Is the Cayenne Coupe worth the extra Rs 21 lakh over the standard Cayenne? We find out.
What exactly is the Porsche Cayenne Coupe?
The new Porsche Cayenne Coupe, as the name suggests, is a swoopier, low-roof version of the standard Cayenne. Similar to the BMW X6 or the Mercedes GLE Coupe, this more attractive looking version of the Cayenne features a tighter-fitting roof, wider haunches and, from some angles, a look that vaguely resembles the nose and profile of a 911. While many find SUV-coupes to be frivolous, and they may have a point, there’s no denying Porsche at least has its sportscar heritage and DNA to draw on. So, is the Coupe worth forking out extra for? The basic Cayenne Coupe costs Rs 1.31 crore, as against the standard Cayenne’s Rs 1.20 crore.
What does the new Porsche Cayenne Coupe look like?
There’s no denying, the coupe looks several times sportier than the standard Cayenne. Porsche designers have done a great job in melting away much of the visual bulk, and that block-like profile on the regular Cayenne that often jars, that’s gone too. Also, unlike some of the competition, the Cayenne Coupe hardly looks forced or deliberate.
Porsche has done a great job making the Cayenne Coupe's rear design look natural and not forced.
To achieve this, Porsche has ‘slammed’ the roof by 20mm, the ‘A’ and ‘C’ pillars are now severely raked, and then to accentuate the coupe-like effect, the top of the roof is finished in dark colour, visually lowering the roofline –smart. For the roof, you can either get a full carbon-fibre panel, which saves 21kg, or go in for a fixed panoramic glass roof.
The active spoiler spoiler can extend by 135mm and automatically deploys when you cross 90kph.
At the edge of the roof, there’s a large fixed spoiler, which works with an active spoiler housed at the base of the rear windscreen. Capable of extending by 135mm, it’s deployed automatically once the SUV has crossed 90kph. There’s, interestingly, no rear wiper.
While the rear of the car is 18mm wider, there aren’t many changes in hardware over the regular Cayenne. Porsche has retuned the three-chamber air suspension to make the Coupe drive in a sportier manner, and some small changes carried out on the sportier GTS steering system have been drafted in here too. The system has been designed to offer increased frictional feedback and weight over earlier Cayennes, and the Coupe gets Porsche’s Power Steering Plus that reduces assistance dramatically as speed rise.
What is the new Porsche Cayenne Coupe like to drive?
The first thing you notice is that, on its three-chamber air suspension, the Cayenne Coupe rides like no car on 21-inch wheels has the right to. There’s no edgy shuffle, no bobbing, and no thud-thudding either. In fact, over our regular surfaces, the Coupe rides almost as well as any luxury SUV. Yes, there is a hint of stiffness and some small amount of movement is there, but that apart, comfort levels are so good, the Coupe can pass muster as regular everyday transport, and that’s important.
The 21-inch wheels look great and don't hamper ride quality.
Select Sport, this is a Porsche, get it onto an appropriate road and the Cayenne Coupe also, very quickly, telegraphs its intent to you via the rim of the steering. Now much more direct, compared to earlier Cayennes of this generation, the steering is slack-free and only gets better the harder you drive the Coupe. Tight body control ensures direction changes are handled by what feels like only small movements, and then, as long as you are precise and deliberate into corners, the Coupe truly does feel sporty and fun, despite the scales reading in excess of 2.1 tonne. Porsche cannot totally defy the laws of physics, and you do feel the mass when you slow down, speed up or make big directional changes, but all in all, the Cayenne now feel a bit more agile and willing. Of course, it helped that our car has a steered rear axle, which plays an important part when it comes to agility. And then because the four-wheel-drive system essentially runs in rear-wheel-drive mode, you get a hint of oversteer on gravelly corners.
The Cayenne Coupe feels sporty and fun despite it weighing 2.1 tonnes.
The 340hp single-turbo V6 also has sufficient power when you are diving in and out of corners. The engine has a reasonably sporty exhaust note, it spins freely and its 0-100kph time of 6.0sec dead is good enough too. It’s just that this is a Porsche, and especially in a straight line, and from rest, you expect a bit more of a kick and a bit more drama. Strange thing is you can’t even opt for the Cayenne Coupe S that has 430hp. However,the single-turbo engine is responsive, the gearbox functions well in traffic and driving is effortless. Wish the motor were a bit smoother though,and the gearbox could have been bit quicker on the draw in Comfort and Sport too.
3.0-litre, V6 turbo-petrol produces 340hp.
The Cayenne Coupe also has an Off-road mode. Select this and the SUV rises up on its air springs, providing you enough clearance to take it off the beaten path. Now all you have to do is take care of those big 21-inch wheels. So, despite behind extremely sporty in how it drives, you can also access places only SUVs with plenty of clearance can reach.
Air-suspension provides ample ground clearance to go off-road.
What is the new Porsche Cayenne Coupe like on the inside?
With our focus on rear-seat comfort, does the 20mm lower roofline mean reduced rear seat comfort? Not really. Porsche has solved the problem by mounting the bench 30mm lower, compared to the regular Cayenne. This does mean that you are sat a bit lower and a bit more knees up, but what you also get is loads and loads of legroom, a perfectly reclined back rest and even a long, comfy seat. The fixed panoramic roof brightens up the cabin, as and when you need it, visibility out isn’t too compromised, and you also get soft-close doors and electrical window blinds.
The rear seat is mounted 30mm lower than in the standard Cayenne, to counter the lower roof-line.
If you are familiar with the Cayenne and its high-quality dash, the Coupe comes with no significant changes. The 12.3-inchscreen still stands out as something special, the instrument panel with the tachometer at the centre and the screens on either side looks appropriately Porsche and with the three-spoke steering finished in high-gloss chrome, there are plenty of details to stare at. I particularly like the large bracket-like chrome vents, and the knurled details on the metallic buttons and switches that feel special; and this is also true of the aviation-inspired shiny black central console that is full of buttons that work on capacitive touch.
The high-quality dashboard shares its design and layout with the standard Cayenne.
The hidden menus that pop up on the touchscreen when your finger nears it are, however, an unnecessary source of confusion, the stopwatch mounted on the top of the dash is still a head scratcher and you will need to buy plenty of USB C adapters for your phones and devices. And for those of you who don’t pack light, please remember thatthe 16 percent smaller,625-litre boot isn’t as large as it should be on an SUV of this size.
Should I buy the new Porsche Cayenne Coupe?
If you are looking for a sporty luxury SUV, the Cayenne Coupe ticks a lot of boxes. Clearly sportier and more attractive looking than the block-like standard car, it is also one of the best-looking cars of its genre. It has the stance, there is a clear bloodline to Porsche’s sportier cars visible and then, impressively, the Coupe isn’t impractical either. Far from it, comfort levels on the inside are almost as good, the car clearly feels more special on the inside, quality levels are very high and then although the boot is a bit smaller, it is also reasonably practical too. Then the ride is comfortable despite the 21-inch wheels. and the Coupe also drives like a Porsche should. It’s no 911, for sure, but you can certainly derive a fair amount of driving pleasure on a winding road or dirt road. It does need a bit more grunt, and more performance would be much appreciated, but should you buy the Coupe instead of the regular Cayenne? Definitely, if you want a bit more style and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of practicality.
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