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So, into its third generation, and long after the initial opprobrium to its original release way back in 2002, the Porsche Cayenne is ready to fan the flames of controversy once more - as the Stuttgart-based company announces its third SUV, the Cayenne Coupe.
Clearly targeted at the likes of the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe, but perhaps also giving potential buyers of the related Audi Q8 something serious to think about, the Cayenne Coupe aims to build on Porsche's biggest SUV's reputation for excellent handling manners, with the company's chairman, Oliver Blume, saying: "The Coupe includes all the technical highlights of the current Cayenne, and its more dynamic design and new technical details position it as more progressive, athletic and emotional."
Like them or not, coupe-SUVs are clearly here to say and, we have to admit, we think the Cayenne Coupe wears its lines quite well; there's even a (whisper it) hint of 911 to its profile. So, looking at the design in more detail, while the obvious alteration is with the Cayenne Coupe's sloping rear roofline, there have been amendments further forward to accommodate this. The front windscreen and A-pillar are more shallowly raked than they are on the regular Cayenne SUV, while the roof is 20mm lower overall than its more upright brother's. The rear doors have been redesigned, while the back-wheel arches are 18mm wider than they are on the Cayenne. Meanwhile, in a Macan-esque move, the number plate of the Cayenne Coupe slides down from the boot lid, to instead reside in the rear bumper.
The adaptive roof spoiler seen on other Cayennes is adapted for the Cayenne Coupe, as there's a fixed roof spoiler up top and an adaptive rear spoiler located beneath the tailgate's window, this being part of Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA). This lower item extends by 135mm at speed of 90km/h and more, allowing for greater downforce on the rear axle. PAA is also said to enhance the rakish SUV's fuel efficiency. Final details relate to the roof - a panoramic fixed glass upper is the standard equipment on the Cayenne Coupe, although a contoured, carbon-fibre roof will be an option. Michael Mauer, the vice-president for Style Porsche, said of the newcomer: "The distinctive roof flyline that falls away to the rear makes the Cayenne Coupe appear more dynamic and positions it as the most sporting-looking model in the market segment."
You do pay a small practicality price for having the sportier looking Cayenne body, though. The new Coupe is a strict four-seater, with rear passengers sitting 30mm lower than in a regular Cayenne and separated by a storage cubby area. Boot space is also sacrificed, the Cayenne's normal volume of 770 litres (745 litres for the Turbo) dropping to 625 for the entry-level Cayenne Coupe and 600 litres for the Turbo. Drop the rear seats and maximum capacities of 1,510-1,540 litres are on offer, which compares to 1,680-1,710 in the existing Cayenne.
Talking of engine splits, there are just two petrol choices from launch for the Cayenne Coupe, and they're obviously both taken from the regular SUV. Choose from the 340hp/450Nm Cayenne Coupe or the slightly more bonkers 550hp/770Nm Cayenne Turbo Coupe. The former sees a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 propelling the Cayenne Coupe, which comes with the Sport Chrono package as standard, from rest to 100km/h in 6.0 seconds (5.9 seconds with some optional lightweight sport bundles), with fuel consumption at 11.8 litres/100km (23.9mpg) and CO2 emissions as low as 212g/km. The Turbo packs a thunderous 4.0-litre biturbo V8, with 0-100km/h coming up in just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 285km/h. Consumption stands at a best of 13.6 litres/100km (20.8mpg) with CO2 emissions of 258g/km.
The Porsche Cayenne Coupe and Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe models are available to order now, and they should be in Porsche Centres from the end of May. Prices will be around €108,000 for the 340hp V6 model and €195,000 for the Turbo V8, with standard equipment likely to include 20-inch alloy wheels, front and rear Park Assist including a reversing camera, Porsche Active Suspension and the aforementioned Sport Chrono package.