I've always loved coupes. What I have struggled with, though, is how the definition of the term has been conveniently altered by carmakers. But being an Indian motorist, I find it all too practical to get behind the wheel of a coupe that has an uncharacteristic four-door setup. When I clutched the keys of the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe, these thoughts seemed to have fled from my mind. I’d taken the deal offered to me because I’d be spinning this one around the winding streets of Nice.
You know what to expect from a Cayenne before even setting eyes on it. The 2020 Cayenne Coupe does handsomely well to keep its banners waving high. Some may argue that it’s the exact replica of the Cayenne that preceded it, but on looking at it from a 360-degree lens, you’ll know that the Coupe is a lot more sporty.
The sloping roof drops all the way to the brand’s famous light-bar on the rear. There are two rear spoilers for increased aerodynamics, with one of them automatically adjusting beyond a speed threshold. You could proudly declare this hatchback to be an SUV and not be wrong about it, but that would only undermine the performance it is capable of. The rear diffusers are met with the sports exhaust with black tailpipes, a view that people you overtake will have to get used to.
High on tech and space
If you’ve had the good fortune to have sat in one of the newer renditions of Porsches, then the interior of the Coupe will not surprise you. The instrument cluster is completely digitised and cleans up a lot of clutter, while most of the controls can be adjusted from the 12.3-inch touchscreen.
The three-spoked steering wheel has metal paddle shifters. Front occupants enjoy toying around with the climate control features and a myriad seat adjustment settings. The intuitive interface of the screen connects users to their Amazon Music catalogue, while Google Nest devices can interface with the system and send live updates from the driver’s home. Lastly, but importantly, both Apple and Android users can download the Porsche Connect app and have complete visibility of their car’s vitals. The front and rear parking sensors are useful too, especially since the view from the rear window is greatly restricted, with the sloping roof and all.
The sports seats reminded me of the 911 which, with its rich fabric finish, is incredible comfort. The blend of leather, metal, and fabric in the interiors is so perfectly synchronised that everything you touch feels rich.
Moving to the rear seat, one would believe that any car with a sloping roof would deny the headroom to rear occupants. It wasn’t so.
It comfortably seated my 6’1" frame with a little headroom to spare. There’s ample room in the boot to stuff in up to four medium-sized suitcases, while the back seats are occupied. If it’s only the front seats that are occupied, then the rear seats can be folded down to create a large, seamless storage floor. It’s big enough to accommodate a full-size bicycle!
Porsche has enchanted its Indian base in the past. It’s no different with the 2020 Cayenne Coupe this time. In addition to the base model of the Coupe, we’ll get a Turbo version as well. For my drive in Nice, I was given the base model, which came with a 3-litre V6 petrol engine that produced an impressive 340ps power and 450Nm torque. The 8-speed Tiptronic gearbox added nothing but sheer power, to all four wheels. The Coupe is a 2-tonne vehicle. That’s heavier than what many would expect from an aspiring sporting contender. But the gearbox easily offsets the limitations of the bulk and sets you on an agile sprint.
Taking the Cayenne Coupe out into the winding roads of picturesque Nice sounded like a juicy proposition. As soon as I entered the cabin, I familiarised myself with the seating position and the wide range of tech that set the mood for my drive. And then I hit the gas. The French Riviera turned out to be a testing ground for me. It took me a while to keep the beast within control on the jagged turns and sharp climbs of the city’s impossibly narrow roads, but even though the Coupe may seem too big a car for this terrain, it was impressively nimble. Due credit must be given to the weighted steering that kept me in control. It was only when I hit the highway that I could stretch her legs and watch her do the dash. It’s here that I wished I was driving the Turbo variant, which promises a 0-100kmph dash in under four seconds. But, the base version was already exceeding all my expectations, especially when we moved North and the hills began winding upwards. From all the hatchback-SUV crossovers I have reviewed, the Cayenne Coupe is surely one of the best when it comes to handling. The power steering cuts out feedback from the roads, something I want to test out on Indian roads as well. The braking is superior, with large calipers seated confidently behind the wheels. The adaptive suspension smartly understands your terrain and driving patterns and aids you in treacherous sections.
If you’re looking for the comfort, power, and style of a 911 in a Coupe, then this one’s the way to go. While I can only imagine how driving the Turbo Coupe down Indian roads may seem like, it doesn’t take a lot away from the power that it offers. Nice was kind to me, once I learned to tame the beast, but the unpredictability of Indian road and traffic conditions may truly test the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe. The best part of owning this one is that you can claim to be driving an SUV, a sporty hatchback or a Coupe, depending on your interpretation of this car.