First Drive: Porsche’s Cayenne Coupe is a sleek take on an excellent SUV
What is it?
Peruse any current manufacturer’s line-up of cars, and you’ll likely find that no niche is a niche too far at the moment. It would appear that Porsche isn’t immune to this either, having introduced this – the Cayenne Coupe.
It’s a more ‘dynamically’ styled version of the firm’s big SUV, offering sleeker looks and a sportier overall feel. But that being said, the regular Cayenne has always stood on the sportier end of the spectrum, so is this Coupe version really worthwhile?
From the front, there’s little to differentiate the Coupe from the regular Cayenne. It sits on the same platform, uses the same line-up of engines and, inside, looks the same. It also weighs quite a lot, at 2.1 tonnes, so don’t go thinking that this is some uber-lightened, stripped-back all-out sports SUV.
Porsche has ensured that the Coupe lives up to its sporty pretences, however, at least in the way it steers and rides. Our test car came with rear-axle steering for greater agility, as well as Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) and electric anti-roll bar technology too. Sure, it may weigh a lot, but Porsche has thrown the works at the Cayenne Coupe to make it as capable as possible.
What’s under the bonnet?
The Cayenne Coupe uses a 3.0-litre turbocharged engine, which here produces 340bhp and 450Nm of torque. Driving power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, it’s capable of pushing the big Porsche from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds and onwards to a top speed of 150mph.
Being big, relatively heavy and petrol-powered, it’ll come as no surprise that the Cayenne doesn’t top the efficiency charts. Porsche says that you’ll return up to 22mpg combined while emitting 212g/km CO2.
What’s it like to drive?
The regular Cayenne is superb to drive, which is why it’s not hard to believe that the Coupe version is equally capable. As we’ve come to expect from all Porsche models, the steering is spot-on; well-weighted and direct, it gives you an ability to point all 2.1 tonnes of Cayenne Coupe exactly where you want it.
There’s grip there, too, and the adjustable ride gives you the option of firming up or softening off the car’s suspension. Our personal preference is to go for the latter, as it adds a creaminess to the whole driving experience more befitting of the one you’d expect from a large luxury SUV – even one as performance-orientated as the Cayenne Coupe.
How does it look?
The looks of the Cayenne Coupe will divide opinion, that’s for sure. It’s all about that rear-end styling, really. To some, it looks sleek and dynamic, while to others it’ll appear more fussy and over-stylised. Whichever camp you sit in, it’s likely that the looks of the Coupe will get you talking.
We would have to admit, however, that to our eyes the deployable rear wing may have been a step too far. It makes the rear of the car look far too busy, and seems a little needless.
What’s it like inside?
The interior of the Cayenne Coupe is excellently finished, just as we’ve found in the regular version. There are plenty of high-quality materials used throughout and that feeling is backed by a spot-on seating position with plenty of adjustment. The new button layouts are far more intuitive than on the older Cayenne, with the haptic feedback controls proving remarkably easy to adapt to.
There is, of course, a downside to those looks and that’s a decreased level of practicality. Boot space stands at 625 litres with the seats in place and rises to 1,540 litres with them down. This is 145 and 175 respective litres less than you get in the regular Cayenne. Rear seat headroom is also tighter as a result of that sloping roofline, too.
What’s the spec like?
The base price for ‘our’ Cayenne Coupe started at £62,129, which includes Porsche’s PCM infotainment suite, Apple CarPlay and a 10-speaker sound system. In truth, there’s plenty of standard equipment included off the bat but, as is the way with any Porsche, if you want to get extra-special features then you’re going to have to raid the optional extras.
Our car came with ‘Lava’ orange paintwork (£1,683), adaptive air suspension (£1,511), 22-inch alloy wheels (£2,783) and a full sports exhaust system which, while giving the engine a fair bit more character, does sting at £2,012 extra. All in, our test car ramped up to £80,366 – a hefty price tag, even for a car with a Porsche badge on the front.
The Cayenne Coupe is a car no one particularly needed. We’d argue that if a sleeker, more dynamically-profiled version of Porsche’s largest SUV is what you’re after, then the Coupe will be right up your street.
However, if you’re after a performance-orientated, spacious and practical yet luxurious SUV, then we’d just recommend sticking with the standard Cayenne. It does everything the Coupe can do, but with more of those go-to features which attract people to the SUV segment in the first place.