Test Drives

2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe Review: Go big, go sporty



Will this lower slung and more curvy version of the Porsche Cayenne find success in urban Singapore?

SINGAPORE

The Porsche Cayenne will always be remembered as the model that launched the specialist German sports car maker into the mainstream luxury car segment when it appeared in 2002.

Now into the third generation, the large SUV has gained another body style. The Cayenne Coupe is a styling-led exercise in car design, and what’s happened here is that the large luxury SUV’s body has been reshaped into a sleeker silhouette, with a further raked front windscreen, lower roofline and the width pushed out by an additional 18mm.

To accommodate the lower interior headroom, the rear seats have been lowered by 30mm. This gives the huge car a decidedly more cosy feel in the back. To keep up with its image of being the sporty number, the standard specification for the back seat is a two-seat bench, with the middle divided by a plastic tray that is not entirely useful. Thankfully, the optional three-seat bench is available as a no-cost option.

Interior architecture is practically identical to the current-gen Cayenne, and there’s no lack of space all round. The gloss black centre console with touch sensitive buttons looks classy but can be hard to use while driving due to the lack of tactile feel.  You will need to at least glance down to see what your hands are pressing on, at least until you are very familiar with the car.

A 3.0-litre turbo V6 engine powers the base model driven here. The Cayenne S Coupe variant gains a 100hp power boost, courtesy of a 2.9-litre V6 with twin turbochargers. The most powerful Cayenne Turbo Coupe makes use of a 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 with 550hp on tap. Wonder how that car drives? ‘Big’ Dave Khoo tested it overseas.


READ MORE: Audi’s RS Q8 offers a similar coupe-SUV experience for less of a premium



The eight-speed automatic transmission is smooth and quick with its shifting, and the coupe feels a lot like the standard Cayenne SUV. It’s a Porsche so it does mean that handling and power delivery is top notch, with a very linear feel to the engine’s pace.

Outside the car, a fixed rear roof spoiler helps reduce lift at high speeds in tandem with an adaptive tail spoiler that deploys at speeds over 90km/h. It can also be deployed with the push of a button on the centre console. We have no doubt that it works aerodynamically, but when deployed it does look a little like someone left the booth half open.

In the standard Porsche fashion, the basic car out of the factory comes with very little in the way of extras. The test unit driven here actually features an incredible $101,065 worth of options fitted, of which the bulk of the cost goes to the Lightweight Sport Package.

The LSP includes a carbon-fibre roof in place of the standard panoramic glass roof, 22-inch wheels, a heated, alcantara-wrapped sports steering wheel, alcantara roof lining, and carbon interior trim.

The fitted sports exhaust system is an $11,574 extra, the interior ambient lighting package costs $1,646, the Porsche Dynamic Lighting System costs $5,546 and the Porsche tyre valve caps cost $79. The running Lava Orange colour is also an option that will cost the buyer an additional $9,685. There are plenty of other add-ons, but these are just some of the really noticeable ones that demonstrate how the car’s price can rise quickly when you start ticking the options boxes.

The obvious competitor is the BMW X6, arguably the car that started this whole SUV coupe thing more than 10 years ago.  The current-gen BMW X6 xDrive40i is powered by a 3.0-litre turbo V6 with 340hp. If you’ve looked at the power specifications of the Porsche, you would notice that they are nearly identical.

The Beemer is a fair bit cheaper for arguably the same amount of performance though, and you can say similar with Audi’s RS Q8, which has the same underpinnings as the Cayenne Coupe. But
then there’s always the option of a smaller, faster, five-seat Porsche in the form of the Macan GTS for less money too, or the ‘plain’ Cayenne which is certainly no slouch to drive.

The Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an effective styling exercise and the car still retains the famed Porsche driving dynamics, but it’s ultimately a car for a niche segment, albeit one that has buyers with deep pockets and focused tastes.

Porsche Cayenne Coupe

Engine

2,995cc, V6, turbocharged

Power

340hp at 5300-6400rpm

Torque

450Nm at 1340-5300rpm

Gearbox

8-speed automatic

0-100km/h

6.0 seconds

Top Speed

243km/h

Fuel Efficiency

9.9L/100km

VES Band / CO2

C2 / 225g/km

Agent

Stuttgart Auto

Price

S$461,253 without COE (as tested)

Availability

Now

Verdict

Drives as you would expect a Porsche to do, though it’s really a styling exercise from the standard Cayenne

 

about the author

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Lionel Kong
An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.