The engine is a VW unit, the same in most respects as the one found in Hot Golfs, except that while it produces 242bhp in the Macan, it can generate as much as 306bhp in a Golf. It seems strange for a VW to overcome a Porsche in this way, doubly so when you consider the almost 100bhp abyss between it and the Macan S, but I expect the need to maintain respectable fuel and CO2 numbers in the new, harder WLTP test counted against mounting of a more powerful engine.
Keep in mind also that the 2.0-liter Macan will likely be up to 100 kg lighter than the 3.0-liter Macan S, which will offset the smaller engine's performance deficit to some extent. And do not flee for a moment with the notion that the 2.0-liter Macan is a model of "poverty-specification", a Macan in the name and look at it.
I drove in prototype form almost a year ago and was amazed how happy he felt right alongside his six-cylinder brothers and now, in final form, surprised me once again. Yes, it seems a little coward at first, but only until you realize that the engine needs revs to do your best work and then check how anxious your reprogrammed PDK transmission is to provide them. Best of all is that the 2.0-liter engine is more enveloping than the old 3.0-liter engine, ensuring that making the engine do its best job is a vastly enjoyable experience.
Yes, it would be best if you were flooded with the speed of inactivity, but you can not deny that Macan makes the most of the tools it has received. Better yet, you do not have to be anywhere near the limit to say that no Macan ever drove cleaner, or that he was as balanced as that.
For me, genuinely high-performance SUVs are very frustrating things to drive fast, because although they can drown the straights, you still need to brake so early and so slowly that it's hard to find a pace. On the other hand, the Macan arrives at a lower speed and then needs to cast less, so its performance and chassis skills seem well synchronized.