The almost 300lbs weight saving over the front axle from the base over S also means more nimble handling and reduced the feeling of power difference
 

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I believe it’s only a little over 100 lbs, but it does make a noticeable difference in handling.
 

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I believe it’s only a little over 100 lbs, but it does make a noticeable difference in handling.
I’d read 275 lb at one time.
 

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That’s total weight difference, not just the front end.
 

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yep 130kg difference as shown on Australian registration papers.
Imagine a Sumo wrestler sprawled out across your hood. It’s a significant percentage of vehicle weight, all centered over the front axle.
 

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Per the US Porsche configurator, Base Macan curb weight is 4099 lbs and Macan S curb weight is 4293 lbs. A difference of 194 lbs.
 

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Per the US Porsche configurator, Base Macan curb weight is 4099 lbs and Macan S curb weight is 4293 lbs. A difference of 194 lbs.
So like having an average sized American male sitting on top of your bumper at all times lol.
 

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And after reading the “oil leaks” thread which consisted all engines except the base EA888 i am really doubting the long term reliability of the higher trim engines. At least with EA888 you know it’s tried and tested and if anything goes wrong it won’t cost much to fix like a VW. Is that why Porsche changed the engines for S and above models with the facelift? Design flaws for old ones? Typically a facelift shouldn’t involve drastic engine changes
 

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I think the new engine choice was purely for economy of scale. It's used in multiple Porsche /Audi cars.
 
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