Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The engine line-up mirrors that of the regular Cayenne, with no noticeable differences in performance, so even the entry-level turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 Cayenne Coupé produces 335bhp and accelerates from 0-62-mph in less than six seconds.
That said, it’s worth upgrading to the Cayenne S if it’s within budget; the V6 in this may be slightly smaller, at 2.9 litres, but an extra turbo helps it pull harder from low revs and makes it a second quicker to 62mph.
You might also want to consider the Cayenne E-Hybrid, which is quicker still because it combines the 3.0-litre petrol V6 of the standard Cayenne with added zip from an electric motor. In fact, it's one of the fastest plug-in hybrid SUVs on sale, bettering the pace of rivals such as the Range Rover Sport P400e and Volvo XC90 T8, while managing a real-world electric-only range – on a fully juiced-up battery – of around 18 miles.
Suspension and ride comfort
Most Cayenne Coupés come with steel springs as standard. It’s a softer setup than you might expect, but that doesn’t stop the car from thumping over potholes and expansion joints. We wouldn’t go as far as to say it's uncomfortable, but it lacks the pliancy you tend to get with expensive SUVs.
Therefore, we recommend the optional air suspension (standard on the range-topping Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid models). This never crashes or jars like the steel setup. In fact, you hear the impacts more than you feel them – a common trait of air suspension.
Another advantage of choosing air suspension is that you don't experience as much float or wallow, even at high speeds. Any undulations are dealt with quickly and without the excess body movement that you so often find in tall SUVs. Ultimately, though, the Range Rover Sport is more cosseting, if that’s your thing.
The standard steel springs aren’t great for handling, either, because they allow too much pitch and lean. But with air suspension fitted, the Cayenne Coupé is up at the top of its class in this area.
Even in Comfort mode it keeps everything nice and tight, plus there are sportier modes to choose from, and there’s always loads of grip. Ultimately, you’ll feel the nose slip first. However, you can neutralise this by adding a bit more power, and it’s even possible to make the rear tyres slide if you’re really committed.
Having said all that, if you want the nimblest Cayenne Coupé, avoid the E-Hybrid, Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid models. Their extra weight, compared with our favourite V6 S, makes them more cumbersome, and their steering feels less sweet. You might also want to consider adding four-wheel steering, because this brings even greater agility in low-speed corners and improves stability as speeds increase.
Noise and vibration
All the engines are smooth under normal use, including the creamy 3.0-litre V6 found in the entry-level model (and, when it's running, in the E-Hybrid) and the 2.9-litre V6 in the S. The S is a little louder, but in an appealingly sporty way, while the V8 Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid deliver a menacing rumble.
Unsurprisingly, both hybrids are all but silent when running in electric-only mode, but their brakes disappoint. They stop you efficiently, but, with the regenerative phase that recharges the battery, they are horribly grabby in traffic. There are no such issues in the regular models, which offer a very progressive middle pedal.
All models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox that glides between ratios and is pretty responsive to manual commands. Wind noise is well contained, but the big tyres do generate quite a bit of road noise.