Car of the week – July 23 – Porsche Cayenne GTS

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Red hot & very cool: Porsche Cayenne GTS.

Porsche have enjoyed plenty of  success with the GTS versions of their cars, mainly because of the historic link to those letters which go back to the legendary 904 Carrera GTS of 1964, a distinctive look and a small but welcome power boost which appeals to enthusiasts.

Since it was launched in 2002 the Cayenne has gone from ugly duckling to fully fledged swan and is now so good that you wonder what else they can do it to make it even better.

The GTS version of this popular SUV has been around since 2007 – you may remember the garish Peridot Green one that featured in the last generation – it was hard to miss!

That car was powered by a belting V8 but now there is a new version of this vehicle which has ditched the 8-cylinder engine but actually offers more power and even better, sharper looks.

In line with a general downsizing of engines by almost all car manufacturers, this Cayenne GTS is powered by an all-new 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 with 440bhp, that’s 20 hp more power than its predecessor, and a satisfying helping of torque at 600nm which helps give it a 0-100kmh time of 5.2 seconds, or 5.1 seconds with the Sport Chrono package – impressive for an SUV which weighs more than two tons.

The V6 also reduces fuel consumption, which is an attraction, particularly after the news that fuel prices are to rise here in the UAE.

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The power is transferred to an all-wheel-drive system via an 8-speed Tiptronic S gearbox which ensures powerful acceleration, all the way up to a top speed of 262 kmh and the sports exhaust system ensures it does so with a suitably distinctive engine note.

I say distinctive because without the V8 it has lost that deeply gratifying baritone roar but the V6 still sounds reasonable when you put pedal to metal in Sport or Sport Plus mode which also opens up the sports exhaust valves. 

So while the demise of the V8 is slightly disappointing, this new powerplant is impressively responsive and you can have a lot of fun throwing this Cayenne around because with Porsche’s Active Suspension Management system, stability control, lowered ride height compared to other Cayennes, and chassis design this SUV is surprisingly agile.

Unlike its smaller stablemate, the Macan, it is not quite like driving a large sports car but it’s not far off.

There are other colours available but the latest series of Porsche GTS cars come in a signature Carmine Red which gives them an air of sinister aggression and combined with the optional 21-inch satin platinum wheels fitted to our fully loaded test vehicle, and the Turbo design large air intakes at the front, it really does look the business.

Other exterior extras you get with the GTS include more powerfully contoured side sills and wheel arch moldings, colour coded components including side sills, wheel arch extension, roof spoiler and lower rear panel.

There is also a black exterior package including logos, wheels, tailpipes, roof rails, and the interior plates of the bi-xenon headlights. Smoked LED rear lights are another nice touch.

The interior is, as you would expect in a Porsche, high end luxury with leather/Alcantara sports seats, brushed aluminium, optional carbon trim and a classy centre console which rises up to the infotainment screen on the centre of the dash.

Our test car had the optional GTS interior package in Carmine Red which includes the tachometer, GTS logo on the headrests, decorative heavy-stitching, safety belts and white needles on the instrument cluster.

The cabin is compact with everything geared towards the driving experience but there is plenty of room in the back for the kids and the boot is also spacious for shopping or luggage.

With an excellent panoramic view you really do feel like king of the road and it is exceptionally comfortable.

This Cayenne is best driven in Sport or Sport Plus mode and it is also equipped to go off-road although I wouldn’t take it anywhere near seriously challenging terrain.

Overall, this vehicle is an impressive addition to the Cayenne family and the GTS fleet in general. It is not so fast as to take your breath away, that is reserved for the Cayenne Turbo, but it doesn’t hang around and because it’s a GTS it has that all-important link to history which makes it a bit special.

Verdict

Sitting between the Cayenne S and the Turbo this is another welcome addition to Porsche’s GTS fleet which is becoming increasingly popular.

It looks terrific in Carmine Red although, surprisingly, most GTS Cayenne’s you see on the UAE roads tend to be white.

I would like to see this car with a 0-100kmh time of under five seconds but, that aside, this is yet another brilliant Porsche.

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