a car parked in a parking lot: 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S


© Photo: Justin Westbrook / Jalopnik
2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S

A few years ago, someone at Porsche looked at the handsome Porsche Cayenne SUV and decided to chop some of the roof off, as is the style with many contemporary luxury crossovers and SUVs. The Porsche Cayenne Coupe was born. Creating a new, cut-down roofline is a big change to the basic SUV formula, but it’s that the change doesn’t alter the fundamental Porsche Cayenne formula that sells me on the car overall.

(Full disclosure: Porsche kindly provided me with a gassed-up Cayenne Coupe S in New York City for a few days in May, and have now emailed to remind me I have not written about it. Since I already got a good impression of the car on my initial drive the year before, I’ve decided to talk about what I like the most about the Cayenne lineup: it’s interior.)



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2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S

I am NOT going through the argument about what is and is not a “coupe” in detail again, but I will mention it. If you aren’t aware of the controversy over what we call a coupe, I can settle it by telling you it simply does not matter. For reporting-on-the-internet purposes, we call it what Porsche calls it — but it is not even factually inaccurate.



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2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S

When used in reference to an automobile, coupe refers to a “cutting” of the roofline as viewed in profile. “Couper” or “coupe” is a French verb which means “to cut.” It has nothing to do with doors. Isn’t that so much sexier than the familiar “two doors means coupe” argument?

So this is a Cayenne Coupe, then, in mid-range S trim which is sandwiched between the E-Hybrid Coupe and GTS Coupe in the Cayenne lineup.



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2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne S Coupe’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 makes 434 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque, which is transmitted to the tarmac via a 8-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission. That kind of power does make it a bit of a guzzler, with an EPA-estimated 19 mpg on average, 18 city and 22 highway. That slightly shaved roofline isn’t saving you much weight with the Coupe S coming in at a claimed curb weight of 4,725 pounds compared to the standard Cayenne S curb weight of 4,802 pounds.



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2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S

This particular car was painted Carrera White Metallic (an $800 paint option) and also came with a $3,750 slate grey leather interior, a $280 heated steering wheel, $530 front-seat heating, and $420 auto-dim mirrors. Porsche also added the $1,500 torque vectoring system, $2,710 21-inch RS Spyder wheels with painted wheel arches, and the $2,170 adaptive air suspension system.

This Porsche started at $88,600, but with options, delivery, processing and handling, ended up with an MSRP of $102,110. It’s like they were trying to stretch it to six figures just to see if they could — and of course, they could.



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2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S

The optional $1,500 Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system was noticed and appreciated. I never put too much thought into managing throttle inputs, the system managed whatever I threw at it and pushed the little coupe through corners. The 434 HP and over 400 lb-ft of torque was entertaining, but couldn’t imagine justifying the money to go any higher than this or the GTS trim level. Then again, I’m not rich.

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe Doubles Down on Absurdity but It’s Fun and Fast

Having driven and reviewed the Cayenne and Cayenne Coupe a few times before, I can still confirm that it is a comparably excellent balance of luxury, capability and power. The optional $2,170 adaptive air suspension system eats up those annoying parking lot curbs you have to typically slow down for, and its ability to keep you level and in control during hard cornering helps inspire confidence and even makes it feel a little lighter than it is. I’m not sure it’s a necessary upgrade over the standard setup, but then again on a car this expensive, what’s another $2,170?



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2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S

It could be slightly upsetting to learn that the Coupe costs more than the standard Cayenne. The bigger SUV with slightly more cargo volume is cheaper, so you’re paying for… what exactly? Besides style, every Cayenne Coupe model up and down the range comes standard with the cool Sport-Chrono interior package, which is optional on the regular Cayenne. This package includes a steering wheel-mounted dial for selecting Sport and Sport Plus driving modes instead of a touch screen menu or button by the shifter. The button in the middle of the dial triggers a 20 second “instant” power boost for overtaking or just goofing around. The package also adds a clock and lap timer on the dashboard, but that’s for nerdy watch people.



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2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S

The dashboard is familiar Porsche, with everything oriented along parallel horizontal lines that neatly block in a 12.3-inch touchscreen. Some features are buried in an operating system full of a few too many menus and side-scrolling pages, like some of the obscure interior feature tuning or device connection settings. Overall I have come to really like Porsche’s setup. Every major feature I could think to use regularly while driving has a button on the center column around the shifter. Throughout the cabin, buttons are spaced out nicely and the gauge cluster with its programmable screens flanking the speedometer is almost too distractingly cool for the 10-year-old in me. It’s hard to not stare at the map while I drive like I’m in a video game. It all feels very well built, very slick, and very tastefully German.



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2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S

Obviously chopping some of the height off the roof is going to have an impact on interior headroom in the back, but Porsche uses a few tricks to mitigate it. The roof bows up above the occupants and the rear seats are lowered a bit. Going for the glass roof option makes the seating area less cave-like and buys you a margin of additional headroom under the glass. The result is a back seat that’s fine for adults around six feet tall who aren’t going on a long road trip.

My only other gripe with this specific car is that they painted the fenders all-white when black is standard. The black really cuts a lot of the weight out of the car and helps accentuate the sportier roofline of the Coupe, but that’s just me!



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2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe S

If at some point in pricing out options you crest six figures on a Coupe S, you should really start looking at the slightly quicker, more powerful (and cheaper) E-Hybrid Coupe, or consider jumping up to the new GTS Coupe for a couple stacks of cash more if you can swing it. Keep in mind, that on any trim level, buying the slightly larger, regular-roof Cayenne with more cargo area will always be cheaper than the equivalent Coupe, if money really matters here.

What I want you to know is, if you can shell out the money for anything in the Cayenne range, you’re going to be driving one of my favorite, and in my opinion, one of the best-designed interiors available in any of these sporty luxury SUVs being sold today.

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe Doubles Down on Absurdity but It’s Fun and Fast

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