PORSCHE CAYENNE COUPE TURBO
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? ⌧
GAS IT OUT, EVEN MIDCORNER, AND IT JUST PUTS DOWN EVERYTHING TO THE ROAD AND SENDS YOU HURTLING AHEAD
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