The term ‘lost years’ refers to the years that went missing due to the pandemic and its lockdowns and travel restrictions. Many of us cannot recall (or have purposely forgotten) what happened between 2020 and 2022.
Well, it’s 2024 now so remembering the events of four years ago isn’t going to be easy. Ditto for cars such as the Cayenne Coupe, which was launched then.
Not that the Cayenne Coupe is forgettable. On the contrary, since Porsche did a good job the first time around, you’d wonder why the car needed an upgrade, since it doesn’t look old. But technology advances at an ever-quickening pace, so doing nothing means falling behind.
SPOT THOSE CHANGES
The Cayenne Coupe has been updated but to most observers, it doesn’t seem like anything has changed. Take a step back, though, and you’ll notice that the SUV now has Matrix LED head lights, with their telltale quad modules, as standard. You can still specify HD Matrix LED if desired.
There’s also a new bonnet and revised front bumper, along with a neater-looking tailgate. The latter also features a redesigned tail-light with a more prominent “Porsche” logo.
The exterior changes are hard to notice, but you can’t miss the major changes to the cockpit, the biggest of which is the new Porsche Driver Experience, a fully digital and customisable instrument cluster and infotainment display.
Purists still prefer the analogue set-up, but digitisation is in line with the times and makes the space snazzier as well. The new interface for the infotainment is also more user-friendly than before, so there’s no need to dig deep to say, tweak the driver assistance functions.
Less intuitive, though, is the gearshift tab, which has migrated from the centre console to the dashboard. It’s partially obscured by the steering wheel, and one does not instinctively reach forward with their left hand to choose and engage transmission modes.
Also, having the air-con controls on the centre console is odd, since one needs to glance directly downwards to see them. That means you cannot (or should not) adjust the climate on the go. On a positive note, the Cayenne retains manual air vents.
Please Porsche, don’t make drivers of the next Cayenne use touchscreens just to adjust the air flow.
The rest of the Cayenne Coupe’s interior is largely identical to the pre-facelift model. That means relatively good legroom in the rear, but only for the outer two passengers, as the middle occupant must still contend with a sizeable floor protrusion.
The previous Cayenne Coupe was already notable for its handling and the updated model has gotten even better. This test unit is fitted with the optional adaptive air suspension ($12,941 at time of writing), which has been improved and now features two-chamber, two-valve technology.
It gives the Cayenne Coupe superb ride comfort, while also endowing it with an agility that other two-tonne SUVs can probably only dream about. It’s no Cayman GTS, but the way it moves certainly belies its size.
With air suspension, you can set the dampers to “Normal” and the ride height to “Lowered” as I did. In these settings, the Cayenne Coupe happily eased into tight corners with confidence, with plenty of grip to accommodate one’s spirited endeavours.
Even the little roundabout preceding the turn-in to my estate was dismissed with ease, even if the body did lean from side to side. It’s big and bulky, but under certain conditions, the Cayenne Coupe can feel surprisingly light on its feet.
The brakes are to be commended as well. Always powerful yet easy to modulate, they make smooth stops a cinch to achieve, and when needed, can shed the SUV’s speed in a jiffy.
Speaking of speed, though the Cayenne Coupe is the “entry-level” model in the lineup, its turbocharged 2995cc V6 is no slouch. Producing 349hp and 500Nm of torque, it propels the car from a standstill to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds – that’s hot hatch territory.
You’ll have to work the engine to enjoy it, though, since it makes peak power between 5400 and 6400rpm. And while the full torque figure is available from 1450rpm, the amount of sheet metal means lots of inertia to overcome.
Helping the motor is the 8-speed automatic gearbox, which operates quietly and conservatively. The Cayenne Coupe does better at higher revs, so you’ll need to set the drive mode to “Sport” or “Sport Plus” or better still, just use the manual override function, which is more satisfying.
A HEADY MIX
The Cayenne Coupe has nearly everything that a buyer in this segment seeks. It’s got the right blend of space and versatility, and the Porsche badge means there’s plenty of scope for customisation from the brand’s extensive options list.
That said, the car’s performance and handling remain its strengths and key selling points. Few rivals in this segment have two-tonne SUVs that can offer the same driving experience. It’s what ultimately convinces many buyers to eventually acquire the car.
So, you may not recall what the pre-facelift Cayenne Coupe looked like or how it drove. But you’re unlikely to forget what the current model feels like after you’ve gotten behind its wheel and enjoyed everything it offers.
Porsche Cayenne Coupe 3.0 (A)
ENGINE 2995cc, 24-valves, V6, turbocharged
MAX POWER 349hp at 5400-6400rpm
MAX TORQUE 500Nm at 1450rpm-4500rpm
POWER TO WEIGHT 167.4hp per tonne
GEARBOX 8-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 5.7 seconds
TOP SPEED 248km/h
CONSUMPTION 8.3km/L (WLTP combined)
PRICE EXCL. COE From
AGENT Porsche Singapore