NZ exclusive: new Porsche Cayenne S Coupe tested on home soil
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2019 Porsche Cayenne S Coupe
• Stylish luxury
• Big blind spot
• Porsche price
The first question that comes to mind about the Porsche Cayenne coupe is “why?”. Why a coupe version of the successful Cayenne? Why a Cayenne coupe when you have the Macan? Why a coupe when there’s nothing wrong with the conventional Cayenne? The answer is: why not?
Actually, the more detailed answer is because Porsche Cayenne customers want the added sporty style of an SUV coupe without sacrificing its practicality. Just look at BMW and Mercedes-Benz with their array of coupe SUVs.
Porsche says the coupe has “all the technical highlights of the third generation Cayenne, but has its own strong character. Design and driving dynamics are even sharper”.
Driven tested the Cayenne S coupe; this model starts at $186,900, though the version we tested was optioned with a few extras, such as 22in Classic Wheels in Black ($7600), adaptive cruise control ($3500) and sports exhaust system including tailpipes at $5860.
And just like that, it’s well over $200k; $207,390 to be precise.
The Cayenne S coupe has a 2.9-litre, V6 petrol engine producing 324kW and 550Nm. The all-wheel drive SUV goes from 0-100km/h in 5.0 seconds, and has a top speed of 263 km/h. Performance, in true Porsche fashion, is not a problem.
The Cayenne coupe has an eight-speed automatic transmission that is great at self-care but if you want to activate a more sporty response, you can, via the steering wheel paddles.
It is 30mm lower than the standard Cayenne SUV with a curved rear and adaptive rear spoiler differentiating it from its sibling. That spoiler is integrated into the silhouette and extends by 135mm over 90km/h, increasing the downforce on the rear.
It also features a vast panoramic fixed glass roof, giving it a roomier, lighter look inside though Porsche has made sure the second row easily accommodates adults by lowering the seat position.
The front windscreen and A-pillar are shallower than in the standard Cayenne because the roof edge has been lowered by around 20mm.
Newly designed rear doors and wings broaden the shoulders by 18mm, making it look more muscular. The coupe is nearly 5m long, 1983mm high and 1671mm wide at the rear.
And talking about the rear, the boot lip extends to the end of the bumper so there is a lower edge, making it easier to load large packages.
The interior feels like it belongs in a Porsche 911, thanks to such stylish elements as the side air vents, a broad dashboard and large centre console. The 12.3in touchscreen infotainment display in the centre of the dashboard basically controls everything in the car. The downside is that the glossy screen shows fingerprint marks, so keep a packet of screen wipes handy.
On the steering wheel is a switch that lets you change driving, just like you’ll find in the 911. And, like the 911, the Cayenne coupe designed not just for city driving but for more performance inspiring routes.
Thumb the switch to sport mode, the coupe’s throttle and gearbox sharpen and it stiffens the standard adjustable suspension. Want a more dynamic ride? Switch to sport+ and the vehicle automatically lowers, the engine sound deepens and there’s firmer steering and more active performance from the vehicle.
Driven had the coupe in sport mode on the motorway, but dialled in sport+ when we headed to a challenging, winding country road where the bitumen was patchy, needing to navigate past bumps at speed. Even for a big SUV, the coupe handled the swerving with the ease of a 911. And that’s the point of this Cayenne coupe: it looks like an SUV but has a sports coupe’s capability.
There’s a but. The coupe styling presents a huge rear blind spot placing more importance on the blind spot monitoring and reversing camera. Though owners will likely see this as the smallest inconvenience for the performance and style of the Cayenne coupe.