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Porsche Cayenne Coupe
The Top Gear car review:Porsche Cayenne Coupe
What is it like on the road?
While the Coupe gets a wider track and different aero over a standard Cayenne, it also weighs a bit more, so any changes over its more practical sibling are probably only made clear by driving them both back to back. And very enthusiastically, at that. In short, this feels just like a Cayenne always has, which is to say a freakishly deft car for its size and easily one of the most driver-appeasing SUVs on sale.
With a big caveat. All the best tech that Porsche has deployed to tease such agility out of a big car is optional, with rear-wheel steering an especially crucial £1,448 extra. Without it, the Cayenne feels every bit of its two tonnes and enormous girth, but the way it tucks into turns and resists understeer with the RWS options box ticked is staggering. If you’re driving it keenly you’ll need the much pricier carbon ceramic brakes, too. Without them you’ll be far too aware of each and every one of this car’s numerous kilos after only a few corners.
Which brings us to engines. If you want to fully dig into the Cayenne Coupe’s lavish excess, you’ll need the top spec Turbo. A V8 just sounds and feels correct in a car of this heft and its heroic levels of torque (568lb ft from just 2,000rpm) – plus the overlaying of muscle car rumble with Darth Vadar-esque turbo whoosh – is joyously childish in a car so incongruously large. If you want to experience the thuggish, occasionally oversteery nature the very best performance SUVs exhibit, the Turbo is undoubtedly the one to have.
But if you don’t – and let’s face it, you should buy an M5 or E63 AMG if that’s your top priority – then the Cayenne S, with its 434bhp V6, is a real sweet spot in the range. Its engine loves to rev and sounds fantastically natural as it does so, even with the sports exhaust fitted. No wanton pops, crackles or electronic nonsense here. It’s a touch lighter than the V8 and hardly much slower in the real world. Worth a try, at least. The base V6 is pleasantly brisk, too, but lacks the shock and awe buyers of these cars surely seek.
Across the engine range, though, the love that Porsche lavishes on all of its cars is evident. The steering is absurdly communicative for a car of such practicality, though while you may be utilising its chattiness to manage oversteer in a 911 or Cayman, it’s more likely understeer here.
The brakes too are progressive and communicative in a way many owners may never fully appreciate, the pedal telling you so much about the grip underfoot as you heave into a turn. People who really care have developed this car. Even if they’d probably rather have been making something with a GT prefix on its badge.