Porsche SUV will wield 542bhp for 0-62mph in 3.9sec and 178mph in Turbo guise
The new Porsche Cayenne Coupé, a rakishly restyled version of the brand’s largest SUV, will take direct aim at the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.
Key styling changes over the ‘regular’ Cayenne include the adoption of a shallower windscreen and a more heavily curved roofline that extends back to form an integral part of a large liftback-style tailgate.
Redesigned rear doors and wider bumpers also bring an additional 18mm in width, while the rear numberplate has been repositioned into the bumper.
As with the Cayenne, the Cayenne Coupé has an active rear spoiler. It works in combination with a roof spoiler, extending by 135mm at speeds above 56mph to provide additional downforce.
“The Coupé includes all the technical highlights of the current, third-generation Cayenne but has a design that is more progressive, athletic and emotional,” said Porsche boss Oliver Blume.
The Cayenne Coupé will be sold initially with the choice of two petrol engines. Other options, including a pair of petrol-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrains shared with the second-generation Panamara, are expected to be added to the new line-up by the end of the year as part of Porsche’s electrification push.
The entry model is powered by a turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 producing 335bhp and 332lb ft of torque. In combination with a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox, it has a claimed 0-62mph time of 5.9sec and a top speed of 151mph.
Higher in the line-up, the Cayenne Turbo Coupé is fitted with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8. With 542bhp and 568lb ft of torque and the same gearbox as its lesser sibling, it has a claimed 0-62mph time of 3.9sec and a 178mph top speed.
The BMW X6 M, powered by a 567bhp twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8, and the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupé, with its 577bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, possess the same claimed 0-62mph time of 4.2sec and a governed top speed of 155mph.
The new Cayenne Coupé has a four-seat layout, including a newly designed rear bench with two individual seats divided by a central armrest as standard. Buyers can also specify an optional three-seat bench in the rear for no additional cost.
Rear occupants sit 30mm lower than in the Cayenne, which ensures there is “plenty of head room”, according to Porsche, despite the more sporting roofline.
Boot capacity is put at 625 litres, rising to 1540 litres when the rear seats are folded down. This is respectively 145 litres and 170 litres less than in the Cayenne. The Cayenne Turbo Coupé’s boot offers slightly less space, at 600 litres, or 1510 litres with the rear seats down.
By comparison, the soon-to-be-succeeded second-generation X6 provides 550 litres of boot space and the current GLE Coupé has
Up front, the dashboard, digital instruments display, touchscreen infotainment system and other controls are all shared with the Cayenne, alongside which the Cayenne Coupé is produced at Porsche’s Leipzig factory in Germany.
The Cayenne Coupé comes with a panoramic glass roof with an integrated roller blind as standard. Buyers will also be able to order the new Porsche with an optional contoured carbonfibre-reinforced plastic roof similar in style to that featured on the 911 GT3 RS.
The optional roof is available as part of one of three lightweight sports packages, which also include unique exterior design detailing, 22in wheels, carbonfibre and Alcantara interior trims and, for the top-of-the-line Cayenne Turbo Coupé, a sports exhaust.
Porsche has yet to detail the changes it has made to the suspension of the Cayenne for the Cayenne Coupé, but all models will receive speed-sensitive power steering plus 20in alloy wheels, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the Sport Chrono package as well as Park Assist and a reversing camera as standard.
Prices start at £62,129 for the Cayenne Coupé and £104,729 for the higher-spec Cayenne Turbo Coupé, with orders open now ahead of deliveries in May.
In many regards, Porsche has been slow to the coupé SUV market. After all, BMW has been there for more than a decade with the X6.
But perhaps – as so often – Porsche’s timing is spot on. Whereas early movers attracted ridicule, Porsche arrives as sales in the sector are taking off, and where global tastes – rather than the extremes of markets such as Russia and China – are open-minded to what’s on offer. The potential for widespread success is there for the taking.
It’s little wonder Porsche’s product planners predict that the Cayenne Coupé will account for 25% of all Cayenne sales, which totalled just more than 74,000 cars in 2018, and which are expected to rise again off the back of this launch attracting yet more buyers.
It’s hard to believe, but the Cayenne was once the most controversial Porsche ever launched. Now the firm has landed a coupé variant with barely a naysayer raising a voice, and even those who do are sated by the knowledge that the epic profits generated are being ploughed into safeguarding the future of cars like the 911.
Q&A OLIVER BLUME, CEO, PORSCHE
Why make the Cayenne Coupé now?
“The inspiration comes from the 911. By cleverly creating derivatives, we have shown how you can keep interest up in a car.”
Are there other derivatives to come, then?
“We can go further, yes. We have some ideas in an even more sporty direction, for instance.”
Would you consider a three-door coupé?
“No, that’s not in the plan.”
You’ll launch an electric Macan in 2021, alongside a petrol model. How long will that continue?
“For at least two years. At that point, we can decide whether to upgrade the combustion engines to the new Euro 7 [emissions] standard or go full electric.”
How many deposits for the Porsche Taycan do you have now?
“Around 20,000 have paid. Production was set at 20,000 cars a year. We may have to raise that.”
When will you launch hybrid or electric sports cars?
“We have prototypes of the 718 running in electric now and a hybrid prototype is being built. If you look to the next generation of those cars, it is possible they will be plug-in hybrid or hybrid.”
Is it decided that the next 918 Spyder hypercar will be fully electric?
“No – but it’s some way off, because if it is electrified, then battery performance is not where we need it yet.”