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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Welly 1:43 BMW X5 and Porsche Macan Turbo

SUV's are starting to get attention in the Welly line lately, and those SUV's come from Europe.  Last year was the all-new Volvo XC90 in 1:24, 1:43, and 1:64 scale ranges.  Not to be outdone is the latest BMW X5 and Porsche Macan Turbo.

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2015 BMW X5

The idea of an SUV in car lines is considered obsured, ridiculous, but every year an automaker plans their first SUV because, well, they are popular and money makers to keep an automaker alive.  Ridiculousness couldn't best desribe BMW and Porsche when they both announced SUV's at the beginning of the millenium; since then BMW has three SUV's with one more coming and Porsche has two with a possible third one in the works.  The X5 is built in Spartanburg, South Carolina in their U.S. plant alongside the other SUV's and has entered its third-generation.  The new generation is an evolution of the second-generation with styling more in line with the recent BMW designs.  The interior goes for a more upscale look with the IDrive screen now a separate unit from the dashboard.  Powertrains range from I-6 to twin-turbo V8 in the M models.  The one shown here has a 4.4L DOHC twin-turbo V8 that has the turbo's inside the Vee of the engine, producing 444 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic transmission and to all four wheels with a full-time X-drive all-wheel drive system.

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The new X5 looks a bit sleeker than the previous generation, though the enlarged headlights do look a bit off with the design (something that is common on newer BMW SUV's).  The front has chrome twin kidney grilles that connect with the large headlights that feature detailed quad lamp setup and U-shaped running lights.  The lower bumper has foglights and several scoop areas to give character to the front even if some of them look out of place.  On the sides is a clean profile with sleek door handles, mirrors, and double 5-spoke wheels.  Notice that I added silver rocker panel trim that can be found on the sides, front, and rear lower sections.  At the rear is the dogleg LED taillights that contour under the rear hatch window and dual exhaust.  As usual underneath there's not much to see as most of today's high-end cars have aerodynamic covers underneath.  The doors open to an interior with supportive front seats, while the rear gets interrupted by the pullback motor hump.  The dashboard is clean and elegant with the 3-spoke steering wheel, center stack with floating screen, and center console with shifter and I-drive knob.  While this is a nice casting the excitement of a BMW SUV has worn off since the first-generation was created.

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Porsche Macan Turbo

Even more ridiculous was a sports car company making an SUV, called the Cayenne, and introducing it in 2003.  However, since then it has been a money maker keeping the company afloat and also releasing a sedan and now a smaller SUV called the Macan.  Unlike the boxy Cayenne the Macan goes for a more swooper roofline and flared fenders that are more in line with the 911 than anything else.  The interior does suffer from lack of room over the Cayenne but that is the trade-off to more striking styling.  The engine's are smaller than the Cayenne yet still offer plenty of power.  The Turbo shown here has a 3.6L DOHC twin-turbo V6 with the turbo's in the Vee of the motor that produces 395 horsepower and 406 Ib-ft of torque through a seven-speed automatic and to all four wheels with a full-time four-wheel drive system.  Unlike the Cayenne there is no low-range part-time four-wheel drive option.

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The Macan has styling points that I like and some that I do not, and this red example looks nice but does not have that pizazz that Turbo models should have (looks more like a standard Macan S model).  That black side scoop on the lower edge of the doors was apparently a styling enhancement per the designer of the vehicle, but it looks more like a plastic trim piece on lower trim models.  The multi-spoke wheels are nicely done even if they look more like S-trim models instead of the 5-spokes of the Turbo.  The front is more confusing as both the Cayenne and Macan share the same front-end design; featuring projector lamps with LED 4-point design from the 918 Spyder, larger lower grille with side gills that have LED signal lights, and lower foglights.  From the sides it's apparent that this is the smaller Macan where the pillars flow inward towards the roof and the rear pillars come out at an angle to give it that 911-like rear-end.  My favorite feature is the taillights that look more like the 911 with LED design that is recessed into the housing (you can feel the design on this casting!)  The rear glass has a spoiler, Porsche badging at the center of the liftgate, and quad square exhaust tips below.  Like the X5 the underside is mostly covered up showing little of the exhaust system.  The interior has that Porsche look with the rising center console, 3-spoke steering wheel, dual pod gauges, center touchscreen, and center console with shifter and moundfull of buttons.  The front seats are supportive and comfortable at the same time, while the rear seat gets the pullback motor hump.  Finally all rows get a nice view outside with a two-row panoramic sunroof.

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They have their strengths and they have their weaknesses, yet both are designed to keep these two German automakers running for years to come and keep building the sports cars that we love.

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