Story and photos by By Larry Funnell, UCR Member (from Provinz August 2016 page 18)
When we started talking about purchasing a Macan S, European delivery was a given, since we have always wanted to visit Germany, and this seemed like a good way to do it. We ordered September 18, 2015, hoping to take delivery in June with some friends from Rome. Alas, this was not to be, with Porsche moving the date up to May 17th, which our friends couldn’t make.
Fast forward an agonizing eight months and we are off to Leipzig to pick up our car. I spent much of this time researching our trip, plotting out the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany, as well as finding the Romantic and Castle roads. While Porsche offer a GPS for Europe, I preferred to take mine preloaded with destinations and routes. The hotel in Leipzig is the Steigenberger Grand, a large hotel with first class service located in the core of Leipzig. We arrived two days before our appointment at the factory to give us time to adjust to the time change.
Porsche gave us an 11:30 appointment at the factory, with a pickup from the hotel at 11:00. We quickly find out there are two other couples joining us, both picking up a Macan S and going on extended European vacations. On arrival at the factory we are greeted by reception, put our luggage off to the side, and then are directed over to a café/lounge where we have our choice of beverages and some light snacks while we wait for our hosts to arrive. In short order, our host David shows up, and it is down to business right away, out to the track, where I had to put up with a Macan GTS as a sample vehicle on the track. David gave us a brief outline of the controls, which he continues as he drives the first two laps, pointing out the lines and controls of the car. Then it is my turn to take the wheel. I found the track trickier than I expected, of course part of this is the newness and excitement of the vehicle. In particular, the proper line through one corner causes me grief every time. Note to self, book some DE in the near future! I was busy enough, there was only one spot on the track where I managed to steal a glimpse of the speedometer, topping out about 165 kph before standing on the brakes for a corner that was probably taken around 80. After a few laps, we swap vehicles for a Macan S Diesel (they have a separate dirty fleet) for the off road portion. Again, David takes the wheel, demonstrating the features, before handing it over to me. The things the Macan can do are mind boggling, up 35% slope, down with hill descent assist at 3-12 kph, dirt, 38% side slope (you feel like you are going to fall onto the passenger!).
After this we head for lunch in their 5-star dining room, where we can look out and see the freshly produced cars being tested on the back portion of the track. The food is excellent, with a good choice of wine. We chat while we eat with one of the other couples who picked up their car as we did. I ponder how amazing the Macan is to be able to handle itself so well on the racetrack, as well as the off road test. After lunch we wander around upstairs looking at some of the Porsches on display and go downstairs.
Finally, the grand moment, David takes us to the back to introduce us to our Macan, gleefully telling us this is the cleanest it will ever be, given they detail it after it is produced. It is gleaming, we look at it, he explains features, and we take pictures. All too soon, it is off to the factory tour with the two other couples. The tour is amazing. Cars coming down the line, seemingly at random. Our guide seems to know the options we have selected for our vehicles, and can look at a car on the line and explain the options or market it is destined for.
After the tour it is time to say goodbye to the factory and Porsche personnel for two weeks, and console ourselves with driving our new Macan. Overall we were very impressed with the personnel at the factory, very friendly, and, I also get the sense, very enthusiastic about Porsches. This is more than a job for them.
Our return to the factory is two weeks later (insurance coverage is up to 16 days without an upcharge). We have done 2,844 km, and the car is no longer clean, covered with dust and pollen, streaked from rain and splattered with bugs. When we drop it off it goes through an inspection for damage (none) and cleanliness (we scored a “heavy”), we hand over the keys, snap a couple of pictures and got a lift back to our hotel just the other side of the highway. Now it is time to wait. Again!