By on September 15, 2017

2019 Porsche Cayenne pixelated rendering - Image: PorscheOn this, TTAC’s authors and TTAC’s audience are largely in agreement: luxury sport utility coupes are not the answer to the vehicular challenges of this age.

So Porsche is probably going to build a Cayenne Coupe.

It’ll probably have four doors. It’ll probably be more expensive than a regular Cayenne. It will almost certainly not be as good or half as attractive as a Porsche Cayenne.

But some, yes some Cayenne buyers will choose the “coupe.” How do we know? Because BMW sells some X6s and some X4s, and Mercedes-Benz was pleased enough with BMW’s success that it decided to sell some GLE and GLC Coupes, as well.

Speaking to Autocar at the debut of the third-generation Porsche Cayenne, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume says the SUV-maker that builds sports cars on the side “is thinking about” it, but no decision has been made.2019 Porsche Cayenne Coupe rendering pixelated - Image: PorscheTranslation: Porsche is considering building a vehicle to take on overpriced, impractical niche utility vehicles from its German competitors.

Indeed, it’s more than a consideration. Porsche’s chief designer, Michael Mauer, says the company has created a model of what the Cayenne coupe would look like. Mauer adds that this is nothing unusual. “We’re always asked to come up with proposals,” Mauer says. “For each and every model, we have a lot of ideas. But there has to be a business plan.”

Roughly seven out of every 10 Porsches sold around the world is now a Macan or Cayenne, yet Porsche hasn’t evolved either lineup to include any derivatives as Porsche has previously done with its three car models: hard and soft top mid-engine sports cars, hard and soft top rear-engined sports cars, a new Sport Turismo wagonized Panamera. Beyond introducing an even smaller utility vehicle — which would, if it ever occurs, likely be the size of a Mercedes-Benz GLA with a price more similar to the GLC — Porsche has room to grow the Cayenne and Macan lineups.

That’s what BMW did with the X5 in 2008, when it spawned the X6. Nearly 57,000 X6s have been sold in America since. It’s what BMW did again with the X3 in 2014 when it was used as the basis for the X4. More than 17,000 X4s have been sold in America since. Neither the X6 nor the X4 appear to have had a negative impact on their donor vehicles. The BMW X5 hit record-high U.S. volume in 2015; the X3 did so in 2016.

Mercedes-Benz, as one might expect, then followed up with its own competitors to the X6 and X4 — the GLE Coupe and GLC Coupe. The recipe was simple to follow: decrease practicality and flexibility and attractiveness — though beauty is, as always, in the eye of the beholder — and charge more money. Sell a few, though not many, and do so at no expense to the donor vehicle. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t separate GLE and GLC Coupe sales figures from the regular models, but production tallies suggest 25 percent of GLEs sold are coupes. That’s around 8,600 of the 34,458 GLEs sold during the first eight months of 2017. If accurate, that’s more than the X4 and X6 put together before the GLC Coupe is even taken into account.

Regardless of volume potential or the lack thereof, Oliver Blume doesn’t feel Porsche needs more sales. While expecting the $85,000+ electric car based on the Mission E Concept to generate roughly 20,000 global annual sales, Blume says, “We have had good growth in the last few years, but the number of cars is less important than the needs of customers.” Porsche tripled its global volume between 2009 and 2016 but now looks for future growth of roughly 5 percent per annum.

A Porsche Cayenne Coupe would add very little to the mix, but if it’s something Porsche’s customers want, expect Porsche to follow the course set by its compatriots. Just as the Cayenne followed the X5 and M-Class; just as the Macan followed the X3 and GLK.

[Image: Porsche; Illustration: The Truth About Cars]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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15 Comments on “Porsche Is Mulling a Cayenne Coupe Because the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe Are Kings of the World...”

  • avatar

    More power to ’em. I see X6 and X6Ms all the time in the Chicago area. And X4s for that matter. Obviously someone is buying these.

  • avatar

    The word “coupe” appears 19 times in the title and body of this article, despite the fact it is not about actual coupes. Can we stop validating stupid marketing? If you want to create new market niches or vehicle categories, fine. But have enough creativity to come up with a new name as well. It’s like cross breeding a pitbull with a Chihuahua and calling it a cat.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      There’s a reason we linked to this ( in the first paragaph.

      • 0 avatar

        I saw that and i read that when it was first posted as well. I still think it’s dumb to call them coupes. Ooooh well. I’ll never own one so i guess that’s really all i can do myself.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with SlowMyke. Words should have meanings lest they lose purpose. If the roofline is the differentiating factor of these vehicles, not doors, then fastback or liftback would do, but let’s preserve the meaning of coupe to include a count of doors.

  • avatar

    A box on wheels being called a coupe.
    The horror.

  • avatar

    If it has four doors, it is not a coupe.

    If you and the marketeers want to redefine words that have had a clear meaning for decades, at least have the decency to wait until those of us that still use them in their current meaning are done with them.

  • avatar

    Surprised it wasn’t referred to as a four door “post” coupe. Another body type [post] that never existed.

    Like calling the MINI a “hardtop”.

  • avatar

    ‘On this, TTAC’s authors and TTAC’s audience are largely in agreement: luxury sport utility coupes are not the answer to the vehicular challenges of this age.’
    Liftback sedans, tall ride height or not are always the answer. However much money Honda lost on the Crosstour and ZDX they were the future, Honda just got the timing wrong. Also Honda isn’t technically a luxury brand.
    While I can agree that making a Luxury car practical sounds plain wrong, rich people today aren’t all about the leisure lifestyle like they were back in the day when working class ment manual labour.
    Being rich today means having time to work out, get a tan, go to Ikea or whatever and haul stuff you could afford to buy. It means having time to have an active lifetyle or whatever they call it.
    Being rich today is essentially the same as being higher working class here in Scandinavia when I grew up in the 80’s.
    Back then we all went skiing and did stuff, and bought stuff and we all drove Volvos or Liftback sedans.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I disagree, I think this may be one case where fastback styling on an SUV makes a lot of sense and may (if done right) look much better than the regular Cayenne. The Cayenne is the pioneer of the sport car styling forced onto an SUV resulting in ugliness and fabulous sales, bringing the shape more in line in with the 911 should help with both of those.

  • avatar

    Great, another Douchemobile to roam the streets.

  • avatar

    Oh come on, get over it already. I’ve been calling fixed-pillar, fixed-rear-glass coupés “two-door sedans” for ages, making a fool of myself in the process. The four-door coupé is here to stay, both as a car and as a “utility” vehicle — deal with it.

    Besides, there is prior art: the Rover P5 coupé, which was just as four-door as the Rover P5 sedan, but with a slightly lower rear roofline. This is in agreement with the word’s original meaning by the way: “coupé” is French for “cut up” (which is why I insist on both the accent and the pronunciation as “coo-pay”, as if further proof for my being a fool was needed).

    So in the original sense of the meaning, an SUV with part of its roof hacked away to make room for a sleeker tailgate is actually much more of a coupé than a sedan completely redesigned to be a sleeker two-door sedan.

  • avatar

    Just what the world needs more of; trucks with hatchbacks. Thankfully, both Acura and Honda pulled out before the seed was planted in Japan as well…

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