Following the Porsche Cayenne’s 17th anniversary, we joined Porsche in Austria to experience first-hand Porsche’s introduction of the all-new Cayenne Coupé. Having anticipated a coupé styled SUV from the manufacturer that has perfected the coupé-like design in its sports cars, we were not disappointed. In fact, we were blown away by the newly styled SUV that retains and expresses every gene of the Porsche DNA, both in styling and performance.
Surrounded by the scenic backdrop of the mountains and forests in Styria, in the south of Austria, on winding, narrow roads not unlike those that once graced the postcards from another era, we put to the test the three derivatives of the new Cayenne Coupé line-up – Cayenne Coupé, Cayenne Coupé S, and Cayenne Coupé Turbo.
The new Coupé took everything in its stride and, without as much as breaking a sweat, it breathed through the breath-takingly beautiful countryside as it responded with ease to every input, cosseting its passengers in comfort and style, while leaving in its wake stares of wonder and surprise from pedestrians and fellow road users.
The Cayenne’s new coupé design, even though it stays true to the unmistakable identity of the Cayenne SUV, exemplifies what the Cayenne should have been from the beginning, or perhaps simply what it was meant to become. As such the new Cayenne Coupé embodies the maturing of a classic SUV design into an arresting and sexy coupé that puts the ‘Sport’ back into Sport Utility Vehicle.
Although the Coupé variant includes all the technical highlights of the third generation Cayenne SUV, it is much more progressive, more athletic and more emotional thanks to its custom design elements and new technical details. The main feature is the roofline that drops significantly more steeply towards the rear, which lends the Cayenne Coupé a particularly dynamic appearance.
This effect is further enhanced by a fixed roof spoiler, which accentuates the distinctive coupé silhouette. The front windscreen and A-pillar are shallower than in the Cayenne SUV, courtesy of a roof edge that has been lowered by around 20 millimetres. Newly designed rear doors and wings broaden the shoulders of the vehicle by 18 millimetres, contributing to its overall muscular impression.
A fixed roof spoiler is combined with the new adaptive rear spoiler. The articulated spoiler is harmoniously integrated into the vehicle silhouette and extends by 135 millimetres at speeds of 90 km/h and above, increasing the downforce on the rear axle, thus enhancing driving stability.
One of the standout features is the large panoramic glass roof that spans the entire cockpit to create a sense of boundless space. And for those who prefer sporty characteristics over practical aesthetics, as part of three optional lightweight sports packages, a contoured carbon roof is available as an option, along with the Sport Design package and new, weight-reduced 22” GT Design wheels.
The new Cayenne Coupé also offers plenty of space for up to four people as standard. Sport seats with integrated headrests in the front are mirrored in the rear bench with the characteristics of two individual seats. A rear seat system with three seats is available as an alternative at no extra cost.
To compensate for the slanting roof, rear passengers sit 30 millimetres lower than in the Cayenne SUV, thus mitigating any potential loss of headroom. The luggage compartment has a capacity of 625 litres and is therefore ideal for everyday use. This increases to 1,540 litres when the rear seats are folded down. Extensive standard equipment includes speed-sensitive Power Steering Plus, 20” alloy wheels, front and rear Park Assist including a rear-view camera, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the Sport Chrono Package.
The Cayenne Coupé model range combines powerful and efficient engines with a responsive eight-speed Tiptronic S gearbox that enhances capabilities thanks to shorter response times and sportier ratios in the lower gears.
The entry-level Cayenne Coupé sports a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder turbo engine that delivers 250 kW of power and 450 Nm of torque. That means that even the standard model achieves outstanding driving performance as it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 6 seconds and will continue onwards to a top speed of 243 km/h.
Next in line is the Cayenne Coupé S, fitted with Porsche’s exceptional 2.9-litre V6 twin-turbo engine that delivers 324 kW of power and 550 Nm of torque. Accordingly, the Coupé S accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 5 seconds (4.9 seconds with Sport Chrono Package) and a top speed of 263 km/h.
The range-topping Cayenne Coupé Turbo is motivated by Porsche’s unmatched 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo that delivers 404 kW of power and 770 Nm of torque. This confidence-inspiring engine with its throaty exhaust note accelerates the Coupé Turbo from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 286 km/h.
Fitted with the same lightweight chassis of the Cayenne SUV, the Cayenne Coupé is available with rear-axle steering as an option, and a mixed tyre configuration that optimises the balance between sporty performance and comfort. The tyres are also larger than before, now with a choice of 20 and 21 inches. Both rear-axle steering and the mixed tyre configuration are derived from the 911 to improve agility, stability and safety, while rear-axle steering also reduces the turning circle for even greater practicality.
With a host of driver assistance systems working in the background, and all of them engineering marvels, the driving experience is so intuitive, comfortable and precise that it belies the intelligence that underpins this modern marvel of a vehicle. The new Cayenne Coupé is as agile as any sports car, and every bit as capable as its drop-dead gorgeous looks suggests.
With its dynamic lines and custom design elements, the new Cayenne Coupé truly sets itself apart from the Cayenne SUV. At the same time, it benefits from all the technical highlights of the third generation Cayenne, which features powerful drive systems, innovative chassis systems, a digitised display and operating concept, and comprehensive connectivity. With more than 850,000 Cayenne’s sold worldwide since its inception in 2002, the new Cayenne Coupé looks set to boost sales even further. The Cayenne Coupé is the SUV of the future, and that future is now.
Report by WILHELM LOOTS | Images © PORSCHE AG