Courtesy Porsche

Vehicles

Crossover Coupes

The Porsche Cayenne Coupe and Audi Q8 have automotive aficionados in a tailspin.
BY MARK HACKING

As luxury crossovers and SUVs began to gain in popularity, it followed that manufacturers would start to offer a variety of different body styles. Everything from boxy two- or four-door crossovers, SUVs that resembled tall wagons, and even a few crossover convertibles have been built. But the newest craze is the crossover coupe, a focused effort to bring even more style and performance to this burgeoning segment. Two new crossover coupes worth more than a mention are the Audi Q8 ($67,400; audi.com) and the Porsche Cayenne Coupe (from $75,300; porsche.com).

Courtesy Audi

Courtesy Audi

The Audi Q8 is, simply, a gorgeous vehicle that stands up exceedingly well compared to any other Audi—or any other luxury vehicle for that matter. The dynamic silhouette is matched by a sumptuous, high-tech interior that shines a spotlight on the brand’s virtual cockpit instrument panel and two more screens housed in the center console. The lower of these two screens is, effectively, a writing tablet to enter navigation information and the like. It’s slick, to say the least.


Mechanically, the Q8 is formidable. The vehicle rides on a platform shared with the Lamborghini Urus and is wider, shorter, and lower to the ground than the other big Audi SUV, the Q7. The ride and handling are impressive. The vehicle’s turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 develops a super-smooth 335 hp and delivers that power through the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. A mild-hybrid system recoups kinetic energy and extends the efficiency of the Q8’s start/stop system.

Courtesy Porsche

Courtesy Porsche

From its debut way back in 2002, the Porsche Cayenne has been a king of the hill in terms of high-performance SUVs. Now, that prodigious performance combines with super-sleek style in the Cayenne Coupe. Three versions are coming: the base model with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6; the S Coupe with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6; and the Turbo Coupe, which features a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. The last boasts 541 hp, accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and has a terminal velocity of 177 mph. Each has an adaptive rear spoiler that automatically deploys at speeds above 56 mph to create increased stability and sharper handling. To further emphasize that this is a high-performance vehicle, three lightweight sports packages are available, all of which include a full carbon-fiber roof.

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