Porsche is going all out with its latest Cayenne derivative, packing 631bhp, a coupe-only body and no hybrid bits in sight
Is it just us or do super high-performance SUVs seem to be coming on stream thicker and faster than ever before? Whether this is responding to the market, or a ploy to squeeze them out before legislation and inevitably buyer interest deem them unnecessary and wasteful (we’ve been saying that for years), who knows? The latest addition to the fold is from Porsche, and short of tastelessly deploying a full-house GT badge to the rump of a Cayenne, Porsche has taken it nearly that far and created another new variant: the Cayenne Turbo GT.
On first acquaintance, anyone with a half-decent knowledge of the Volkswagen Group’s penchant for shared components might be forgiven for thinking this is nothing more than an application of the 631bhp V8 variant from the Panamera Turbo S, but dig into the details and there’s actually lots of bespoke calibration work going on here, and given that the new Aston Martin DBX has well and truly stolen the Cayenne’s crown in the driving stakes, it’s no surprise to see a response.
Oddly, despite being touted as the Cayenne’s performance flagship, the even more powerful Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is still in the range with 671bhp, but with almost 2500kg to move about is certainly not the most agile or engaging Cayenne to drive.
Instead, the Turbo GT is the most potent application of Porsche’s 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine without any electrical assistance. Rated at 631bhp, and with 627lb ft of torque, move past the temptation to consider this as little more than an ECU upgrade because at this level Porsche has done the hard work by uprating almost all of the internals, including the use of a new crankshaft, connecting rods and pistons.
The standard-fit sports exhaust system is also recalibrated to give the V8 a bit more of a voice, while the eight-speed torque converter has picked up new software, making the shifts shorter, sharper and more responsive to the standard-fit paddles behind the steering wheel. Porsche has also fitted a water-cooling system for the transmission and the transfer case, such are the forces being thrown up and down the drivetrain.
In terms of hardware, Porsche has also not left anything off the table, integrating its active anti-roll bar system (PDCC), three-chamber air suspension and adaptive dampers (PASM), power torque vectoring (PTV) and rear-wheel steering as standard with unique calibrations in the Turbo GT. The Cayenne Turbo GT also sits 17mm lower in its standard driving mode, although like all air-sprung Cayennes, the ride height is adjustable.
The changes extend to the wheels and tyres too, with new 22-inch alloys that are an inch wider up front, wrapped in a bespoke Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyre. Ceramic brakes are also standard fit.
The Turbo GT is also only available in the more rakish coupe body style, and signifies its flagship status with a bespoke front bumper with larger openings and a different lower spoiler. There are also new carbonfibre details dotted around the interior and exterior, plus Porsche’s latest infotainment system and a new exterior paint option.
All in, you’ll be looking at $199,000 for the fully loaded model, making it around $28k more than the less able, less powerful but charismatic Maserati Levante Trofeo, and around $28k short of the Aston Martin DBX and Lamborghini Urus. The new model is available to order now from Porsche centres, and will be making its public debut in a few weeks’ time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
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