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Driven: Porsche goes Coupe with Cayenne

One in five Aussie Porsche Cayenne customers expected to choose new Coupe body style

12 Dec 2019

THE Porsche Cayenne Coupe has landed in Australian showrooms, where one in five Cayenne customers are expected to choose the lower, wider, more curvaceous new body style, according to Porsche Cars Australia (PCA).


An overall uplift in Cayenne sales is also anticipated by PCA due to the range’s newly broadened appeal and its ability to tempt people away from – or out of – existing coupe-SUVs such as the BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, Audi Q8 and Range Rover Velar.


PCA head of public relations Chris Jordan told GoAuto the company had received strong expressions of interest since the Cayenne Coupe was unveiled in March but that many customers were “waiting to see it in the metal” before committing.


Like the wagon-bodied Cayenne, the new Coupe range is topped by a blistering V8-based plug-in hybrid driveline that punches out a combined 500kW and 900Nm for 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds and official combined fuel consumption of just 4.4 litres per 100km.


At $292,700 plus on-road costs, it will take some time to recover the cost difference between the Cayenne Coupe Turbo S E-Hybrid and its 404kW/750Nm petrol-only Turbo counterpart, which gulps 12.3L/100km and is priced $39,100 less yet completes the triple-digit sprint just a tenth of a second later due to its simpler driveline weighing 335kg less.


On the other hand, the plug-in Cayenne Coupe commands a relatively modest $4700 premium over its wagon-bodied equivalent compared with between $10,000 and $12,000 extra charged for other variants.


Also, the Coupe – that was developed in parallel with the regular Cayenne that launched here 18 months ago – comes with a higher level of standard equipment than a regular Cayenne.


For those not occupying the rarefied air of a top-end Cayenne Coupe, the range opens at a comparatively affordable $128,000 plus on-roads for the turbo-V6 petrol base variant, climbing to $166,200 for the S that runs a more powerful biturbo petrol V6.


The Cayenne Coupe skips the regular version’s E-Hybrid driveline and trim level that separates the base and S variants with its $136,700 plus on-roads sticker price for a V6 petrol-based plug-in hybrid setup that is both more powerful and more efficient than the S.


Mr Jordan said the E-Hybrid had been omitted from the Australian Cayenne Coupe line-up due to the anticipated buyer profile being more about “performance intent”. He added that PCA would monitor local and global demand for the E-Hybrid and make a decision on whether to introduce it later.


As with the regular Cayenne, all Coupe variants run an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive with torque vectoring.


Providing Porsche with a direct competitor to BMW’s X6 that established the luxury coupe-SUV genre more than a decade ago and recently went on sale Down Under in third-generation form, the Cayenne Coupe also muscles up to the mechanically related Audi Q8 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, which launch here in second-generation guise during the second quarter of next year.


It is also conceivable that petrol V6 and V8 versions of the segment-straddling Range Rover Velar – from $122,172 to $176,412 plus on-roads – would be cross-shopped against a Cayenne Coupe.


At entry level, the Cayenne Coupe is $800 more affordable than an Audi Q8 55 TFSI, with which it shares a 250kW turbo-petrol 3.0-litre V6 that propels the Porsche from 0-100km/h in 6.0s, a tenth slower than the Audi that generates 50Nm more torque – and, interestingly, the wagon-bodied Cayenne equivalent.


Despite identical peak power and torque outputs, the Cayenne Coupe takes half a second longer to reach the acceleration benchmark than a BMW X6 40i that is $3010 less expensive.


The price difference widens to $10,300 when comparing the Cayenne S Coupe to an X5 M50i, which deploys a 390kW/750Nm twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that cracks 0-100km/h in 4.3s compared with the Porsche’s 324kW/550Nm 2.9-litre biturbo V6 and 5.0s acceleration time.


In fact, obtaining V8 performance in a Cayenne Coupe costs almost $100,000 more than it does in the BMW.


If the previous-generation X6 M is anything to go by, the Cayenne Turbo Coupe’s most direct rival could well come in around the $200,000 mark and is likely to share the M5 Competition’s 460kW headline power figure. Similarly, Mercedes-AMG’s second-generation GLE63S Coupe that will develop 450kW and 850Nm has a circa-$200K predecessor setting the price precedent.


Finally, the Audi RSQ8 will arrive here in the third quarter of 2020, using a more potent version of the Cayenne Turbo’s 4.0-litre V8 that has a 37kW/30Nm output advantage, resulting in a 3.8s 0-100km/h time.


The V8 diesel SQ8 (320kW and 900Nm) will arrive early in the second quarter. Pricing for the hot Q8 is yet to be confirmed, although the soon-to-be-replaced SQ7 provides a reference point at $161,900 plus on-roads.

As reported, to reduce the headroom impact of the Cayenne Coupe’s lower sloped roof line, Porsche has dropped rear seat height by 30mm. Seats-up boot space takes a 145-litre hit, or 170L with the rear seats folded. V6 variants have 625L with the seats or 1540L with them down, the Turbo has 600L/1510L and the Turbo S E Hybrid 500L/1440L.


The roof’s leading edge has also been lowered by 20mm and the windscreen more steeply angled, while new rear doors and chunkier fenders have stretched the coupe’s width across the shoulders by 18mm to match the broadened rear track.


Heavily modified bodywork – only the bonnet, front fenders and front door skins are shared with the regular Cayenne – has resulted in the Coupe being 13mm longer overall.


An adaptive boot spoiler can extend 135mm when travelling faster than 90km/h – at which point Porsche says it generates downforce – or when manually activated by a showboating driver. To maintain visibility, the manually deployed spoiler retracts a little at manoeuvring speeds.


Every Cayenne Coupe has adaptive dampers and Porsche’s Sport Chrono package with rotary drive mode selector and 20-second ‘Sport Response’ boost button, along with a unique fixed panoramic glass roof, front and rear parking sensors, surround view cameras and blind spot monitoring.


Compared with the S variant and above, the base Cayenne Coupe misses out on keyless entry and start (a $2430 option), air suspension ($4490), metallic paint ($2300), LED headlights ($1870), ambient lighting ($850), quad-zone climate control ($1720), seat heating ($910 front or $1820 for front and back) and 14-speaker Bose premium audio ($2840).


On sub-Turbo variants, dynamic chassis control is $6870, full leather costs $6920, 18-way front seat adjustment costs $800 and ventilated seats are $2120 (upgrading the S to rear seat heaters is $910), a heated steering wheel is $560, wood or aluminium interior trim is $1630, Alcantara headlining $3500 and floor mats $370. All these are standard on the Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid, apart from the hybrid’s enhanced torque vectoring that is a $3120 option on the S and Turbo.


The fully loaded Turbo S E Hybrid also makes do without the collapsible spare wheel of other Cayenne Coupe variants, making do with tyre sealant and an electric air pump. Leveraging its enhanced fuel efficiency is a smaller 75-litre petrol tank (other variants have a 90L capacity).


Cayenne Coupes have wheels an inch larger than the corresponding wagon, meaning the entry variant rides on 20-inch alloys with 275/45 tyres up front and 305/40 at the rear, stepping up to 21-inch on the S (with 285/40 and 315/45 tyres).


The first Porsche models to wear 22-inch wheels from the factory are the Cayenne Coupe Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid (both wearing 285/35 and 315/30 rubber).


Various alloy wheel upgrades ranging from $1150 to $8260 are offered depending on style, size and the variant they are fitted to. Full colour Porsche-crested wheel centres are $340 extra on the base Cayenne Coupe.


In line with the performance characteristics of each variant, brakes vary from four-piston front/two-piston rear at base level to six-piston front/four-piston rear for the S and 10-piston front/four-piston rear on the Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid.


Rotor size and technology also increases with each variant step, the Turbo having Porsche’s Surface Coated system and the hybrid using full ceramic composite items, both of which are optional on lesser variants.


As is typical, delving into Porsche’s online configurator unearths an almost endless list of ways to spend more on your Cayenne Coupe. Even on the circa-$300K Turbo S E-Hybrid, technologies taken for granted on a mid-spec Mazda cost extra. For example, adaptive cruise control is $3570, a head-up display $3070 and lane-keep assist $1220.


The technology section also includes night vision camera ($4650), garage door opener ($600) and soft-close doors ($1470). A trio of ‘lightweight sport’ packages cost between $20,270 and $33,960 depending on the pack and variant combination. Among the weight-saving measures are replacing the glass roof with a carbon-fibre panel.


An extensive – and expensive – selection of paint and interior finishes are also available, along with in-car entertainment upgrades, rear steer and sports exhausts with silver or black tailpipe trims.


2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe pricing*

Cayenne Coupe (a) $128,000
Cayenne S Coupe (a) $166,200
Cayenne Turbo Coupe (a) $253,600
Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe (a) $292,700

*Excludes on-road costs

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