Luxe

The Turbo has it all

Dhiram Shah | Updated on November 29, 2019 Published on November 28, 2019

Best of both worlds: Even with its obsessively perfect sports configuration, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo makes for a fantastic family car

The newest entrant to the Porsche Cayenne set is an SUV with the lightness of a sports car

The roads in Nice are unpredictable. While they’re incredibly smooth to manoeuvre a fast car on, there’s always the unforeseen slope, dip or turn that comes your way. The French beautiful landscapes don’t help in focussing either. My first drive down these epic roads left me edgy, especially behind the wheel of a rather furious Porsche. The 2020 Cayenne Coupe Turbo makes for a mean machine that has the agility of a sports car and the practicality of an SUV in one solid package.

At first glance, you’d recognise it as a descendant of the illustrious line of Cayennes, but as soon as it turns a corner, it stands out. This is a four-door SUV with the litheness of a sports car. The fixed glass roof slopes backwards over a frame that has been made nearly an inch wider. There are two spoilers of a race car at the rear — one at the top and the other just where the rear glass meets the body, for increased aerodynamics. If you really mean to take this car to its limits, I’d recommend you do away with the glass roof and settle for a carbon trim instead. I must warn you though: Driving on Indian roads isn’t worth the effort, especially if you’re in the pothole-riddled, traffic-clogged metros.

I didn’t get the opportunity to try the car on off-road terrain, but I’d place my bets on it doing fairly well on uneven landscapes. With a superior air-suspension to raise it by nearly 10 inches and handy features such as the anti-roll bars in the suspension and the advanced torque-vectoring, the Turbo coupe would do just well, even when there’s no road to tread on. The suspension is adaptive, making it intelligent enough to study the terrain you’re driving on before optimising it for your comfort.

The car is more spacious than one would imagine. Even the back seats offer enough headroom to accommodate six-foot tall co-passengers, without making them feel claustrophobic. There is ample leather and fabric employed within the car to give it a premium feel, something that the Porsche pulls off effortlessly. The boot is large enough for a family that travels with a suitcase-per-head. If there are two travellers, the rear seats can be adjusted to create a wide, flat area for a nap or to load more luggage. The 18-way adjustable seats take some getting used to, but once you’ve settled into them, you’d never want anything else ever.

While space and comfort may be the memorable features of the cabin, I was really impressed with the technology that the car is equipped with. The instrument cluster was completely digitised and sat behind the three-spoked steering wheel that sported metal paddle shifters. Nearly everything in the car could be controlled from the 12.3-inch touchscreen display — whether it’s ambient lighting, climate control or even the drive modes. I enjoyed playing music from my Spotify library along the slopes of France, while the Porsche Connect app ticked the Android and Apple checkboxes (in case you were wondering). You can even receive updates from your smart home here, via Google Nest.

The Twin Turbocharged V8 engine is the core of the car. It’s what this Cayenne was made for, taking it from 0-100 kmph in an impressive 3.7 seconds. This and an impressive 541 horsepower make the Cayenne Turbo a formidable predator on various terrains. For me, the Nice drive was testimony enough to how agile the car can be around sharp turns and inclines. Its eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle-shifters on the steering wheel was impressive and the steering can best be described as being cooperative. You’re nearly always in control with a car that’s designed to stay close to the ground. If you’re on the track, you’d like to try the Sport Mode, which makes you feel connected to the tarmac.

The rear-wheel steering is truly a blessing. With a car this big, you wouldn’t bet on fluidity around sharp corners, but the Turbo delivers admirably. Thanks to the power steering, you aren’t bothered with the feedback from the road. Braking is fantastic, with large calipers that make all the difference.

Smooth operator: The suspension is adaptive, making it intelligent enough to study the terrain you’re driving on before optimising it

 

Even with its obsessively perfect sports configuration, the Porsche Cayenne Coupe Turbo makes for a fantastic family car. You may have to curb your urges to set this beast off in full fury with your family seated inside, but when you’re driving alone and have a straight stretch of an expressway before you, there’s no stopping you. You can max the velocity out at over 280 kmph, a speed that would make most other SUVs sweat.

Dhiram Shah is the Mumbai-based founder of LuxuryLaunches.com

Tech Specs
  • Engine

996 cc, 8 cylinders In V Shape,

4 valves/cylinder, DOHC

  • Power

550 bhp@5750 rpm

  • Torque

770 Nm@1960 rpm

  • Transmission

Automatic: 8 Speed-

Tiptronic S

  • 0-100 kmph

3.9s

  • Top speed

86 kmph

  • Safety

10 airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP, TCS Hill Hold Control

  • Price

₹1.9 crore approx.

Published on November 28, 2019
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