While a dash of cynicism is often recommended when dealing with a manufacturer’s quoted performance times, to give credit to Porsche the Cayenne S feels every bit as fast as it says it is.
Our test vehicle was equipped with the £774-a-pop Sport Chrono Package, which includes a steering wheel-mounted drive mode selector. Rather delightfully, this also adds a launch control function, which we were able to try out on track at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone.
This particular function is enabled by selecting Sport+, putting your left foot down hard on the brake and mashing the throttle with your right. As the revs rise to around 2,500rpm, you can feel the car tugging at the reins as the torque — all 406lb ft worth — is released when you lift your left foot.
Traction off the line is immense, as is the accompanying surge of acceleration. There’s no discernable lag and the climb up through the rev band is deliciously linear — all of which is accompanied by a deep growl from the exhaust that sounds just ferocious enough without being overly coarse. While this powerplant may not ooze charisma or character, it does make the Cayenne S feel every bit as fast as Porsche claims it is.
It comes to a halt just as impressively. Stuttgart’s new white-calipered Porsche Surface Coated Brakes (a halfway house of sorts between steel brakes and full-on carbon ceramics), fitted to our test car at a cost of £2,105, took three consecutive emergency stops in their stride with nothing in the way of noticeable fade.
Out on the road, the Cayenne S’s confidence in its abilities is no less apparent. Its suspension comprises aluminium multi-link arrangements with steel springs front and rear, while Porsche Active Suspension Management is also standard. With the adaptive dampers set to comfort, the Cayenne S’s primary ride is generally very fluid and supple.
Given its fairly immense size, vertical travel and lateral roll are kept largely in check over undulations and through faster bends, although particularly uneven surfaces can upset proceedings somewhat. Sport and Sport+ modes tighten everything up — they're great on smoother sections of Tarmac but further emphasise coarser patches road.
The steering, meanwhile, is positively weighted and offers a fairly impressive level of communication with the front tyres. The front end reacts keenly to your inputs, turning in with little in the way of delay or hesitation, while the combination of four-wheel drive and the sticky 295/35 section tyres of our optional 21in alloy wheels (£2,867) provide impressive levels of grip.