The automobile you image when somebody says “Porsche” in all probability is not an SUV. But nowadays, many of the automobiles that Porsche builds are SUVs. Final 12 months, it bought practically 100,000 Macans and greater than 92,000 Cayennes. Add up all of the 911s and 718s and Panameras throughout the identical 12 months and also you solely get 88,000.

I supply these numbers to say that SUVs hold the lights on at Porsche. And when the corporate’s engineers are known as upon to construct one, they ensure that it is packed filled with Porsche angle. It is the identical angle that has spent many years proving that, truly, you can put the engine behind a automobile’s rear wheels and nonetheless make a safe-handling sports activities automobile. A Macan or a Cayenne has to even be a Porsche as a lot as it’s an SUV. Should you simply need German luxurious, you will discover it cheaper—and extra luxurious—at Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz.

But when low cost German luxurious is what you are on the lookout for, the 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupé is unquestionably not the SUV for you. It is the most costly Porsche SUV you should purchase—a base worth of $164,400 earlier than one hits the notoriously expansive, costly choices checklist. It is an terrible lot of cash for a automobile, whichever approach you slice it.

Not like with the BMW X5 and X6, the transformation from common Cayenne to Coupé does not actually impinge on the again seats by way of headroom, partly as a result of Porsche dropped the rear seat by greater than an inch. There is not any third row in any Cayenne, however there’s ample leg room within the again for the second row of seats, which could be moved ahead or again by 6.3 inches (160mm). You may modify the rake of the seatbacks or fold them down for carrying extra cargo (going from 17.6 cubic toes/498L to 50.8 cubic toes/1,438L). The again seat even proved to be an appropriate momentary workplace full with laptop-charging USB-C ports.

We have seen this powertrain earlier than

Mechanically, this plug-in hybrid is an identical to the not-coupe model that Managing Editor Eric Bangeman briefly drove last year. The identical powertrain can also be discovered within the Panamera Sport Turismo Turbo S E-Hybrid—presumably Porsche wants to incorporate 670hp (500kW) and 663lb-ft (900Nm) simply to hold round all of the letters in these identify badges.

A 4.0L twin-turbo V8 supplies 541hp (404kW), and that is joined by a 134hp (100kW) electrical motor, mounted between the V8 and eight-speed gearbox. (That is yet one more car that makes use of ZF’s superb 8HP computerized transmission, and sure, you might be all owed an article about that someday quickly). The electrical motor is powered by a 14.1kWh battery pack, which supplies an EPA vary of 12 miles (19km). I truly acquired greater than 15 miles (25km) on a full cost, or a morning’s value of city-dweller errands. Because it seems, 100kW is sufficient for an enormous SUV if you happen to’re sticking to metropolis streets with a 25mph restrict. And the cognitive dissonance of driving one thing so outrageous (-looking, -costing, and so forth) however cleanly and quietly is a heat and comfortable one.

Silently gliding off fetching the groceries is however one of many Cayenne Coupé’s celebration tips. A snap resolution to see a rocket launch one morning took me out to Chincoteague Island, a visit that exposed the Turbo S as a terrific cruiser and achieved on the again roads. Once more, the official EPA estimate of 18mpg mixed (13.1l/100km) turned out to be relatively pessimistic—my four-hundred-mile day journey was extra like 23mpg (10.2l/100km).

Oh boy, it is enjoyable to drive

Many of the powertrain’s torque goes to the rear wheels below dry circumstances, and rear axle steering turns in the other way to the entrance wheels at speeds below 49mph (79km/h), which contributes to the Cayenne Coupé’s sense of agility. The pc-controlled antiroll bars additionally assist, as these stiffen in milliseconds when the pc that oversees all the pieces begins to detect some lateral acceleration. It is best in Sport Plus mode, which provides essentially the most instant mapping for the accelerator pedal, essentially the most driver engagement, and one of the best noise. (It additionally prices the battery once you’re off-throttle.)

In actual fact, I might go so far as to suggest this Cayenne Coupé over the top-spec turbo hybrid Panamera as a driver’s automobile. Not simply because it feels prefer it weighs much less, however as a result of the elevated driving place offers you extra situational consciousness as a driver. I am positive I’ve written this earlier than, however it’s exceptional how one thing with a curb weight of 5,673lbs (2,573kg) can really feel so mild and nimble to drive. (Really, our check automobile was a number of kilos lighter, due to the $11,570 Light-weight sport package deal, a field value ticking only for the spectacular houndstooth cloth.) Few individuals want this a lot automobile, and few individuals can afford it. Which is a disgrace, as a result of after driving it for a number of days it left an enormous smile on my face, and I want extra individuals might even have that have. Cash cannot purchase happiness, however it will probably purchase a dayglo antidepressant on wheels.

Itemizing picture by Jonathan Gitlin

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