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

Range Rover any day over this

1 year 34 weeks ago

Range Rover any day over this hideous thing!

Another laughably bad, ugly and overpriced car from Germany

1 year 34 weeks ago

It would be much much cheaper (and in the long term less uncomfortable) to get the word 'stupid' tattooed across your forehead.

I dont' seem to have

1 year 34 weeks ago

any other way of communicating with the infidels. I cannot (and i'm not joking!) begin to tell you how upset i am as i write this, but i am. To have people over the last eighteen months put screwdriver (or another similar pointed object) like dents in your car door, not just once, but twice, throw stones at it and steal part of the front grille, or remove the cable ties on the bumper, only to replace with flimsy coat hanger wire (i've now replace the ties) is unacceptable. To have your gate ripped off the front of you property, not just once, but twice...and quite aggressively the second time, ripped clean from its brickwork.......it's clear to me (and i could go on) that somebody is trying to tell me something. However, i must tell them (and i'm bracing myself for the impact both physically and financially),that i've already felt the pain, and that i've done nothing wrong, so to give in, is to say this behaviour is alright. It's not. And, as we move towards the new year, i wish them the very happiest of new years but urge them to 'do their worst'. There is no resolution, today, tomorrow, next week, year, forever. It's that simple. Oh, and just for further clarity, my name is Andrew T Campbell. Again, wishing you, a very happy new year.

Oh my goodness!! I would find

1 year 34 weeks ago

Oh my goodness!! I would find it hard to draw something quite that ugly, let alone decide that it was suitable to build for real so that other people had to look at it. Do Porsche reserve a special design team just to make a complete hash of designing the Cayenne?

I'm sure its just me, but

1 year 34 weeks ago

I'm sure its just me, but alcantara covered steering wheels somehow look unhygienic....

What's the point

1 year 34 weeks ago

I just don't get the point of these sports trucks on stilts. If you want a 4X4 get one, if you wants a sports saloon get one, but the reality is these SUV things offer only the worst of both - 

 - no real off road ability

 - no real dynamic capability in the sense of real driving dynamics

So other than being expensive and excessively vulgar demonstrations of  money they serve no purpose other than to annoy everyone else, primarily because these kinds of vehicles are driven by small balding men with a lot of issues or their wives who are struggling to control the tribe of spoiled noisy little brats in the back.

Suspension

1 year 34 weeks ago

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),

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. 

Here is an idea, just fit normal suspension, or am I missing the point?


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Our Verdict

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

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