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From what I've read, air suspension just broadens the capabilities of each PASM setting. Low ride height in sport is uncomfortably hard, whilst high ride height in comfort will rival a Mercedes S-Class.

Someone test drove two Cayennes back to back, one had air suspension and one didn't, but both had PASM. He wagers that unless you're paying close attention to it, you wouldn't be able to pick the difference between the two.

A possible upside is better resale value, especially since every Macan press release mentions that it's the first car in this segment to have air suspension available. Downside is higher maintenance costs when it breaks.

In Australia the Turbo comes standard with air suspension so that would have given me enough confidence to check it if I wanted it. However I'm sure the steel spring PASM will be more than enough for me :)
 

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Our order includes the air suspension, mainly for the ride height considerations. The air cars start out 15mm lower than the steel spring cars, and offer -10mm in sport, and +40mm in off-road mode. So net differences between air and steel, you can go 1" higher and 1" lower than a steel spring car, meaning better handling on road, and better clearance off road. We see a true four seasons here in Colorado, so the height is appreciated in the snowy seasons, and not needed when bombing down a back road in the summertime. For me it's a must-have option.
 
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It is nice to be able to lower it for a more visually stunning look and raise it when you are trying to climb over stuff (if you ever happen to)

Macan is very good without the air suspension

So if you don't see a need for it. Just save your money.
 

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Our order includes the air suspension, mainly for the ride height considerations. The air cars start out 15mm lower than the steel spring cars, and offer -10mm in sport, and +40mm in off-road mode. So net differences between air and steel, you can go 1" higher and 1" lower than a steel spring car, meaning better handling on road, and better clearance off road. We see a true four seasons here in Colorado, so the height is appreciated in the snowy seasons, and not needed when bombing down a back road in the summertime. For me it's a must-have option.
Have chosen the PASM with Air as well for the same reason (from CT) but don't know if 1 inch either way really makes much of a difference. Especially with the 10 mm down for sport - that's less than half an inch (for perspective, that's about the width of your index finger side on)

Any aerodynamic / auto engineers want to comment?
 

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My wife's Grand Cherokee has it and I almost never use it, although it does lower automatically at highway speed. I can't imagine taking this vehicle anywhere where it will actually require a lift.
 

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Have chosen the PASM with Air as well for the same reason (from CT) but don't know if 1 inch either way really makes much of a difference. Especially with the 10 mm down for sport - that's less than half an inch (for perspective, that's about the width of your index finger side on)

Any aerodynamic / auto engineers want to comment?
I think the stat to consider is center of gravity height. Here's some data related to CoG height and it's effect on the speed threshold before a car lifts two tires off the ground - i.e. the vehicle is about to roll over.

Depending upon the CoG height of the Macan (I don't think that's published yet; I'll assume it's not less than 10 inches), and assuming the speed plot in the chart applies consistently regardless of vehicle weight, the difference 2" makes could mean as much as 7mph higher speed to be safely carried into a bend between the lowest setting and the highest.

source: http://www.eng.auburn.edu/~dmbevly/gavlab/pub-pre/A Study of Rollover Propensity.pdf
 

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The Tesla Model S (with its battery-laden floorpan) has a CoG of 18". I think it's safe to assume the Macan has a much higher CoG :)

If we look at the portion of that graph from 20" CoG and higher, we see that every 10" CoG difference results in about 5 mph difference. So 2" (min-max travel on air suspension) will be about 1 mph difference.

edit: and this is assuming that the tyres have infinite grip - if the tyres run out of grip before the inside wheels lift (i.e. as you would expect) then I'm not sure the graph can be used...
 

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The Tesla Model S (with its battery-laden floorpan) has a CoG of 18". I think it's safe to assume the Macan has a much higher CoG :)

If we look at the portion of that graph from 20" CoG and higher, we see that every 10" CoG difference results in about 5 mph difference. So 2" (min-max travel on air suspension) will be about 1 mph difference.

edit: and this is assuming that the tyres have infinite grip - if the tyres run out of grip before the inside wheels lift (i.e. as you would expect) then I'm not sure the graph can be used...
Excellent info about the Tesla, which I agree would seem to have a low CoG due to the ridiculous battery weight and placement. If the Macan spec is in the range you suggest, then it seems the real point of air is ground clearance, chassis leveling when hauling/towing, and ease of loading cargo.

I like this graph because it eliminates all other variables other than CoG height, so in the case of our Macan discussion about air suspension, the graph plot is valid. Your point about grip of the tires is good, but something we don't know (maybe it's elsewhere in the article) is whether this is a skidpad simulation, or a sudden lane change simulation. If it's a lane change, the vehicle would still tend to roll due to the change in momentum. In a skid pad, the car would just slide away in understeer before ever rolling over.
 

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I find the graph quite interesting... however my brain just packs up when I try to figure out if tyre adhesion would make the CoG lift speed higher or lower, esp when you do a bit of a scandinavian flick :)

There was a Best Motoring review of an evo with a carbon roof, they wanted to see if putting a 4kg lead sheet on the roof actually made any difference to handling and speed on the same car. From memory the handling did feel a bit different but performance was largely the same.

Spider wheels... tempting....
 

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I'm taking both the air suspension and PASM since apparently the ride on the 20'' wheels could get quite rough without it.
Where do you get this info? I don't believe the ride would get that rough with 20", but 21" wheels would be better off with PASM (not air suspension too), which is why it is standard on the Turbo which starts off with the bigger wheels. I do not believe I would need Air Susp as long as I have PASM. From personal experience, Porsche's PASM is very nice in all driving conditions. In fact, I believe it would be advisable to consider PASM if you have Air Suspension because the potential lower ride might call for modulating the ride, which PASM does very well.
Bottom line: get PASM to deal with the big wheels, and get Air Suspension if you want to either lower or raise the car.
 

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You can't have AS without PASM. From all accounts in the 958, AS transforms the ride and many say its a must have. I have no personal experience with either, my 958 is on 19s with the standard steel springs and the ride is great IMO. I want to go 20s w the Macan and am strongly considering AS, but my concerns are potential long term cost of issues outside of warranty. Decisions...
 

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You can't have AS without PASM. From all accounts in the 958, AS transforms the ride and many say its a must have. I have no personal experience with either, my 958 is on 19s with the standard steel springs and the ride is great IMO. I want to go 20s w the Macan and am strongly considering AS, but my concerns are potential long term cost of issues outside of warranty. Decisions...
Most of the Cayenne air suspension issues appear to only be on models over 5 years old. Knowing me I'll have replaced the Macan by then so reliability isn't a concern :D
 
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