If the animated interview given by the tennis star and enthusiastic Porsche ambassador Maria Sharapova is anything to go by, the new Porsche Macan compact SUV must really be something.

Famous for a disinterested drawl at the end of games, victorious or not, Sharapova ad-lipped like a pro when telling an audience of 400 hacks at an early reveal at the LA Auto Show that the car would fit into her life even better than a Cayenne

The car looked good. A little conventional, a little Audi-ish but with none of the jellymould mistakes of the first Cayenne, or the odd proportions of the Panamera super-saloon. Successive Porsche bosses, led by the chief executive, Matthias Muller, stressed what looks to be Porsche's grand plan: to put a sports car in every segment.

We will have to drive the Macan, of course, but it's compactness and relative lowness for an SUV, along with the attentions of those performance-minded Weissach engineers, is likely to make this the clear performance leader in the class - that's certainly Porsche's claim.

Certainly the highest-output V6, packing over 400bhp, and with a top speed of 167mph, can fairly claim to be the most versatile SUV of the lot.

It's possible to imagine an owner effortlessly shifting the gear of his university son or daughter one weekend, coping better than ordinary cars with ice and snow during the week, and doing a track day (when the weather has miraculously cleared up) the following weekend. 

This car can be ordered with height adjustable suspension and an engine that pushes it 0-60mph in the mid-four second mark. That's quick enough for any circuit.