There are six flavours of Macan. First is just ‘Macan’, powered by a 233bhp 2.0-litre petrol four-pot and only available through special order at a dealership, where they’ll probably talk you into choosing one of the other three: Macan S (335bhp V6), Macan S Diesel (254bhp V6) and the Macan GTS.

The range-topping Turbo with its twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre petrol engine, is available in two variants - a standard Turbo Macan that produces 394bhp and 406lb ft of torque and it drives all four wheels through a dual-clutch automatic transmission, and the Turbo with Performance Package, which ultimately turns the wick up slightly so the small Porsche SUV produces 433bhp. Plenty of power, in other words, to propel a car the size of the Macan – which is 4681mm long, 1923mm wide and 1624mm high – even if it does tip the scales at almost precisely two tonnes.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The Macan is built on the MLB platform, so it's constrained to a longitudinal engine and gearbox layout

As you’ll probably have read elsewhere, the Macan is loosely based on the Audi Q5. But in the same fashion that the Cayenne shares its platform with the Volkswagen Touareg, to call this a badge engineering exercise would be taking an extreme liberty.

For a start, there’s the design, which wraps 911-style cues into a four-door body far more successfully, to our eyes, than with the Cayenne or Panamera.

Then there is the fact that, despite their similarities in the mostly steel but part-aluminium monocoque, a Q5 and Macan share only 30 per cent of their componentry, most of it unseen, including multi-link suspension front and rear.

It can be equipped with air springs, but it comes as standard with the steel springs preferred by Porsche’s engineers and dynamicists and, we’d hope, us, too.

The reason for the rear wheels being larger than the fronts — other than looking suitably dynamic — is that the Macan is, in effect, predominantly a rear-driver.

Power goes from the engine, via the seven-speed PDK gearbox, to the rear axle, and it’s only once it gets there that it meets a multi-plate clutch, electronically controlled, which diverts power forwards again.

It’s possible to send as much as 100 percent of power to the front wheels, although such a situation, with the rears on a Teflon saucepan and the fronts on sandpaper, are unlikely.

It also ties in the Automatic Brake Differential (braking an inside rear wheel to act like a limited-slip diff), so it tends to send power specifically to the wheels that can handle it.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Top 5 Sports SUVs

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Porsche range

Driven this week