If there is one thing that Porsche engineers are obsessed with, it would probably be defying the laws of physics.
You do not need a doctorate in said field to understand the disadvantages an SUV faces. They’re heavier and have higher centres of gravity. Those two alone are enough to dull any driving experience.
Therefore, the two-tonne Porsche Cayenne should handle like a bus. Except it doesn’t. Instead, its gait and nimbleness make it feel like an oversized hatchback.
The same is also true for the Porsche Cayenne Coupe.
The Porsche Cayenne Coupe is the sportier variant of the Cayenne SUV. Compared to the Cayenne, the Cayenne Coupe has a 20mm lower roofline, more rakish windscreen and A-pillars.
The Porsche Cayenne Coupe’s rear end is longer, lower and wider than the Cayenne’s. Its tailgate is also fastback-like, as opposed to the Cayenne’s more upright one.
Design-wise, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe is more attractive than its “conventional” sibling, which suddenly seems staid in comparison.
If you thought that the Porsche Cayenne Coupe is merely a Cayenne with a sportier design, then you’d only be half right.
The Cayenne Coupe also has more standard equipment than its sibling. Key features include Sport Chrono Package, PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) and a panoramic roof.
If you specified these options on a Porsche Cayenne, you’d add about $18k to its list price (sans COE). That’s already greater than the $16,700 premium the Cayenne Coupe commands over the Cayenne.
Price aside, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe is also less practical than the Cayenne.
Its boot capacity is 625 litres with the rear seats down and 1540 litres with the seat backs folded.
That looks generous till you compare it with the Cayenne’s 770 litres and 1710 litres.
Obviously, you won’t be struggling to put luggage into the Cayenne Coupe. But if you frequently carry bulky items, then the Cayenne is probably more suited to you.
HOTTER LOOKS = KEENER DRIVE?
With standard features such as PASM and Sport Chrono Package, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe is undoubtedly a more dynamic drive.
As with all Porsches, this experience starts with having the ideal driving position. The precise placement of the pedals, steering wheel, gearshift lever and paddle shifters enhance the driver’s confidence.
The test unit, which was also fitted with one of the three lightweight sports packages, has 22-inch forged wheels as standard. Each wheel is 2kg lighter than alloy wheels of the same size.
For aural delights, the test unit is equipped with the optional sports exhaust system. This is one option buyers must specify.
The Porsche Cayenne Coupe looks imposing as you walk towards it. But once you’re driving it, the feeling couldn’t be more different.
The way the engineers have tuned the steering and suspension make the Cayenne Coupe feel no larger than an oversized hatchback. It does not feel like it is on stilts.
Negotiating multi-storey carparks and their ramps are not an issue. Slicing through traffic is easy, too.
Needless to say, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe carved through my favourite corners with consummate ease. It makes other “sporty” SUVs feel clumsy in comparison.
The Cayenne Coupe is at its best with the drive mode in Sport Plus and the 8-speed automatic gearbox set to manual override. In this manner, it faithfully obeyed my directions, its responses proportional to my inputs.
With 22-inch wheels, all-wheel-drive and PTM (Porsche Traction Management), this SUV is never short on grip. The Porsche Cayenne Coupe sticks to your preferred lines like an insect on flypaper.
However, I would like a more positive feel from the nose during turn-ins. And though nimble, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe leans in corners. But this is substantially less than what you’d experience in say, a Range Rover Sport.
BRINGING THE HEAT
Why does Porsche need an even spicier version of the Cayenne, which is already considered the benchmark among sporty SUVs?
Obviously, to prove it can. Also, expanding the model lineup helps increase revenue.
But here’s something to consider: Apart from being less practical, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe can do everything that a Cayenne does.
Also, in terms of design and standard kit, it’s the Cayenne Coupe that lives up to the model’s sporty reputation.
So, why not eventually do away with the regular Cayenne then?
Now that would be a move worthy of a manufacturer known for defying physics – and expectations.
Porsche Cayenne Coupe 3.0 (A)
ENGINE 2995cc, 24-valves, V6, turbocharged
MAX POWER 335hp (250kW, 340PS) at 5300-6400rpm
MAX TORQUE 450Nm at 1340-5300rpm
GEARBOX 8-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 6 seconds (with Sport Chrono Package)
TOP SPEED 243km/h
CONSUMPTION 10.1km/L (combined)
PRICE EXCL. COE From $360,188 (after $20k VES surcharge)
AGENT Stuttgart Auto