It's Not really a "Coupe" But It's Not Half Bad

Don’t Hate the Porsche Cayenne Coupe Just Yet


March 22, 2019 Cars By
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Porsche just revealed the Cayenne Coupe, a version of the company’s bigger SUV with a “rakish” sloped roof line. It affronted folks online, mostly because it conforms to two annoying automotive trends: putting a sloped roofline on everything and expanding the definition of “coupe” beyond any meaning. However, forums should stow away the pitchforks. The Cayenne Coupe will no doubt be good.

When BMW goes “rakish” at the back, it feels wonky. Similarly, Mercedes’s coupe SUVs awkwardly resemble hulking Volkswagen Beetles. The Cayenne Coupe, in contrast, is proportional if not aesthetically pleasing for an SUV. The roofline improves on the standard Cayenne’s looks and helps differentiate it from Audi’s larger SUVs, which is important, as the cars share the same engine and platform.

Porsche’s goal for the third generation has been making the Cayenne more 911-like. The Cayenne’s wide-shouldered rear fenders are supposed to be 911-reminiscent. It has a staggered wheel set up and it can be optioned with rear-axle steering and launch control among other features. The roofline is just another iconic 911 feature added to the Cayenne, to make it more like a Porsche.

No Porsche sacrilege was committed during the making of a Cayenne Coupe. It’s a Porsche SUV. Porsche purists haven’t conceded on water-cooling engines, much less sport utility vehicles. Adding one more nod to present fashion with the sloping roofline makes no difference.

Most importantly, Porsche will sell a ton of these Cayenne Coupes, many at a steep markup — the turbo starts at $130,100. That cash offsets R&D costs for less profitable vehicles. Cayennes pay for Taycans, special editions of the 911 and other cool Porsche things that would not pay their own freight. Don’t hate this Porsche, hate the market that demanded it.

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