This is “a Porsche through and through”. That’s how the Macan is introduced to journalists – as if there were any question that a 4x4 was not also capable of being a Porsche. As if the past decade and a bit hadn’t happened, and we had never seen what a Cayenne could do.

The company, it would appear, is still cautious that it might be accused of diluting its brand by adding another SUV to its line-up.

Not likely here. What we’ve seen a Macan do, on foreign soil at least, thus far seems, if anything, just as impressive as the dynamic tricks pulled by a Cayenne.

A compact SUV from Porsche has been on the cards for years, to join the Cayenne in its line-up. The Cayenne was introduced in 2002 and its financial success has turned Porsche from niche sports car maker into industry heavyweight.

Porsche’s CEO, Matthias Müller, suggested at a few motor shows at the turn of the decade that a smaller model might steal sales from the Cayenne, but the global market for mid-size SUVs is now just too vast for that to be a problem, hence the appearance of the model.

The Macan SUV has already beaten a Range Rover Evoque in tests, and in some style. But with the sector becoming ever more crowded and new rivals appearing,  just how competent is it, on British roads – and off them – when subjected to the toughest road test in the business?

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