What is it?
Consider the facts. Here’s a car that weighs 2215kg and yet it can dispatch the benchmark 0-62mph sprint in just 4.5sec – a time that matches that of the latest Porsche 911 Carrera S. With less than flattering aerodynamics, it also manages to achieve a top speed of 176mph.
The latest of Porsche's second-generation Porsche Cayenne models can also hold its own off-road. It comes with multi-stage air suspension that gives 273mm of ground clearance in its highest setting and some impressive four-wheel drive hardware, including the latest in electronic torque vectoring to juggle drive between individual wheels at the rear.
Among the Cayenne Turbo S's true highlights is a lightly reworked version of the blown V8 petrol engine found in the standard Cayenne Turbo – a potent proposition in its own right. The same unit also sees service in the monstrously fast Porsche Panamera Turbo S.
There are other subtle power-enhancing tweaks, with the 4.8-litre, 90-degree direct-injection unit receiving a more free-flowing inlet manifold, increased turbocharger boost pressure and remapped electronics.
Power climbs by 49bhp, peaking at 542bhp to make this not only the fastest but also the most powerful iteration of the Porsche off-roader to ever see series production. Torque is also up by 37lb ft at 553lb ft – developed on a band of revs between 2250 and 4500rpm.
Unlike in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S, which uses a seven-speed, dual-clutch PDK gearbox, the heady reserves are channelled through an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with a conventional torque converter to all four wheels.