If you’re not growing tired of reading about luxury SUVs based on the Cayenne’s MLB-Evo Volkswagen Group platform, you probably haven’t been paying enough attention to the pages of Autocar recently. We can only apologise for the monotony.

The third-generation Cayenne does at least provide a bit of respite by becoming the first SUV of its particular family to adopt the short-wheelbase version of that platform. As such, it’s 100mm shorter between the axles than an Audi Q7 and Q8 and a Bentley Bentayga (shorter still than a Lamborghini Urus).

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Turbo models get an integrated rear spoiler with an moving element that’s part of the Porsche Active Aerodynamics system. It acts variously as an air brake or to reduce lift over the rear axle

Among its immediate relations, only the Urus has a lower roofline and, at manufacturer’s claimed kerb weight figures at least, only the Urus is lighter. Our test car tipped the scales at 2307kg full of fuel and with plenty of options on board, making Porsche’s 2250kg kerb weight claim entirely believable.

The car is constructed out of a body-in-white made chiefly of aluminium, with more of the stuff accounting for its bonnet, tailgate, doors, roof and front wings. It sits on aluminium-rich multi-link suspension configurations at both axles, the Turbo using wider axle tracks than its sibling models. And whereas lesser Cayennes get steel coil suspension and passive dampers as standard and three-chamber height-adjustable air suspension and PASM adaptive dampers as an option, the Turbo gets the trick air springs as standard.

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It also gets 21in alloy wheels and new ‘surface-coated’ steel brakes (dubbed PSCB by Porsche) as standard, the brakes getting a coating of tungsten carbide to improve stopping power and fade resistance and to reduce of wear. However, our test car had optional PCCB carbon-ceramic brakes instead of the standard PSCB stoppers.

That is, of course, just the jumping-off point for the mechanical suspension configuration of the car because you can add a torque-vectoring eDiff for the rear axle, active anti-roll bars and active four-wheel steering, all at extra cost; and our test car had all of those apart from active four-wheel steering.

Powering the Cayenne Turbo is the same 3996cc V8, complete with twin turbochargers mounted inboard of the cylinder banks, that powers the Bentayga V8. The 542bhp and 568lb ft it produces are improvements on the vitals of the last Cayenne Turbo. Although they’re a way down on what you can get in terms of power and torque from this car’s key rivals from BMW’s M division, Mercedes-AMG and even Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, we must consider that Porsche is leaving room for both a forthcoming Turbo S and a Turbo S E-Hybrid to slot in above this in the months and years to come, so the deficiency is nothing for Cayenne diehards to get too despondent about.

Power is channelled to the road via an eight-speed ZF gearbox and a clutch-based four-wheel-drive system that is apparently capable of sending more torque rearwards than the Torsen centre differential fitted to several of the car’s platform relations can – and also of doing it more quickly into the bargain.

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