Consumers into the trend will definitely like the crisp dynamics and overall style.
While most buyers are focusing on more family-friendly, practical crossovers, there’s an exuberant segment slotted comfortably amongst most of the popular premium brands. A class pioneered by the likes of the all-but-forgotten Honda Crosstour and Pontiac Aztek, the luxury crossover coupé is alive and well. With entries from Mercedes-Benz and BMW doing exceptionally well for global sales, it was only a matter of time before Porsche would want their piece of the proverbial cake. This is the 2020 Porsche Cayenne S Coupe, a slightly less practical and supposedly more sporty-looking version of the midsize luxury SUV.
The fastback body style is either coveted or hated, depending on who you ask, but this thing got a ton of positive attention out on the road during our test. A poll of our social media followers resulted in 60% of the sample audience voting in favour of it. It still looks iconically like a Porsche, and has the same wide hips that decades-long fans adore so much. The hips are 18mm wider than the regular Cayenne, and the roofline has been lowered 2cm at the highest point. A rear spoiler comes out as the Coupe pushes highway speeds to help with aero, and a fun fact is that there is no rear wiper on this model.
Our specific tester was painted in Lava Orange, a $3,590 option, with the “Porsche” logo painted on the side in matte black ($590). As with the Macan, the 21-inch RS Spyder Design wheels are well worth the $3,090 Porsche commands. Adding to the visuals on this style-focused crossover a Lightweight Sport Package at $17,500, which adds a carbon fiber roof, carbon fiber interior bits, and SportDesign Package Scopes. The black-tinted LED-Matrix headlights, while pricey at $3,110, look great. Just like the regular Cayenne, the light bar on the rear decklid is a stunner at night, and immediately identifies the current crop of P-cars.
Porsche Cars Canada really does know how to spec a car, and while the Lava Orange isn’t really my style, third-party reactions throughout our test week proved that I am indeed, the exception. Step into the Cayenne Coupe and this tester has a gorgeous interior with Classic Chec (read: houndstooth) cloth seats and Alcantara adorning the steering wheel and headliner. The front headrests have Porsche crests embedded in them, and fit and finish is at the top of the class. Everything is put together extremely well, with that top-notch Porsche quality coming through all around the cabin.
The cabin layout is as well thought-out as the quality, with a 12.3-inch touchscreen housing the PCM (Porsche Communication Management) infotainment system. The screen has a matte finish to minimize fingerprints and reflections in direct sunlight, and this goes a long way. The system is fairly easy to navigate, though the rotary controller for the system and the knurled volume knob are easily mistaken for one another. Apple CarPlay is on board, but Android Auto users are still out of luck.
As in the regular Cayenne, the console consists of a series of touch-buttons, which can be confusing. Compared to the organized physical button setup in the Macan (reviewed here), this is a bit more convoluted and much more prone to fingerprints and scratches. Also, given that our Cayenne S wasn’t fully loaded, buttons for the ventilated seats and other options were “greyed out”, and not completely invisible especially in direct sunlight. This is an unpleasant reminder to buyers of the options they didn’t pay for.
The compromise in practicality is the biggest question as it pertains to these crossover coupé things, and the Cayenne is no exception. Rear head and legroom isn’t any different than the The rear cargo area can hold 623-liters of stuff with the rear seats in place, and 1,509-liters with the seats folded down. This is a reduction of 141 and 198-liters, respectively, over the standard Cayenne S (reviewed here). For many, this won’t be a deal breaker, but for young families that require space for bulky strollers or large carry items, the conventional model is likely the one to stick with.
This being the Cayenne S Coupe, it gets a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that is shared with the Panamera as well as the range-topping Macan Turbo. Porsche claims a 0-100km/h time of five seconds with the Sport Chrono Package, and a top speed of 263 km/h. This engine is spectacular, and while it isn’t the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that powers the GTS and Turbo models, its power delivery is confident and smooth. Acceleration is swift, and the eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic, while not their sensational PDK dual-clutch unit, does the job well. It’s worth mentioning that Porsche also claims a negligibly quicker acceleration time with the Lightweight Sport Package equipped here.
Despite being a large, heavy crossover, the Cayenne Coupe handles with poise, a trait unique to Porsche’s family-haulers. The Porsche Active Suspension Management and air suspension systems do a good amount to minimize body roll and keep things stable, and as a result, the Cayenne’s cornering abilities feel superior to the majority of its competition. The BMW X6 M50i feels notably sloppier on the twisty roads, and the Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 feels less refined than both all around.
On to pricing, the $101,500 starting price of the Cayenne S Coupe is an $8,000 premium over the regular Cayenne S, a reasonable increase for the “style” proposition this thing offers. Our tester was fully jammed with a plethora of visuals inside and out as outlined previously. Other noteworthy additions include rear heated seats, Porsche Comfort Access, Adaptive Sport Seats with memory, ambient lighting, Bose audio, a surround-view camera system, and adaptive air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). The sticker as-tested came to $148,730 before destination and delivery.
Major rivals to the Cayenne Coupe include the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, the BMW X6, and the Audi Q8 (reviewed here). Mercedes-Benz and BMW also offer their crossover coupés one class smaller, in the X4 and GLC Coupe, so we feel that a Macan Coupe is also not a complete stretch of the imagination. They may not be enthusiast-favoured, but at the end of the day, successful sales speak for themselves. Consumers into the trend will definitely like the crisp dynamics and overall style of the 2020 Porsche Cayenne S Coupe, as a bonus, Porsche’s Exclusiv Manufaktur program allows buyers to spec out a bespoke model exactly how they want it.