FACT spent a day in the upgraded third-generation Porsche Cayenne S Coupé.

We don’t hide the fact that we are huge fans of all things Porsche. After all, what’s not to love?

This month, thanks to the team at Porsche Centre Bahrain, FACT had the opportunity to thoroughly inspect and test drive the fundamentally overhauled third-generation Cayenne S Coupé. Here’s what we discovered…

Refined Exterior

Porsche’s quest to establish the new Cayenne range as the sportiest series in the mid-sized luxury SUV segment began with an updated exterior design.

The moment we laid eyes on the coupé we were taken by the overall expressive appearance of this latest model. We took our time appreciating the contemporary design that is emphasised by a freshly configured front end. We found the sleek yet robust nature of the anterior to be complemented by the strongly arched wings, a dashing new bonnet and the bold black grille. Highlighting the SUV’s considerable width are the technically appealing Matrix LED headlights, equipped as standard on the refurbished models.

Shifting our focus to the flanks, the athletic stance of the coupé became even more obvious, with its strong body lines and a sloping roofline that culminates in a neat roof spoiler. We found the chunky 22-inch GT Design wheels, painted in black, to further underscore the car’s sporty prowess, making us itch to get out onto the tarmac. To us, the most notable characteristics of the back end were the three-dimensionally designed taillights, the uncluttered surfaces beneath and the new rear apron housing an integrated number plate holder. The final flourish was the sports exhaust system, complete with twin dual sports tailpipes in silver, that provide an exclamation point to an already outstanding exterior.

Functional Interior

Slipping inside the Cayenne we were welcomed by adaptive sports seats that we agreed were some of the most supportive, well-positioned and comfortable we have experienced in an SUV. These electric, 18-way adjustable seats provide a commanding position from which to view the road ahead and the perfect place from which we could appreciate the finer details of the driver-orientated cockpit.

Instantly apparent to us was the completely revised display and control concept that ensures all operations are fully optimised. All frequently used functions are located directly on or immediately next to the steering wheel. A prime example of this is the lever positioned on the left, behind the steering wheel, that now features additional functions for operating the driver assistance systems. Another example is the automatic transmission selector lever, now positioned on the dashboard, leaving more room in the centre console for storage compartments and a big air conditioning controller.

Additionally, we found the large, easily accessible controls, combined with mechanical air conditioning switches and a haptic volume controller, to further enhance operability as well as to provide a refined look. We unanimously agreed that Porsche has achieved the perfect balance between digital and analogue elements.

Upgraded Infotainment & Tech

Shifting our focus to the updated infotainment system, we were greatly impressed by each one of its components, starting with the fully digital 12.6-inch instrument cluster. This modern display sports a curved and free-standing design, along with variable display options.

Secondly, we loved how the standard 12.3-inch central Porsche Communication Management (PCM) display is harmoniously integrated into the new dashboard and how easy it was for us to access all the relevant vehicle functions.

Our test drive model also contained the optional head-up display, along with the optional 10.9-inch passenger display that provides performance data and separate access to the infotainment controls. A special foil has been fitted to ensure the driver is not distracted by the screen.

Proficient Power & Performance

As previously mentioned, Porsche set out to create the sportiest offering in the mid-sized luxury SUV segment with their revamped third-generation Cayenne series. They accomplished this, in large part, by replacing the previous V6 engine with a refined four-litre V8 biturbo. Coupled with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, this monstrous power source generates a maximum output of 349kW and 600Nm of torque. This enables the new coupé to surge from 0-100km/h in just 4.7 seconds and to reach a top speed of 273km/h.

As we effortlessly negotiated the roads around the Kingdom, we identified and appreciated many of the car’s finest performance characteristics, the first of which was the suspension. Now equipped with the steel sprung suspension that includes Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), along with new shock absorbers containing two-valve technology, we could feel how this translated to the smoothest of rides on all surface types and in all driving modes. It also provided us with complete control during our dynamic cornering tests. The pitch and roll support has also been noticeably improved.

Our Verdict

Porsche have accomplished their goal of creating a seriously sporty SUV offering, one that is not only fully-loaded but very easy on the eye. ✤