Porsche’s range of GTS models are turning out to be the aces in the pack; now there’s a Cayenne version to join the line up.
The Cayenne has only just been updated, gaining internal and external tweaks but in GTS form it gets its own set of upgrades: there’s a unique exterior styling package which includes a body-coloured styling kit, larger matte-finished alloy wheels and GTS badging. Mechanically the GTS gets a new turbocharged V6 engine to replace the old naturally aspirated V8, a sports exhaust system, unique suspension tune and some tasty interior kit including Alcantara trim and sports seats.
Where once the Cayenne was something of an acquired taste, it’s hard not to find the latest model’s design pleasing to the eye. It certainly looks its sharpest in GTS form; the body-coloured lower section gives it better stance and hides its bulk well.
Its image is all the better for the GTS makeover too, although even now it’s not a car for the shy, retiring type. When you’re behind the wheel it’s hard not to feel like a success, which is precisely why it’s such a popular choice.
The GTS makes no compromises over the standard car in respect of space for passengers or luggage so you can expect plenty of both. In fact the Cayenne offers one of the best cabins in the business; the seats are superbly supportive and comfortable with a huge range of adjustment, there’s plenty of space front and rear and the boot can carry a stack of suitcases happily. Although it’s unlikely to ever venture off-road it’s more than capable of getting you out of a sticky situation, even though the GTS isn’t the best version for such adventures.
The biggest change for this latest GTS is the switch to turbocharged power, an inevitable result of the quest for improved emissions and economy. On the one hand you do lose a little of the character of the old V8 engine, but in truth the V6 still sounds good, offers more power and torque and better fuel consumption.
Like pretty much every Porsche these days all the mechanical elements blend together beautifully to create a car that just feels right when you’re behind the wheel. The engine is powerful and flexible, the gearbox smooth but rapid-shifting when required and it handles with incredible verve and precision for a car of this size. On a frozen test track in northern Sweden the GTS drifted and danced its way along the treacherous surface with zero fuss. Yet it’s still superbly comfortable when driven normally and can tackle long distances with ease.
The Cayenne GTS isn’t a cheap car of course, but compared to the Cayenne S on which it is based you get a lot more for your extra cash.
The more powerful engine, uprated brakes and suspension, smart bodykit and bigger alloy wheels are all worthwhile upgrades, while inside there’s lots of Alcantara and those lovely sports seats all as standard.
Many buyers of the Cayenne are Porsche fans who find that the firm’s smaller cars no longer fit in with their lifestyle, so the Cayenne is a genuine jack of all trades; families will love it, couples will love the fact that it is comfortable but also capable of towing, and even if you’re tuck in the city the high driving position and presence takes the strain out of stop-start traffic. The short answer then is anyone who can afford it.
Facts & figures
Model: Porsche Cayenne GTS
Engine: 3.6-litre petrol unit producing 434bhp and 443lb/ft of torque
Performance: Top speed 163mph, 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds
Economy: 28.2mpg combined
CO2 rating: 234g/km