Porsche gives Macan name to new small sport utility [w/video]

Don't call it the Cajun anymore. Porsche has officially announced the company's upcoming small sport utility vehicle will be called the Macan. As with the vehicle's larger brother, the Cayenne, the Porsche Macan will blend the seemingly incongruous worlds of tall-riding off roaders and low-slung sports cars with performance to match.

The Macan is the latest effort in Porsche's plan to expand its portfolio by 2018. While true purists may once again cry foul at the notion of another non-sports car with the Porsche shield on the hood, something tells us this Porsche will meet with far less skepticism this time around. The Cayenne and the Panamera have proven Porsche can successfully expand into segments beyond sports coupes without sacrificing its core principles. The Macan is likely to toe that line as well.

From what we've seen, the Macan will arrive on the same chassis as the Audi Q5, though with suspension, brake and engine tweaks suitable to the Porsche range. Rumors have also hinted toward both hybrid and three-door iterations as well.

The automotive world has been mistakenly calling the upcoming baby Porsche the Cajun for more than a year after Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn mentioned the name in an interview. Click past the jump for the full press release on the Macan name, as well as a quick introductory video.

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New Porsche sports car in the sports utility segment has been given the name Macan
The Macan will be built at the Porsche factory in Leipzig, Germany
Production due to start in 2013

Porsche today confirms the name for its forthcoming new sports car in the SUV segment is Macan. The name Macan is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger and combines suppleness, power, fascination and dynamics – core characteristics of this new all-terrain car.

"The Macan combines all sports car characteristics with the benefits of an SUV and is a genuine Porsche", said Bernhard Maier, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing of Porsche AG.

"The name of a new Porsche has to fit with the brand, sound good in very many languages and dialects and evoke positive associations."

As a new addition to the Porsche model range, the Macan is a key pillar of the company's Strategy 2018, by which the sports car manufacturer wishes to expand its model portfolio. Porsche intends the Macan to emulate the success of the Cayenne. The new car will start coming off the production lines at the Porsche factory in Leipzig, Saxony, in 2013. The site is currently being expanded into a fully-fledged production plant including body assembly line and paint shop; with 500 million euro of investment, it is one of the biggest building projects in the corporate history of Porsche. In the medium-term, the sports car manufacturer will be creating more than 1,000 new jobs.

Porsche names have an indelible connection with the corresponding model and its characteristics: the name Boxster describes the combination of 'boxer' engine and 'roadster', Cayenne stands for sharpness, the Cayman is snappy and agile and a Panamera is more than a Gran Turismo, capable also of winning the Carrera Panamericana long-distance race.

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