Some believe you can’t make an SUV as athletic as a sports car, but Porsche proves them wrong. The automaker currently makes two SUVs: the Porsche Cayenne and the Macan. The Porsche Macan is the newest model and has risen to be the most popular choice since its introduction in 2015.
However, the Cayenne is still a historic and fantastic car, and the latest models have a coupe body style option. Does it really have the racing chops of other sports cars? MotorTrend seems to think so; editors even placed the Cayenne Turbo Coupe into their Best Driver’s Car category.
Under the hood of the Porsche Cayenne
The Porsche Cayenne has four engine options, but the best one is the twin-turbo V8. It produces 541 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD. It doesn’t come with any standard racing enhancements, but you can add some as optional equipment.
Dynamic Chassis Control, Porsche’s active suspension management system, rear-wheel steering, and Torque Vectoring Plus can really make the ride more exhilarating. However, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe is already great on its own. In particular, MotorTrend really appreciated the shorter wheelbase and the bigger brakes on this SUV.
Fast and smooth performance
With the twin-turbo V8, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe can reportedly reach 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. It exceeded expectations on the MotorTrend test track, hitting 60 mph in only 3.2 seconds. Its redline maxes out at 6,800 RPM, but its full torque potential unlocks at 1,960 RPM.
While it’s quite fast on its own, the Cayenne Turbo Coupe is also speedier than some notable rivals. On the test track, it beat a Lamborghini Urus by 0.63 seconds with its lap time of 1:40.27. It also stops better than its 911 Turbo sibling, even when it’s just in Comfort mode.
The fluid motions of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe also instill a sense of confidence even in racers with less experience. It doesn’t behave like a typical SUV, with surprisingly compliant ride quality and no oversteer. It can make a swift brake to 0 mph from 60 mph in just 100 feet, which is also reassuring to new thrill-seekers.
Even better, the Cayenne Turbo Coupe can also go off-road because it’s an SUV. While not a rock-crawler, it has a decent ground clearance of 8.4 inches, or higher with the air suspension. You’d be hard-pressed to find many sports cars that boast the same capability.
SUVs never get this award
MotorTrend initially took interest in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe after it dominated the site’s Super SUV competition. It handily beat sporty German rivals like the BMW X6 M and Mercedes-Benz GLE 63 S 4Matic+ with the fastest lap time. However, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe still wasn’t as fast as the six sports cars that placed ahead of it.
Ultimately, the Lamborghini Huracan Evo was named the Best Driver’s Car for 2020. MotorTrend still believed that the Cayenne Turbo Coupe would have placed mid-pack even with a full roster. 12 finalists are usually featured in the list, but this wasn’t possible due to pandemic-related delays.
How much does the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe cost?
While inarguably the most fun to drive, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe feels like a money pit. The base model costs $133,250 and doesn’t even come with many tech features or even a full-leather interior. MotorTrend’s test Cayenne Turbo Coupe cost an extra $27,000.
Still, if it’s within your price range, you’d be a fool to pass on the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe. We’re struggling to think of an SUV that can match it in terms of speed and handling.