With its South African launch in the second half of 2019, some would say the Porsche Cayenne Coupé came rather late to the party. It was indeed, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz playing in this SUV-coupé space for just more than a decade now.

Their designs, it must be said, have been polarising to say the least. But now, Porsche seems to have entered the fray with what is quite possibly the best rendition of a SUV-coupé we’ve ever seen.  

New rear design

The Cayenne Coupé sits on the same mechanical infrastructure as the larger and older Cayenne. It sports the same engines, the same suspension and is only technically different where the rear design elements come into play. 

Road test: Svelte Porsche Cayenne Coupé hits the SUV sweet spot_1
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The sloping roofline makes the height slightly lower than a conventional Cayenne, and it comes with a new slanted rear hatch into which Porsche engineers have woven a roof spoiler, as well as an adaptive spoiler that raises from the rear hatch at speeds exceeding 90km/h. 

Whilst the spoiler adds to the overall grip at the rear, it also finishes the coupé silhouette leaving this model as close in design to the inimitable 911 as you can get from a SUV. 

Interior loaded with top tech

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What you lose in height because of the sloping roofline, Porsche has made up for on the interior by reducing the height of the rear seats. 

In terms of boot space, there is a 20-litre difference between the Cayenne and the Cayenne Coupé, the latter with a 625-litre boot capacity which is large by any comparison.

The interior again, is all we’ve come to expect from the Cayenne, with Porsche latest Advanced Cockpit design — a mix of digital interfaces, haptic touch buttons on glass-look surfaces, touch screen functions on a highly configurable 12-inch infotainment display and the traditional analog-meets-digital instrument cluster. 

Premium levels of quality

It’s a classy, functional and practical cabin built to premium levels of quality and undoubtedly built as an easy and natural extension of the driver or passenger needs. 

Ergonomically sound, neither my family nor I struggled to acquaint ourselves within the cabin, even with an extensive list of convenience and safety features. 

The infotainment system can be set up as you wish to display the info you need at all times.

I found this a great feature, where I could display car options, media options, navigation options all on one screen at the same time and even opt to have some of that information displayed to me within the instrument binnacle too. 

It keeps the family informed and allows me to the same privilege without having to constantly scroll or change menus for various feeds of information. 

The drive: Splendidly brisk

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Under the bonnet of the “entry-level” Cayenne Coupé is a 3.0L, turbocharged V6 petrol engine. It’s a smooth mill coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission from which 250kW of power and 450Nm of torque emerge. This makes the car capable of a 243km/h top-end and six seconds from 0-100km/h.

 For a starter model that weighs more than two tonnes, it’s splendidly brisk. The Cayenne can be optioned with a sports exhaust system, and that needs to be considered if you’re resolute on having a more entertaining sound emit from the rear. 

The standard exhaust is brilliantly subdued and in fact quite fitting when you consider the highly refined overall experience. In fact, the entire drive experience is refined – the Cayenne Coupé with all its aero, suspension and chassis techno-wizardry does the daily commute very comfortably and quietly.

Unmistakable Porsche driving experience

Leave the drive mode in “C” or “Comfort” and that’s what it will dish out. It’s a great place to be. 

Switch to Sport or Sport+ however, and the car transforms into something a little more zesty. It’s cornering ability is staggering for a car of this size and weight. The steering feels sharp and very responsive, even at the limits when those front wheels eventually lose grip.

You can feel the weight more acutely here, but as always, you’ll be stunned at this car’s performance potential should it ever be required. 

The Cayenne Coupé is the best looking of the segment and offers an unmistakably Porsche driving experience, that is – fast, engaging, bristling with tech yet absolutely practical and usable too. The Coupé range consists of this, then the Cayenne S-Coupé, the Turbo and then the flagship S E-Hybrid.