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We said it would happen, and it’s happened even sooner than we expected: Porsche has dropped a four-cylinder engine into its Macan SUV.

Specifically, it’s a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo, closely related to the engine found in the Golf GTI ‘Performance Pack’ and sending 233bhp and 258lb ft of torque to the wheels through Porsche’s seven-speed ‘PDK’ gearbox.

Porsche says the entry-level Macan will get from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds, with a 139mph top speed.

In comparison, the Macan S - with its 3.0-litre V6 petrol making 335bhp and 339lb ft of torque - will do the 0-62mph sprint in 5.4 seconds and top out at 159mph.

The base Macan will officially return 37.6mpg and 168g/km of CO2. It’s the first road-going Porsche since the 968 of the mid-Nineties to get a four-pot, but don’t forget the 919 - Porsche’s new LMP1 racer - uses a 2.0-litre V4 turbo, albeit mated to hefty electric modules.

Prices? We’re afraid we can’t do that, Dave, because the four-pot Macan hasn’t yet been officially confirmed for Britain, or indeed anywhere in Europe. It’ll launch in China, a market that offers tax breaks on sub-3.0-litre engines.

However, our Porsche sources tell us they expect the four-cylinder Macan to reach the UK ‘in very small numbers’, most likely some time next year.

So, a four-cylinder Porsche. Sacrilege, or smart thinking?

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