2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupé First Review
- Coupé version of the Cayenne SUV
- Standard, S, and Turbo variants
- Standard glass roof and available Lightweight Sport Package
- Choice between 2- and 3-seat second row
- Available in Fall 2019
- Prices start at $75,300
Porsche has introduced three new Cayenne Coupé models, which share the third-generation platform with the standard Cayenne SUV. Although the platform and engine choices mirror those on the traditional Cayenne, Porsche has made several significant changes that define the Coupé’s sportier mission. These include revisions to the body, alternations to the suspension, interior enhancements, redesigned 22-inch wheels, and a new option package. Standard seating is for four, with sport seats in the second row. However, customers may choose a traditional 3-position second row at no additional cost.
How much does the Porsche Cayenne Coupé cost?
Base price of the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupé is $75,300. The Cayenne Coupé S starts at $88,600, while the Cayenne Coupé Turbo has a base MSRP of $130,100. While priced about $10,000 higher than their equivalent Cayenne models, the Coupé variants arrive with additional standard equipment – much of it emphasizing the sporty characteristics of the slope-roof body style. When the cost of that equipment is factored in, the Coupé’s pricing premium is about $1,500.
A new, sleeker, slope-roof body style
Most obvious is the Cayenne Coupé’s new sleek silhouette, which features a roofline that is .78 inches lower than that on the standard Cayenne. This change necessitated alterations from the vehicle’s A-pillar rearward, including reengineering the rear doors. Lastly, Porsche redesigned the rear fascia, integrating the license plate into the rear bumper to visually accentuate a lower appearance.
Standard seating is for four, but the automaker offers a 3-passenger second row at no additional cost. Porsche lowered the rear seats by 1.2 inches, to improve headroom for the rear passengers. Their efforts paid off – we set the front seats to a comfortable position for our 6-foot 2-inch frame and then effortlessly climbed into the rear seats. Knee, leg, shoulder, and headroom were plentiful – adults fit very comfortably in the second row. Luggage space is also impressive. From a passenger and utility perspective, the Cayenne Coupé’s sloping roof doesn’t appear to be a significant compromise.
Standard glass roof or optional Lightweight Sport Package
The Cayenne Coupé is fitted with a standard panoramic glass roof. The massive, single-piece panel – devoid of any structural bracing or cross beams – was designed to give passengers an extraordinary sense of space and openness. The tinted glass is laminated, just like the front windscreen (most overhead glass is only tempered), which provides additional sound deadening properties and a significant improvement in safety as the multi-layered glass is very strong and shatter-resistant – Porsche engineers said it has even been tested against hail.
The optional Lightweight Sport Package, which lowers overall weight by more than 48 pounds, swaps out the glass roof for a contoured carbon-fiber roof panel. The package may be bundled with other sport-oriented enhancements including reduced sound deadening and unique trim on the exterior (front trim, front spoiler, side skirts, lower rear fascia, and wheel arch extensions). Optional seats, with houndstooth cloth inserts, are only offered with the Lightweight Sport package (we sampled them and found the unique upholstery choice both attractive and impressively comfortable). Those seeking further weight reductions may opt for the forged aluminum, 22-inch, GT Design wheels that are each about four pounds lighter than the standard wheels – further improving performance by shaving unsprung weight.
What are the engine choices in the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupé?
Porsche is initially offering three different engines in the Cayenne Coupé, which align with the three different models: Standard, S, and Turbo. The standard engine is a turbocharged, 3.0-liter, V6 rated at 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. The S model is fitted with a twin-turbocharged, 2.9-liter, V6 rated at 434 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. The Turbo model boasts a twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter, V8 rated at 541 horsepower and 567 lb-ft of torque.
Standard 8-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and air suspension
Unlike the Panamera models, which are fitted with Porsche’s new 8-speed PDK automated dual-clutch gearbox, the automaker has chosen an 8-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission for the Cayenne Coupé. When compared to its dual-clutch counterpart, the smooth-shifting torque converter transmission offers benefits for low-speed off-road conditions and it is more capable in terms of towing (the Cayenne Coupe is rated to tow up to 7,700 pounds when properly equipped).
Active Porsche Traction Management (PTM) is the automaker’s term for permanent, electronically controlled, torque-distributing all-wheel drive. Porsche has engineered the system to provide ideal traction and driving dynamics, whether the Cayenne Coupé is driving on public roads, the race track, or off-road. Available three-chamber air suspension (standard on the Turbo models) lowers the vehicle for stability and aerodynamic efficiency at high speeds while also allowing a maximum ground clearance of 9.6 inches and a water wading depth of 20.6 inches when set at its highest setting.
How does the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupé drive?
The Cayenne Coupé raises the elevated bar already set by the standard Cayenne. The seating position is high, which gives the driver commanding views out the front and side windows. Vision out the back, through the rearview mirror, is slightly compromised by the Coupé’s shorter rear glass – the top and bottom are cropped. Well placed exterior mirrors, and a multitude of logically-oriented cameras (offered in packages) alleviate any lane changing and parking concerns.
Dynamically, the Coupé is a pleasure to drive. Porsche fits the 4-door with its steering wheel-mounted drive mode selector, which may be toggled between Normal, Sport, Sport+, and Individual. When sedately cruising in Normal, the cabin is quiet, and the ride is relaxed. Switching to Sport allows a more assertive driving style, with heightened powertrain and suspension responsiveness, without excessively compromising ride quality or comfort.
The most aggressive drive mode is Sport+. This setting allows the Coupé to maximize the potential of the chassis and show-off enthusiast-oriented options such as Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) and rear-axle steering – both allow the 5,000-pound Porsche to handle like a much smaller and lighter vehicle. The standard multi-piston brakes are more than capable, but drivers seeking nothing but the best will want the optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), which are virtually impervious to heat-related fade.
Overall, we are very impressed with the Cayenne Coupé, which adds a sporty and fun zest to the already impressive Cayenne. Our few nitpicks include frustration with the comprehensive and complex infotainment system, which requires quite a bit of familiarization before it becomes second nature. That same system is designed with a few oddly assigned controls – we continuously spun the map’s zoom ‘dial,’ instead of the volume ‘scroll’ (both controls are hidden behind the transmission lever) when trying to alter the stereo output. We also find the optional Porsche Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB) a bit grabby and difficult to modulate smoothly at low speeds – despite their increased capacity and 90 percent reduction in brake dust.
Which Porsche Cayenne Coupé do we recommend?
Most automakers fit their base models with a lackluster engine – that’s not the case with the Cayenne Coupé. The base engine, a turbocharged 335 horsepower V6, provides zippy acceleration under all driving conditions (Porsche quotes a 0-60 mph sprint in 5.7 seconds) and reassuring passing power – it’s a fine package that should satisfy nearly everyone.
Those seeking more power should take a look at the Coupé S model, which delivers much stronger acceleration (0-60 in 4.7 seconds) with only a minor increase in curb weight and a negligible effect on fuel efficiency.
Shoppers seeking the highest performance will want the Coupé Turbo, as it provides prodigious amounts of power and blistering acceleration – there are few other vehicles on the road, whether SUVs or sports cars, that can keep up with it. However, the Turbo’s performance comes at cost – additional mass, reduced fuel economy, and a significant jump in price.