Identity Crisis

THE CAYENNE HAS GOTTEN A LOT SPICIER, some might say too hot to handle. The Coupé has arrived and certain varieties take this big Porsche to blazing new heights. A “regular” Cayenne SUV is a relative bargain for Porsche, starting at $79,200. Should you select the Coupé version, add another $9,700, still not bad at $88,900. For more power and panache, you can up the trim to E-Hybrid or S. Within the Turbo trims, the jump from a Cayenne SUV to the Coupé is a $6,300 premium. And you can go to absolute excess with the very top Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupé that starts at $193,100 or the newly launched Turbo GT — the Nürburgring record holder for SUVs — at $200,700.

Most would be happy with the 335 horsepower in the base turbocharged V6, good for acceleration from zero to 100 KPH in six seconds. The S increases horsepower by 99 and decreases acceleration time by one second. The GTS improves a tad further and also includes other standard sport equipment. The Turbo, as with other Porsches bearing this moniker, pumps it up to a higher level with 541 horsepower and a sub-four-second acceleration blitz from a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 — this is an SUV with an identity crisis, an SUV that flat-out refuses to be an SUV.

Porsche Centre Oakville invited Provinz for a drive to see if this is an SUV, a coupe, a performance sedan, some of the above, or all of the above.

The Cayenne Coupé differentiates from its regular SUV self by, of course, the sloped rear roof and coupe silhouette, as well as an overall lower roof by 20 millimetres, redesigned rear fenders that broaden the shoulders by 18 millimetres, speed-activated rear spoiler that surprises the driver the first few times it pops up in the rearview mirror, and a rear bench with two individual sculpted seats (“comfort” rear seats are a no-cost option). 

A big vehicle with big equipment results in big numbers, this also includes weight. The Turbo Coupé rings in at 4,850 pounds, not bad considering all that it is. For comparison, the platform-sharing Lamborghini Urus is the same weight, the Tesla Model X with heavy battery is 5,421 pounds.

So how does it drive? In a word, unbelievable. In more words, read on….

The Cayenne Coupé’s dynamic behaviour belies its size and heft. Sure, pointed straight down the road, it rockets away and gobbles up asphalt like any hungry high-horsepower monster. So does the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody. But when the road starts to bend and twist, the Coupé leaves others behind with only the very tightest of kinks causing the big fiery ute to become unsettled. Aggressive switchbacks make known and underscore the Coupé’s higher centre of gravity and significant weight being tossed back and forth, but the sport-oriented suspension keeps most spirited movements under control. The tires bite and are reluctant to let go, mainly because our test vehicle was equipped with very-low-profile rubber wrapped around 22-inch GT Design wheels. If you don’t tick this wheel option for the enhanced performance, then tick it for the drop-dead gorgeous style — especially when painted in Satin Platinum like our tester. To help things further, we also had the Performance Package that includes rear-axle steering, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and the sport exhaust system.

Also available is the Lightweight Sport Package that includes a carbon-fibre roof to replace the standard panoramic-glass roof, helping to bring down the centre of gravity.

As with any Porsche, one can go crazy with the option list — jump on the online configurator and choose from 17 different wheel styles, various packages including premium and off-road, SportDesign flourishes, illuminated door sills, the latest and greatest driver-assistant aids, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), leather, alcantara, dark walnut, aluminum, and more.

The Cayenne Coupé won’t appeal to everyone, but like other Porsche four-doors before it such as the Panamera and Macan, it will find its audience. We Porschephiles are, in a sense, quite lucky that we don’t have to shop elsewhere, that our favourite automaker gives us options when it comes to a four-door sports car with high performance, high luxury and high style. Add to this some off-road capability and you have the Cayenne Coupé. Various trims and configurations allow us to crank up the spicy level to our own individual taste.

Special thanks to Porsche Centre Oakville for providing the Jet Black Metallic Cayenne Turbo Coupé for this Driving Impression. Contact them today to schedule your test drive: 905-825-4530. </>

2021 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupé
BASE PRICE: $153,800 // PRICE AS TESTED: $190,270

TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, four-passenger, four-door SUV

ENGINE: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

TRANSMISSION: eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic with manual shifting mode

Photography by Christopher Hebert

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