En­gine 3996cc, V8, twin-turbo Trans­mis­sion 8-speed auto Power 542bhp @ 5750-6000rpm Torque 770Nm @ 2000-4500rpm Weight 2200kg 0-100kmph 3.9sec (claimed) Top speed 286kmph (claimed) Price ` 2 crore (es­ti­mated)

The nar­row roads of Nice are not where I wanted to be pok­ing around the cabin, but I couldn’t re­sist. Let’s see… the Cayenne Coupe gets the Sports Chrono pack­age as stan­dard. Which means I had a stop­watch on the dash, and a drive mode se­lec­tor on the ’wheel. I have also got air sus­pen­sion on the Turbo as stan­dard. You get two rear seats, now lower by 18mm to com­pen­sate for the roof as well. A lit­tle more pok­ing and prod­ding in the Coupe’s cabin re­vealed the 18-way ad­justable seats and… oooh, this is so gen­er­ous of Porsche… a re­vers­ing cam­era as stan­dard!

Hon­estly, though, with a twin-turbo V8 un­der the hood, re­vers­ing cam­eras are so bloody ir­rel­e­vant. That en­gine is the party piece, it is the same one in the Urus but with the wick turned down. That is if you can call 542bhp and 770Nm ‘turned down’. Ac­cel­er­a­tion is bru­tal but in de­fault mode, the re­sponses aren’t ul­tra-sharp in in­ter­est of com­fort — in­duc­ing mi­nor whiplash every time I breathe on the throt­tle which would be an­noy­ing for the pas­sen­ger. Dial it up, and the throt­tle re­sponds pro­gres­sively sharper. In Sport Plus, it is pos­i­tively vi­o­lent (not as loony as the Lam­borgh­ini Urus, though) and al­lows you to get a move on good and proper when you want to.

France’s roads aren’t flaw­less — they are ac­tu­ally rather un­even, some­thing con­firmed by the hordes

of ADV mo­tor­cy­cles and the lack of su­per­sport bikes carv­ing up these cor­ners. The Cayenne Coupe re­mained com­posed. It has none of the float­i­ness gen­er­ally as­so­ci­ated with air sus­pen­sion. Ours was specced with the op­tional 22s, and that does give a slight firm­ness to the ride but it is bet­ter than I an­tic­i­pated. Dial up the chas­sis, and it re­ally tight­ens things up. It cor­ners flat­ter, with barely any roll but it also trans­fers a lot more into the cabin. Hammer through a dip in the road and you will feel it in your gut.

Where the Cayenne Coupe re­ally, re­ally im­presses is its han­dling. Firstly, the sheer grip it has is un­be­liev­able. Chuck it into a corner, and get­ting it to come close to un­der­steer­ing is near im­pos­si­ble on a road like this. Fat tyres, the wider rear track width, the all-wheel drive, and torque vec­tor­ing all keep it su­per tied down. The chas­sis man­ages the lat­eral changes in weight very well and there is ab­so­lutely no drama. You’re al­ways in con­trol. Gas it out, even mid-corner, and it just puts down ev­ery­thing to the road and sends you hurtling ahead.

What sets the Cayenne apart though is the steer­ing. Sure, you can use it as a point-and-shoot weapon like any other per­for­mance SUV, but the Coupe’s steer­ing is di­rect, al­most tele­pathic, and will change the di­rec­tion of the two-tonne mam­moth with sur­pris­ing fi­nesse. The rear-wheel steer­ing surely helps in this re­gard. There’s feed­back too, so while it will in­dulge your child­ish im­pulses to go full gas out of every corner, if you want to ac­tu­ally thread it through a set of bends with fi­nesse, it will com­ply.

I didn’t get a speed­ing ticket that day, though I was cer­tain that our whole lot should have been in­side a French lock-up with the way we were driv­ing. That’s the thing about the Cayenne — it wants you to drive hard and fast. It’s hard not to love it and Porsche will in­dulge you with both the base V6 and Turbo com­ing to In­dia at the end of this year. It will be priced at a slight pre­mium over the Cayenne Turbo with all the ex­tra equip­ment but me thinks it is def­i­nitely worth wait­ing for. Sure you could just check the same boxes on a reg­u­lar Cayenne Turbo and will have some­thing not too far off from the Coupe. But doesn’t every­body want their SUVs to both go and look like sports cars? ⌧


Clock­wise from top: The Coupe’s face is quite sim­i­lar to the Cayenne; ac­tive rear spoiler sup­ple­ments the fixed one on the roof; light­weight wheels on the Coupe keep it sporty

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