Porsche has launched the new Cayenne GTS, a mid-range model of its leading SUV. The previous-generation Cayenne GTS was powered by a V6 engine, while this new one has gone back to its V8 roots. Not only has the engine changed, but so have other features as well, and I will get into it in a moment. Both the Cayenne big body and Coupe versions are affected by the GTS moniker. Interestingly the Coupe currently outsells its sibling in Mzansi, giving the GTS Coupe a greater chance at maintaining that, given its sportier disposition.

The first Cayenne GTS arrived in 2007 with its 4.8-litre V8 engine making 298kW. It was followed by the 3.6-litre twin turbo V6 pushing out 324kW. So why return to the V8 format then, when all indications point towards smaller, turbocharged engines? Emotion, is the response from Porsche. Yes a V6 with the correct tuning can produce similar power outputs as a V8, but it will not be able to replicate the emotional response garnered by the big 8 cylinders on throttle thrust and torque delivery. It burbles in idle, comes to life on startup and crackles, pops once the revs and roads are wide open. Call it uber vrrrrrrr pha if you will. Aural dances aside, the V8 should be just as efficient as the old V6.

So what are we looking at here? Well, the new 4.0-litre biturbo V8 produces a maximum of 338kW of power between 6 000rpm and 6 500rpm, as well as 620Nm of pulling torque from 1 800rpm to 4 500rpm. All this means it has ample power and torque to accelerate from 0 – 100km/h in 4.5 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package, and in 4.8 seconds without it. Now why would you not have it? Top speed is 270km/h. Not bad for an SUV weighing over two tonnes right? Porsche has mated the V8 to an 8-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission.

Several visual items make the GTS models stand out, including the standard Sport Design front apron with black air intakes, dark LED headlights, a 2cm lower suspension system, 21-inch RS Spyder Design wheels in satin-gloss black, red brake callipers, a rear spoiler, a tinted rear light bar and the model logo is finished in matt black among others. The exhaust tailpipes are also finished in black. There is an optional carbon fibre roof for the Coupe, instead of the standard glass panoramic one.

Inside is where the driver and other occupants spend their intimate time with the car, and as such, Porsche has ensured that all is in order, starting with those sports leather seats with GTS embroidery on the headrests, red or Crayon stitching around the edges, Alcantara and aluminium inserts, some piano black and carbon touches. The cabin is expectedly sporty, yet comfortable. Features include the 31.2cm Porsche Communication Management (PCM) full HD touch screen for the infotainment system, the multifunction sports steering wheel, and illuminated USB ports. A standard 10-speaker, 150 Watt sound system comes fitted. For those who like their music loud and clear, Porsche teamed up with BOSE to offer a 14-speaker, 710 Watt option, while Burmester will supply a 3D, 21-speaker option with 1455 Watts if the other two are not enough.

The new Porsche Cayenne GTS family fits in perfectly as the in-between option of the range, with enough power, poise and performance to satisfy any buyer, without encroaching on the sacred ground of the higher Turbo models.

Porsche Cayenne GTS Prices

Cayenne GTS – R1 749 000

Cayenne Coupe GTS – R1 839 000

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