Allan Muir
23 December 2012

What is it?

The Cayenne may already be one of the most sporting of all SUVs, but, Porsche being Porsche, there’s always room for an even more driver-orientated version, right? The new GTS version of the current Cayenne – driven for the first time on British roads – revives a formula that proved popular in the previous generation, slotting into the line-up between the standard petrol V8 S and the ballistic Turbo models with a more focused chassis set-up that promises to make it the best of the lot to drive.

With a body kit that includes the Turbo’s big-intake front bumper and a sizeable roof spoiler, as well as blacked-out exterior trim, the GTS is as close to handsome looking as a Cayenne is ever likely to get, and unmistakably a Porsche when specified in a bright exterior colour with black wheels. Inside, the cabin is covered in leather and Alcantara with contrasting stitching, including the superb sports front seats, while the rear bench is shaped to seat two rather than three.

What is it like?

With the regular normally aspirated 4.8-litre V8 uprated from 394bhp to 414bhp and the drivetrain sharpened up via a quicker-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox and shorter final drive ratios, the GTS delivers plentiful performance in a crisply responsive way, even though on paper it’s barely any quicker than the Diesel S model and well short of the Turbo. It can feel a little hyperactive at low speeds and in kickdown when left in Drive, but it responds well to shifting gears manually via the steering wheel paddles. The naturally aspirated V8 also sounds lovely in the top half of its rev range.

More important, though, is the way the GTS handles and the level of interaction that exists between man and machine. With a lower ride height (by 20mm when air suspension is fitted) and assisted by PDCC active anti-roll bars and torque vectoring (both must-have options on this model, surely), the GTS is even more physics-defying than Cayennes usually are. Its agility is quite remarkable for a two-tonne SUV, and there’s bountiful feel through the perfectly weighted steering and sporty yet comfortable seats.

On UK roads the ride can be a bit jiggly with the PASM adaptive suspension in Sport mode and strangely wobbly in Comfort, but in Normal the balance of body control versus ride comfort is just right. Crucially, this means passengers don’t have to suffer in any way for the GTS’s extra driver appeal. In fact, they’re very well catered for in a handsome and spacious (albeit button-littered) cabin.

Should I buy one?

For the ultimate in crazy-fast SUVS, the 493bhp Cayenne Turbo is still the go-to model, but otherwise the £20k cheaper GTS is probably the pick of the current range, especially if you’d secretly rather be driving a 911. Like Porsche’s sports cars, it gets the balance between driver appeal and usability spot on.

Porsche Cayenne GTS

Price £67,147; 0-62mph 5.7sec; Top speed 162mph; Economy 26.4mpg (combined); CO2 251g/km; Kerb weight 2065kg; Engine V8, 4806cc, petrol; Power 414bhp at 6500rpm; Torque 380lb ft at 3500rpm; Gearbox 8-spd automatic

Join the debate

Comments
77

Only if?

1 year 36 weeks ago

Only if it was in this configuration,color scheme etc,may not be the best choice, but ,it certainly the most sporty looking choice,compared too a Q7 for instance.

Peter Cavellini.

i can understand the appeal

1 year 36 weeks ago

i can understand the appeal of this car but for me, it would either be the Cayenne Diesel S or the Panamera S or GTS

twitter @anikadamali, @notPCnairobi

That is really good mix up of

1 year 36 weeks ago

That is really good mix up of V8 and Turbo that made Porsche cayenne GTS more sporty and interesting. In my opinion, it is the best sport SUV version at the moment

Porsche, recommended by the

1 year 36 weeks ago

Porsche, recommended by the dealers...

 

definitely one of the poster

1 year 36 weeks ago

definitely one of the poster boys for wannabe middle class automotive vulgarity. As hateful as the Range Rover Sport?

The cayenne diesel s.......is

1 year 36 weeks ago

The cayenne diesel s.......is all there is to know in the cayenne range.

Pass me a bucket...

1 year 36 weeks ago

'but otherwise the £20k cheaper GTS is probably the pick of the current range' - it's probably not as well.

Unless by 'current range' you mean you are taking into account the fact that the Diesel S isn't in production yet.

As somebody refered to earlier, this is the wannabe drug dealer, come nightclub bouncer, come tank top wearing body builder at the local gym, bastardised RRS version of the Cayenne. 

I don't think I would even allow myself to be seen as a passenger in one.

The pick of the range is clearly the Diesel S, and not this 'pimp my ride' version.

cool

1 year 35 weeks ago

cool car with thin beautiful girls...
www take3daydiet com  must created every single one food on refreshing create. Once you have is actually take a triped in which part on the scene, you are likely to realize that you true to be able to their roots and also traditions cook supper with clean improve for every solo food, no freezing dinner. And, this need to be able to can no longer discounted which existence around the Mediterranean has been executed at one slower value rather than living around the United states on america and Traditional western Europe.

Sweet Ride

1 year 35 weeks ago

I have to say this...that car is one sweet ride.Also if anyone wants to get their porsche repair orange visit orange motors. Get the best services at the best prices Smile

I have to say that this car

1 year 35 weeks ago

I have to say that this car has a great personality.

Please register or login to post a comment.

Our Verdict

Even those who don't love the Porsche Cayenne should be impressed by its dynamic ability

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen Golf GTE first drive review

    Volkswagen Golf GTE first drive review

    First drive
    2 September 2014 2:53pm

    New GTE offers the best blend of economy and performance in the Golf range, but could do with more boot space and a lower price

  • BMW X4

    BMW X4

    Car review
    2 September 2014 2:45pm

    The X6 is a showroom hit. Does its smaller brother deserve to be?

  • Porsche Boxster GTS UK first drive review

    Porsche Boxster GTS UK first drive review

    First drive
    1 September 2014

    Go-faster Boxster renders the Boxster S entirely redundant, but not the slower but still sweet basic model

  • BMW M4 convertible first drive review

    BMW M4 convertible first drive review

    First drive
    30 August 2014

    More visceral than the M4 coupé thanks to more audible exhaust and well-controlled swirl of air in the cabin, but dynamics suffer slightly

  • Radical RXC

    Radical RXC

    Car review
    29 August 2014

    The Radical RXC offers one of the most extreme driving experiences available on public roads