Porsche Cayenne Coupe First Drive Review

Believe it or not, the advent of SUVs with a coupe-like roofline actually worked well for the automakers. For what considered to be a niche and seriously unnecessary product, the automakers have sold at least a million of these crossovers since their very arrival. Let me explain why.

It’s the massive street presence and sheer sportiness, indeed. I mean, how else can someone justify paying a premium – a hefty one, that is – over a standard boxy crossover for a coupe that, in turn, is low on practicality and space.

The car you see here is yet another addition to this space. But this time around, it’s from a manufacturer that’s known for making the world’s first sports car, the 911. The Porsche Cayenne Coupe is here to take a slice of the pie and lure the consumer away from the likes of the ungainly German SUV-Coupes – or Fastbacks, as they say. What is it actually? Well, let me break it down to you from our very own Porsche Cayenne Coupe review.

Not your average ‘Coupe’

For years now, we have seen the flowing roof design revolutionise from an uncanny appearance to a sporty affair. But even with that out of mind, the Cayenne Coupe looks absolutely striking. And it’s very well down to the sleek roofline that perfectly blends in with the rear overhang. I personally like the rear taillamp design that is seamlessly connected with a black strip housing the Porsche lettering. At the front, though, the Coupe remains largely unchanged retaining that sporty and bulbous look from the standard Cayenne.

It’s strange how the Cayenne Coupe looks more striking and tempting than the standard model. And if I had to pick one, I would love to flaunt this Coupe in the bright orange colour you see here, as it certainly gains enough attention even in Cote d’Azur, the place where we are driving this SUV.

Inside the Cayenne Coupe feels sportier and driver-centric, as if it belongs to a sports car rather than an SUV. The dashboard is dominated by a large touchscreen, and the cabin too is filled with screens for all the controls. The screens are an absolute delight for the eyes, and the quality and response from the system is just phenomenal. Personally, albeit, I don’t seem to understand the fascination with touchscreens. Sure, it works well for the infotainment screen, but the lower half could have done better with tactile buttons.

That aside, the long sweeping dashboard design really works well for the cabin. You sit facing an analogue tachometer flanked with digital instrumentation on both ends. The quality and fit-and-finish of just about anything you could touch is sublime. I personally loved the retro-fitted seats with black and white insert, that really cocoons the driver.

Are the coupe-like intentions justified?

Let’s just say it does; It’s a Porsche, after all. The car you see here came equipped with air suspension, rear-wheel steering, torque vectoring, and PDCC (Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control). Now, in comparison to the standard model, the Coupe comes with a wider rear track and is lowered down. Add to that a lightweight pack – which comes with a carbon fibre roof in place to the standard glass roof and lighter alloys – that saves about 20 kilos of weight.

The Coupe is also down on insulation material, which certainly translates to lesser insulation and more of that engine noise seeping inside the cabin. In Normal mode, cruising down the highway at constant speeds is a breeze. It actually feels like the insulation is on par with many limousines, for that matter. But if you really want to spruce things up, a twist to the Sport mode reveals the hooligan nature of this engine. The throttle response is crisp and the gearbox is a lot more aggressive. That’s the real beauty of this Coupe. An SUV on one hand, and a hooligan on the other. Now, that’s the personality disorder that I like to see.

The air suspension ensures the car carpets the bad undulations in its wake, despite it running on Lamborghini-rivalling 315/30 R22’s at the back. The steering is precise and sharp, but you do get a sense of the car’s size and heft around twists and bends.

Worth the fuss?

The Coupe that will make its way to India will be well specced, meaning you will be getting your hands on all the technological wizardry that really make this two-tonne SUV defy the laws of physics and handle like a sports car. There will be a 3.0-litre V6 that’s good for 340bhp and 450Nm and a 4.0-litre V8 that produces 550bhp and 770Nm. Personally, having driven both, I think the V6 is plenty for our conditions.

So, should you write a cheque to your nearest Porsche dealership for the Cayenne Coupe? Consider this first, the Coupe will certainly demand a premium over the standard Cayenne when it comes to India. While that may seem unjustified, the Coupe will certainly boast more presence than the model it’s based on. On top of that – unlike other Coupe-SUVs – the Porsche Cayenne Coupe does seem to justify its sporty intentions, not only does it look sensational, but it really goes around the road like it’s no one’s business. So, if this striking Coupe-SUV fits your budget, then it needs to be on your shortlist. To read the full Porsche Cayenne Coupe Review, be sure to visit us at autoX.

Engine: 2,995cc / V6 / Turbocharged
Fuel: Petrol
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic / All-Wheel Drive
Power: 335bhp @ 5,300-6,400rpm
Torque: 450Nm @ 1,340-5,300rpm
Acceleration: 0-100km/h – 6.0 seconds
X-factor: A coupe-like roofline that not only transforms 
how the Cayenne looks, but how it drives as well…
• Striking
• Sporty
• Heavy
• Expensive