You don't need a Porsche Cayenne Coupe, but we're guessing you'd really, really like one. As the name suggests, this is a sportier-looking version of the standard Cayenne large SUV and it's been engineered with all the same Porsche thoroughness. Which means that it's the very first large SUV Coupe model the market's been offered with handling that can really match the arresting looks that tend to be common in this segment.
You might not be surprised to hear that a Cayenne Coupe drives almost exactly like an ordinary Cayenne. Of course, the standard Cayenne isn't 'ordinary' in the way it hurls nearly 2.3-tonnes of Zuffenhausen real estate up the road. Porsche reckons this variant is even better because of its fractionally lower centre of gravity, though any difference, is there is any, is virtually impossible to detect - on the public road anyway. As with the conventional car, the steering is on another level to what you get from large SUVs from most other brands, being meaty and direct. And, as on the conventional car, you get the option of 'PDCC' 'Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control' that features active anti-roll bars that aim to reduce body lean at speed through the corners.
Through those bends, traction can be maximised if you paid for the 'PTV Plus' 'Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus' rear differential and the rear wheel steer axle. As in the straightforward Cayenne line-up, the engine range kicks off with a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol unit developing 330PS. Next up is the Cayenne S, which gets a twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 good for 440PS. At the top of the range is the Cayenne Turbo, which gets a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 putting out a potent 550PS. There are also two plug-in variants making up for the lack of a diesel: first the 462PS E-Hybrid and, for the really high rollers, a top Turbo S E-Hybrid with 680PS.
That sloping roof line trims around 20mm from the height of a normal Cayenne and to even things out, a few extra millimetres of length and width have been added here and there. The result, to most eyes, is much more elegant than either a BMW X6 or a Mercedes GLE Coupe - but then, those cars are supposed to have an 'in your face' demeanour; in a way, that's the point of them. A Cayenne Coupe doesn't bother with pavement theatrics of that kind, though it's equally style-conscious in its own rather more mature way.
Take for example, the two available roof options - a full length panoramic glass affair or a carbonfibre panel with a 'double bubble' finish similar to that of a 911 GT3 RS. Various 'Lightweight Packages' can also be specified, each offering various carbonfibre interior and exterior trim elements and seats with a combination of alcantara and checked cloth upholstery. Up front, it's basically the same as a normal Cayenne, but in the rear, the normal bench makes way for a couple of individual seats, separated by a storage tray and a couple of cup holders. If you need the occasional option to take three, a '2+1' layout can be specified at extra cost. Out back, as you might expect, the boot has shrunk in size - from 745 to 625-litres - though folding the rear chairs liberates 1,540-litres, only 138-litres down on the standard car.
Why is the motoring press so disparaging towards car like this? Increasingly, people aspire to them just as much as to a Porsche 911 or a Ferrari 488. Ideally of course, you'd have sportscar and sports SUV and if your oak-timbered garage was fortunate enough to accommodate both a Cayenne Coupe (preferably a Turbo) and a 911, we reckon your motoring life would be pretty well covered.
The technology on offer here is awesome - rear wheel steering, air suspension, anti-roll systems and so on - but even if you don't stretch to it, you'll still get a car that dynamically, redefines what's possible in its segment. Just as Porsches always have.Click here to find out more about our Porsche Cayenne Coupe range