Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
  • Fabulous performance from all models
  • Four regular petrol models
  • And two plug-in hybrid choices

There’s a varied choice of engines available in the Cayenne Coupe – as long as you’re not looking for one powered by diesel. They’re all petrol or petrol plug-in hybrids – four of the former and two of the latter.

Cayenne Coupe petrol models

The range kicks off with the standard Cayenne Coupe, using a 340hp 3.0-litre V6 petrol with 450Nm of torque. 0-62mph takes 6.0 seconds when fitted with the Sport Chrono Package (a package that includes various driving modes selectable via switch on the steering wheel). Like all Cayenne models, it’s all-wheel drive and uses a fantastically slick eight-speed automatic transmission.

Next up for petrol power is the mid-range Cayenne S, using a 2.9-litre V6 petrol that’s good for 440hp, 550Nm and a 0-62mph time of 5.0 seconds. Top speed is 163mph.

Above this is the Cayenne Coupe GTS. It has a V8 powerhouse pumping out 460hp propelling it from standstill to 62mph in 4.5 seconds. It's the cheapest way of getting a V8 in your Cayenne Coupe, and it's the same basic unit that's found in the rest of the range.

The Turbo ups power to 550hp. Performance is ferocious. To describe it as rapid would be an understatement – it gets from 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds and goes on to reach 177mph.

The V8 that powers the GTS, Turbo, and Turbo S-E Hybrid is a wonderful engine. Not only is it desperately quick, but with the exhaust set to loud (you can individually turn this on or by changing the driving mode to Sport or Sport+) it's audibly muscular. The sound really helps you harmonise with the car, as the revs swell the exhaust echoes and bellows to roarty and naughty decibels. There's a bit of pop and bang as well. It sounds a lot less forced than in some cars, where you can hear it happening at designated revs

The best part about this car is that it doesn’t feel ferocious and too lively in normal driving modes – it can be a civilised SUV, but when you drop it into sport mode, it comes alive with relentless acceleration that you just don’t expect from a car this size. It’s intoxicating.

Cayenne Coupe E-Hybrid models

If you’ve got one eye (sort of) on the environment, there are two plug-in hybrid options. They’re still very much about performance, though. The first is the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe, using the regular Cayenne Coupe’s 3.0-litre V6 petrol and combining it with an electric motor for a combined system output of 462hp and 700Nm of torque. That puts it just below the Cayenne Turbo for torque, and it feels it.

It always feels eager and ready to go thanks to the instant torque offered by the electric motor, and the sound of the V6 only adds to the enjoyment. For what seems like a sensible option, the E-Hybrid is still every inch the engaging Porsche, with a 5.1-second 0-62mph time. You just have the added benefit of being able to drive for around 20 miles on electric alone. Be warned, if you do drive around like you’re driving a Porsche, that electric range will fall rapidly.

If you want the fastest Cayenne Coupe, you’ll need to head straight for the Turbo S E-Hybrid. It uses the Turbo’s 550hp 4.0-litre V8 and adds a battery and electric motor for a total output of 680hp and 900Nm. 0-62mph takes just 3.8 seconds, and top speed is 183mph. Not bad for a ‘sensible’ hybrid model.

Driving modes 

On the bottom of the steering wheel there's a circular knob with O, S, S+ and on it. O is 'normal', S is 'Sport', S+ is Sport +, while I is 'Individual'. In the middle is a curious button called the Sport Response.

Sport + turns everything up to 11. Exhaust loudest, suspension hardest. Sport is like Sport + but with the suspension less stiff. Normal, is erm, normal. Individual is where you can customise suspension and exhaust settings. For example, you can set the exhaust to loud and the suspension to softest.

The Sport Response button is part of the Sport Chrono package and it primes everything for maximum effort. It does minor things like priming the gearbox for super-quick changes. It's a bit gimmicky but the difference is palpable. The accelerative rush just feels that much quicker.

How does it handle?

  • Nimble and agile handling characteristics
  • Feels incredibly sharp for such a large car
  • Driving modes really tweak the experience

Like the regular Cayenne and smaller Macan, the Coupe handles like a car far smaller than its hefty dimensions would lead you to expect. Not only does it handle well for an SUV, it just handles well full stop.

The steering is incredibly direct without feeling too nervous or twitchy, with a lovely consistent feel through the steering wheel, which itself is especially nice to hold if you spec the Alcantara option. Throw it into a corner and there’s barely any body roll to speak of, especially if you’ve optioned the car up with adaptive air suspension and the firm’s chassis control system. It all works incredibly well to deliver a drive that’s more akin to a hot hatchback than a huge SUV – it’s very impressive indeed.

Helping the Cayenne Coupe’s agility is the optional rear-wheel steering. At lower speeds the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts to help it tuck into corners more tightly, while at higher speeds they turn in the same direction to aid stability, for example changing lanes on the motorway.

Whichever driving mode you’re in, the Cayenne Coupe delivers a taut and agile drive, but one that remains composed and balanced at the same time, making it – easily – the best SUV to drive among its many rivals, including the impressive BMW X5 and X6 SUVs.

If you want the finest handling Cayenne Coupe, the GTS is the way to go. Yes, the V8 is essentially a de-tuned version of the Turbo's, but it never feels slow. In fact, it feels utterly invincible. It revels smooth and cleanly, with peak torque not coming until 6,000rpm.

We tested a fully-loaded GTS with everything on the options' list ticked. Porsche's Dynamic Chassis Control is essentially a very technical anti-roll system. It does a supreme job of keeping the Cayenne in line. Despite its huge size and weight, it corners flat and with such minimal fuss. There's so little roll that you barely move around in the seat, even when cornering at speed.