A sports utility coupe might sound like an oxymoron when you consider that a SUV (sports utility vehicle) is already all about maximum utility while a coupe generally sacrifices function for form. But I suppose there must be a market for such a vehicle, considering the significant number of models designed in the past couple of years.
Porsche finally threw its hat into the ring, adding one to its popular Cayenne range. The changes in the Cayenne Coupe are mostly external, as evidenced by its name. The engineers have taken the Cayenne’s usually square silhouette and chopped off the back like a merciless barber on Pulau Tekong. In its place is a steep, sloping roof line reminiscent of the 911’s beautiful, iconic design language. Unfortunately, this has made rear visibility rather small, especially at night. Drivers, you’ve been warned.
Also, because of that slope, Porsche has lowered the rear seats by 30mm so your passengers won’t bump their heads each time they get in and out. The standard rear bench, usually good for three adults, has been reduced to two, who can now enjoy cup holders and a tray for knick-knacks.
The seats are not the only things that have shrunk. Trunk capacity has also been reduced – a natural consequence of visually appealing aesthetics. The Cayenne Coupe boot capacity is 625 litres, about 100 litres lesser than its non-coupe counterpart. While ideal enough for everyday use, hauling home furniture buys might prove to be a challenge.
Nevertheless, if you can live with these minor shortcomings, it is a gorgeous beast and will put a smile on your face each time you decide to go for a ride. Speaking of which, the drive itself is a marvellous specimen and classic Porsche. Just like every model off the carmaker’s assembly line, it runs on a perfect blend of power and finesse. Sure, it can achieve a top speed of 243kph (standard package) and can complete the century sprint in six seconds, but it’s what happens between zero and six that had me feeling a kid in a candy store.
Changing gears was a breeze, with barely any lag or lurch between each shift. Handling was incredibly responsive with the car moving to where the steering wheel was pointed to. Body control around corners was top notch, too, with none of the hefty rollover many other cars seem to carry around.
As always, Porsche’s Active Suspension Management puts the driver firmly in, well, the driver’s seat. You can also tweak the drive settings in multiple permutations to create a ride that’s perfect for you.
With the demand for sporty SUVs insatiable, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe is poised to become yet another bestseller for the German carmaker. It looks good, it feels good and more importantly, it drives like a Porsche.
Engine: 3.0-litre V6
Power: 350kW at 6,400 rpm
Torque: 450 Nm at 5,300 rpm
0-100kph: 6 secs
Top Speed: 243kph
Porsche Singapore, 29 Leng Kee Road. www.porsche.com