Porsche Cayenne Coupe Review 2023 | Top Gear
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Monday 2nd October
Leave your baggage about its looks at the door and the Cayenne Coupe is a stupendous thing

Good stuff

Drives freakishly well with the right options. Sounds great, too

Bad stuff

Less space for more cash, as per the SUV coupe norm


What is it?

A totally pointless addition to the automotive landscape. Or the Porsche you’ve been waiting years for. Which way you swing – and we hardly suspect you dwell in the middle – will depend on how you view the modern phenomenon of the SUV coupe.

But all subjective baggage needs to be left resolutely at the door; the sheer sales figures and profit margins achieved by chamfering off your 4x4’s roofline and sportifying its looks cannot be argued with, no matter how much of an enthusiast’s brand you are. In truth it’s amazing it’s taken Porsche, one of the pioneers of the quick crossover, so long to produce one of these things.

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The Cayenne Coupe arrives a year into the Mk3 Cayenne’s life, and while the engineering tweaks are as exhaustive as you’d expect from Porsche, the concept is easy to grasp. Take one Cayenne, drop the roof a bit.

The rear accommodation is now a pair of sculpted sports seats as standard, but you can spec a three-seat bench back in if you need it. The roof is vast panoramic glass as standard, but can be switched to sculptured carbon if you're worried about a drastically raised centre of gravity. Beyond that there’s a dizzying array of chassis and tech options to spend hours of your time (and thousands of your pounds) configuring online, many of them designed to short cut the dynamic penalties a car so big and heavy can’t help but incur.

It’s a tiny bit longer and a weeny bit heavier than a regularly roofed Cayenne, and in turn slower by the most marginal (and least relevant) of whiskers. Power currently comes from a mix of turbocharged petrols. There’s a choice of two V6s, in the 335bhp Cayenne and 434bhp Cayenne S, and a V8 in the shape of the 542bhp Cayenne Turbo. Top speeds range between 150 and 177mph, 0-62mph times between 6.0 and 3.9 seconds. They all use eight-speed automatic gearboxes and there are no diesels, but you can expect hybrids to follow fairly shortly.

Worried the sloping roofline will sever headroom in the back? Porsche has lowered the back seats by 30mm, even though the roof’s only dropped 20mm. Worried the aerodynamic profile’s gone skew-whiff? Porsche has added another rear spoiler, so as well as the roof there’s now an active device on the tailgate. Told you the engineering was exhaustive.

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Naturally, the sportier, more stylish Cayenne is also pricier and to the tune of around £4,000, the exact figure depending on which version you’ve picked, though you do get stuff as standard that’s optional on regular Cayennes. Prices start at a mite over £62,000 for the base V6, topping £100,000 for the Cayenne Turbo (prices in blue at the top of the page encompass all Cayenne variants). So is it worth the extra outlay?

What's the verdict?

Leave your baggage about its looks at the door and the Cayenne Coupe is a stupendous thing

Objectively, this is a stupendous achievement, another large, very heavy SUV that genuinely drives with sports car (ish) vigour. So long as you’ve ticked the right chassis options, mind.

Subjectively? That’s your call. If the swelling ranks of low-slung SUVs haven’t grotesquely offended you then this could be the Cayenne you’ve been waiting for, a long 11 years after the BMW X6 first arrived.

If they have, well the Coupe is precisely as pointless as you might imagine, a Cayenne that’s more expensive, less roomy, marginally slower and not tangibly sharper to drive in real-world conditions. While the Panamera Sport Turismo justifies its price premium over standard with a genuine surge in practicality, the Cayenne Coupe appears to attempt the opposite. But if you get this class of car, that’ll hardly matter one jot.

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