Because We Can: The German SUV 'Coupe' Scene Now Comprises Three Automakers

Let it never be said that car companies don’t offer people what they want, because, according to sales data, BMW and Mercedes-Benz haven’t sold zero X4s, X6s, GLE Coupes, and GLC Coupes.

There is a market for four-door SUVs with steeply raked rears. Just because you don’t want one and hate the erroneous application of the word “coupe” (this author belongs in both camps) doesn’t mean your neighbor feels the same way. What you see above is Porsche’s first member of this strange new cabal of vehicles. It’s the Cayenne.

The Cayenne Coupe.

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Porsche Reportedly Working on a Two-door Version of a Four-door Car (Don't Worry, There's a Four-door 'Coupe' SUV, Too)

The auto industry has become so unconventional, so bizarro world, that I became momentarily confused after reading a report that Porsche has a Panamera coupe in development.

Automakers don’t develop new coupes. They develop slightly more curvaceous versions of four-door crossovers and SUVs and call them coupes, but they’re certainly not coupes. Thus, I found myself picturing a curvaceous four-door liftback version of a curvaceous four-door liftback. Reality bent and flexed around me and the universe crumbled.

That’s apparently what Porsche is up to, though, and it’s looking like the two-door version of the Panamera — if built — will serve as a spiritual successor to the long departed 928.

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Porsche Is Mulling a Cayenne Coupe Because the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe Are Kings of the World

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.

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.

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Porsche Mulls Diesel Death for Entire Fleet, Starting With the Cayenne

This season’s must-have fashion for high-end automakers is the proposed elimination of diesel-powered engines. Volvo may keep theirs, but only if they’re supplemented by an electrified unit after 2019, and the same is true for both Jaguar and Land Rover. Mercedes-Benz hasn’t been quite so overt about its own diesel death, but it is pressing aggressively toward mild hybrids.

However, no manufacturer has the same incentive to distance itself from diesels as Volkswagen Group. Porsche, Audi, and VW all suffered from the company’s emissions scandal. Moving away from the fuel was to be expected, but Porsche’s chief executive hints diesel death may occur within a year as the company decides the future of the next-generation Cayenne.

When we previewed the new SUV last month, Porsche mentioned a pair of turbocharged gasoline engines but no diesel option. That was because the brand is still investigating whether diesel even has a place in the Cayenne and, by extension, the rest of its fleet.

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Nearly Half of the Vehicles Sold by Porsche in August Weren't SUVs

Porsche revealed a new, third-generation Cayenne on a new platform late last month, but the U.S. arrival of the third version of Porsche’s original SUV won’t take place until the second half of 2018.

While the new Cayenne will be sold in some markets as a MY2018 vehicle, the 2018 Cayenne on this side of the Atlantic is the outgoing Cayenne. Yes, that Cayenne, the Cayenne that’s suffering from a sharp sales decline.

In August 2017, the Cayenne’s gradual and not entirely unpredictable old-age decline was matched to a sudden downward shift from its smaller sibling, as well. Macan sales plunged 29 percent last month. Cayenne volume was down 28 percent. Jointly, the duo lost 1,003 sales, year-over-year.

You know what that means. The [s]overwhelming majority[/s], [s]the lion’s share[/s], [s]most[/s], [s]nearly half[/s], more than a third of the vehicles sold in Porsche’s U.S. showrooms in August 2017 were sports cars. Yes, Porsche still builds sports cars, rather decent ones, in fact. And in August, Porsche’s sports car sales were very healthy indeed.

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Rare Rides: The 1990 BMW Z1, a Little Bimmer Time Forgot

Though not the first BMW-powered vehicle in our Rare Rides series, and not the first with two doors, it is the first BMW convertible we’ve seen here. And the two aforementioned doors on this little convertible have One Simple Trick up their sleeve — disappearing into the body of the car. It’s the kind of detail you’d only expect on some crazy old Citroën.

But that’s not the only unique aspect of the Z1. Want to learn something?

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Everything You Loved and More: The 2019 Porsche Cayenne

The Macan may be Porsche’s best-selling vehicle, but it owes all of its success to the Cayenne. When the SUV began production in 2002, we all scoffed and claimed it would never work. But the vehicle’s success has had us feasting on crow for the last 15 years.

About to enter its third generation, the Cayenne doesn’t appear to have changed much at a glance. Appearances are often deceptive, however, and this would be a prime example of the phenomenon. For 2019, the SUV comes equipped with new engines, new brakes, a new transmission, and gobs of added tech.

Visually, Porsche says the “the new Cayenne retains a strong visual connection to its predecessors.” If that’s code for saying it looks nearly identical to the previous model and, by extension, all modern Porsches, then it wasn’t very difficult to decrypt. But the German automaker knows it has an incredibly well-established design language. It’s not about to shake things up for the sake of being different.

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A First: Macan Is Porsche USA's Best Seller In July 2015

In July 2015, for just the second time since arriving in America 15 months ago, the Porsche Macan outsold its bigger brother Cayenne.

Also in July 2015, for the first time since arriving in America 15 months ago, the Porsche Macan was the best-selling Porsche in America.

But is Porsche just using the Macan to appeal to Cayenne buyers who want something smaller or less expensive, thereby cannibalizing Cayenne volume in the United States?

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The 911, Not An SUV, Was Porsche's Best-Selling Model In October 2014

What was once the norm is now so rare that October 2014’s results are bizarrely backwards.

The 911 was Porsche’s best-selling model in the United States in October 2014. Stop the presses. Hold the cheese. Alert the medic. Release the proverbial hounds.

The 911 is by all accounts a sports car, even if it’s softer and plusher and more hushed and more PDK’d than ever before. Indeed, the 911 is not an SUV, the type of vehicle which normally dominates Porsche’s sales charts.

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Ur-Turn: Not Your Grandmother's Nylons
TTAC reader Dean Trombetta sent us an article on anti-freeze resistant nylon and its applications in the automotive world.

In early 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Porsche alleging that the company knowingly installed defective coolant pipes made of nylon into engines of Cayenne model SUV’s. Apparently, the pipes are very likely to fail prematurely resulting in serious engine damage. If the vehicle is out of warranty, customers end up spending big bucks to repair their engines and replace the coolant pipes. The replacement coolant pipes are made of aluminum.

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A Very Unhappy Thanksgiving Courtesy Of The Porsche Cayenne

Oh, Cayenne owners, you so crazy! And I should know — the $96,000 GTS 6MT above was briefly my company car way back in the day. I also had a plain “S” in 2004, although that proved to be so popular with a business partner of mine I wound up trading him for a Cadillac STS. Neither of the Touaregs-in-drag ever managed to spend more than a few months away from the loving embrace of our local Porsche dealer, so there was no third Cayenne in the plan. You know what they say: fool me twice, I won’t get fooled again.

But there are people out there who have found the Cayenne even more painful than I did.

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Porsche Prices Cayenne Diesel At $55,770

Porsche fanatics, hang on to your defibrilators. The oil-burning Porsche SUV bastard spawn known as the Cayenne Diesel is coming to America, and it will be priced fairly reasonably.

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Porsche Cayenne Accounts For 44.7 Of Brand's US Sales

We’ve all heard anecdotal evidence of just how important cars like the Cayenne and Panamera are for Porsche’s financial health. Freelance analyst Timothy Cain has done the unenviable task of analyzing the data and his findings show just how important the apostate P-cars are for the company.

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Porsche Cayenne Diesel Coming To America In 2012

Forget Amerindian prognostications of the apocalypse occurring in 2012 – the sight of an oil-burning Porsche SUV is enough for some to consider it the end of the world.

The announcement of a diesel powered Porsche Cayenne was buried deep within a press release for the Porsche 911 Cabriolet’s debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. According to the release, the spring launch of the previously revealed Panamera GTS “…will subsequently be followed by the Cayenne Diesel as Porsche’s first compression-ignition car in the USA.”

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Porsche's Deadly Sin #3: 2004 Cayenne "V6"

Well, this feels kind of like kicking a dog, doesn’t it? It’s not exactly opening up a new journalistic frontier to say “OMG THE CAYENNE SUX”. Rarely has a vehicle been as reviled as Porsche’s platform-promiscuous porky-pig of an SUV seems to universally be. Still, as Pope once said,

Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne’er tastes, and beauty ne’r enjoys…

And of all the vile variations on the Cayenne (at least two of which, it must be disclosed, your humble author operated as occasional-use vehicles) this “V6” is the worst, the lowest, the most base, the most loathsome.

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  • Jeff S I rented a 2012 Chrysler 200 with the 4 cylinder from Enterprise for business travel and it was not a bad car but I would not buy one. I would have picked a Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or a Ford Fusion over a Chrysler 200. I have known people that bought Chrysler 200s that had nothing but problems with them. I appreciate these old reviews and miss the old TTAC before it became what it is now with many articles that are slanted toward politics. Don't have to agree with everything but it is good to read an honest review of a car.
  • Jeff S The Cybertruck was first unveiled and announced on Nov. 21, 2019. For over 3 years Tesla has been saying that this truck was going to be released soon. The mystique and surprise is no longer there. I think the Cybertruck is hideous but then I am not the target for this. Since its initial unveiling there has been the introduction of the Lightning, Hummer, and the Rivian truck. The anticipation of this truck and the mystique has faded. There will be a few that will buy this because they are hard core Tesla fans and some because it is different but Tesla should have been the first to market an EV pickup. GM is planning a compact EV pickup under the GMC brand starting at 25 MSRP. This should have been Tesla and Tesla could have downsized the Cybertruck to either a midsize or compact truck and been first. Tesla should have been first at the very least to release a smaller EV truck.
  • Bloke Wow, this should make a big difference, to those catalytic converter thieves who don't have tools like 'angle grinders' with them.
  • Carlson Fan The way the truck drops in the rear and the bed/tailgate become a ramp is genius! I'd buy it just for that alone!!! It would be awesome for loading snowmobiles and garden tractors in the back. However, my trucks need to be able to regularly tow heavy loads long distance, summer & winter. Sorry folks, current battery tech. isn't even close to what it needs to be for me to think even one second that a battery truck could replace my current ICE powered truck. An EV for a DD makes sense , but for truck you need a MUCH better battery.
  • Inside Looking Out For midsize sedan it is too small. It basically is a compact car.