The luxury segment has a softball-sized bug up its butt right now. Sport utility vehicles and crossovers have proven to be exceptionally lucrative as consumer interest in sedans tapers off. Weirdly, building variants that are more like cars has also become increasingly popular — especially in the luxury segment.
BMW launched the X6 as the sporting alternative to the X5 way back in 2008. Rival luxury brands quickly took notice. Mercedes-Benz now has the GLE and GLC Coupe while Audi recently showcased the Q8 as a non-car alternative to the Q7.
It’s a strange group. Purchasing one means sacrificing a lot of the practicality of an SUV or crossover to get something with dynamics and styling approaching that of a sedan. It also means you didn’t think to just buy a sedan or station wagon. Are these automobiles bridging a necessary gap in the market or are they a passing fad for those of us with questionable taste in cars and more money than sense?
The answer really doesn’t matter, as they’re currently selling well enough to rationalize their existence — and there’s another contender is about to be added to the mix. Starting in 2019, Porsche will append a “Cayenne Coupé” to its automotive portfolio.
According to a report from Autocar, Porsche boss Oliver Blume has agreed to build the vehicle with the express intent of taking sales away from the X6 and GLE Coupé. The timing is certainly right for it, too. The Audi Q7/Q8 and Porsche’s Cayenne will share a common platform (Volkswagen’s MLB) after next year and Blume thinks it’s perfect for the “coupe” version of the SUV. Porsche’s strategy will also be similar to Audi’s in that the new vehicle will be positioned above the standard Cayenne as a performance variant.
Engine options are expected to be a 440 bhp twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 and a 550 bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. Visually, it should be similar to the third-gen Cayenne with a lower ride height and unique front bumper. It will also have a liftback-style tailgate, altered rear side windows, and a new taillight design that more closely resembles the Panamera.