Niche busting has defined the automotive industry. Like strange crossbreeds of dogs, cars of different purposes have been mating resulting in some rather weird and wonderful creations. One of the more widely accepted results was the BMW X6 that was born a staggering 11 years ago. Despite being called ugly and accused of being a compromised and impractical X5, the X6 was a hit and continues to sell well to this day.
Other manufactures cottoned on and soon Mercedes-Benz jumped on the bandwagon with the GLE Coupe. Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz chucked their large SUVs into the tumble drier and their shrunken siblings that are the X4 Coupe and GLC Coupe emerged. Niches within Niches. Porsche had always stayed true to their core models, the furthest they strayed was with the Panamera Sport Turismo off the back of the success and warm reception of the concept car that debuted a few years earlier.
Then out of nowhere came the news of the Porsche Cayenne Coupe – I went to Austria to see what was what. Upon launch the base Cayenne and Turbo were offered, more recently the Cayenne S has been added to the range. It is safe to assume that there will the usual barrage of models soon to come. Since Porsche like to break records it is also possible that there could be a more potent model in the works, simply rumour and hearsay for now.
Seeing as this is GTspirit.com, I opted to spend my time with Cayenne Coupe in Turbo form. Unsurprisingly, the car felt very similar to the standard Cayenne – by no means a bad thing. Heading into the Austrian hills around Graz was more fun that it should have been in a car weighing two tonnes. The handling is sublime for something this big, the way you can chuck it into corners and not find understeer, just massive traction, is physics defying.
With a great big 4.0 litre 542 bhp V8 under the hood, it is no surprise that 0-100 is done in 3.9, but it still shocks you when you engage sport plus and mash the go fast pedal. The usual raft of optional tech such as four wheel steer, torque vectoring, active engine mounts and other weight masking wizardry do their best to really enhance the sporting characteristics of the Cayenne Coupe. Be aware that all of the aforementioned technologies are optional extras, even on the range topping and mighty pricy Turbo.
So what about that new rear end? Well looks are subjective, but I feel it is no more offensive to look at that any of it’s other German rivals…not that that’s very difficult. Inside the roof at the rear is 20mm lower, the seats have been lowered to compensate. Space is fine for anyone that is less than 6ft tall. There is also a loss of 145 litres in the boot, but it is still large enough for most scenarios you would expect to encounter.
The infotainment is identical to the standard car, it is functional but takes a little time to get used to – I still feel touch screens are far too distracting and that we need to return to physical buttons. Again, personal preference.
The car you see photographed in the very one I was piloting. What is amusing is that it was finishing in Lava Orange – a GT3 RS colour, it featured ‘GT style’ wheels and the rather amusingly named ‘Lightweight Sports Package’, yes, really. This comprised of a carbon fibre roof, SportDesign Package with carbon fibre diffuser, four sports seats finished in traditional ‘houndstooth’, alcantara steering wheel, the aforementioned wheels and a few other black bits. These options save a negligible amount of wait but will, no doubt, prove desirable in a world of must haves.
All in all, the Cayenne Coupe is Porsche’s answer to its competitors. It does it in the usual Porsche fashion and it is still a fantastic car to drive given its size. No doubt that it will sell by the dozen!