PORSCHE NEW FASTBACK CAYENNE PRIORITISES SPORT OVER UTILITY

15th October 2020

Every serious garage, like every serious watch collection, needs more than one piece. Chopard’s handsome Classic, and hi-tech Superfast Porsche 919 Edition both tell the time, but you’d be no more likely to wear the chronograph to an evening function than take your dress watch to the track. Words by Chris Chilton.

Porsche Fastback

The breadth of Chopard’s range means you can have a different timepiece to suit each occasion and stay within the family. And since the introduction of the Cayenne SUV back in 2002, Porsche fans needing a second car offering more practicality than their 911 or Boxster have been able to do the same.

Now, however, with the new Cayenne Coupé, Porsche brings those two poles slightly closer. Although clearly based on the existing Cayenne, the Coupé features a 20mm lower roof that’s constructed from glass as standard, but can be swapped for carbon fibre if you specify the optional lightweight pack.

There’s also a steeply raked rear screen and more pronounced rear hips to emphasise the new, muscular look. Finishing off the new design are a pair of spoilers: a small fixed wing at the top of the rear screen, and an electric one at the base that extends 135mm into the airstream at speeds over 56mph.

Creating a clear visual link between a huge SUV and Porsche’s iconic 911 sports car is no mean feat, but the designer have done a great job. So great you have to wonder why it took Porsche so long. Despite being one of the first to offer a genuinely high performance driver-focused SUV, Porsche is one of the last to deliver a sportier fastback variant. BMW’s X6, this car’s most obvious rival, first appeared way back in 2008.

Inside, the dashboard and centre console with its glorious wide touchscreen are carried over. But the rear three-seat bench is swapped for one sculpted for two (you can revert to three at no extra cost), and mounted slightly lower in the car to replace the headroom lost to the sportier roofline.

CREATING A CLEAR VISUAL LINK BETWEEN A HUGE SUV AND PORSCHE’S ICONIC 911 SPORTS CAR IS NO MEAN FEAT, BUT THE DESIGNER HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB. SO GREAT YOU HAVE TO WONDER WHY IT TOOK PORSCHE SO LONG.

And under the bonnet you’ll find one of three engines, all familiar to existing Cayenne owners. Base model and Cayenne S Coupés get turbocharged V6 engines developing 335bhp or 434bhp, while the power crazed can step up to the 542bhp V8-powered Cayenne Turbo that can reach 62mph in just 3.9sec. In each case power is delivered to all four wheels with the option of a rear-wheel steering system to increase the agility of what is a large, still tall, and heavy car.

Despite the Coupé’s sportier image Porsche doesn’t make any great claims of dynamic superiority over the regular Cayenne, and of course that sloping rear window impacts on practicality, reducing space in the still-ample boot by 145 litres. Yet Porsche wants more money in return. The Cayenne Coupé starts at £62,129, so costs between £3,574 and £4,935 more than the Cayenne depending on the model.

No better to drive, less useful and more expensive? Viewed dispassionately you could say cars like the Cayenne Coupé are absurd. But you don’t approach a car with a Porsche badge on the nose dispassionately any more than you would a Chopard.

You can rationalise the purchase of a car or watch by referencing its performance or build quality, but often the draw is more personal than that. The Cayenne Coupé is bound to divide opinion, but Porsche’s bulging order book is testament to its appeal.

Find more motoring news at www.rox.co.uk/magazine/motoring

CONTINUE READING

CARRERA MARVEL

Subtle styling revisions disguise major improvements in Porsche’s iconic 911 sports car’. Words by Chris Chilton.

Ferrari Related

FERRARI SWITCHES ON TO ELETRIC POWER

This year, both Hublot and Ferrari celebrate the Scuderia Ferrari racing team’s 90 years of competition in typically arresting fashion.

Epic Drives Norway Related

EPIC DRIVES | NORWAY

It’s a long old haul to get there – about 30 hours not including rest stops – and the tarmac in question is a mere 12-minute blast, but boy oh boy is Norway’s Atlantic Road worth it.