The idea of a Porsche crossover utility vehicle (CUV) still seems to be out of left field for some. But for those who find the sight of a Cayenne driving the streets as common as a Dodge Grand Caravan, Porsche has upped the ante. Behold the extremely hard-to-miss Cayenne GTS in Peridot green with an optional, matching Peridot trimmed interior.
|1. The 4.8L V8 engine produces 420 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque for a 5.4 second 0-60 mph time.
2. Utility remains intact with 62.9 cu-ft of space and a 7,716 lb. tow rating.
3. Fuel economy is rated at 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.
4. Priced from $83,300 our test vehicle retailed for $106,685.
With 44% of all Porsche vehicles sold in America being Cayennes, it is hard to fault the manufacturer for producing an endless array of derivatives. At last count, there are no fewer than five engine choices producing seven different levels of power. There truly is a Cayenne for all tastes.
Even with the blasphemous-to-a-Porsche-purist diesel and hybrid options, the king of Cayenne ridiculousness still goes to the track ready, Peridot green GTS. When was the last time you saw a utility vehicle with locking differentials on a racetrack?
PORSCHE PERFORMANCE IN SUV FORM
To achieve this feat, Porsche massages the 4.8 L V8 from the Cayenne S to increase power by 20 hp, now bringing the total to 420 hp. Torque is also raised from 369 lb-ft to 380 lb-ft total. The 6-piston front brakes and four-piston rear brakes from the Cayenne Turbo model are fitted and overall ride height for the GTS is lowered by 20 mm. Power is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission fitted with a higher final drive ratio to improve acceleration.
These changes yield a claimed 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds and a no-CUV-has-any-business-going-this-fast 162 mph top speed. After several days behind the wheel of the GTS, these numbers seem easily attainable.
This is not to say thrust and acceleration is other worldly, but it is still more than enough to hustle the 4,597 lbs Cayenne around with reckless abandonment. Still want more power? Porsche will gladly sell you one of two turbocharged Cayennes.
The dual mode exhaust on the GTS features valves that open secondary chambers within the exhaust muffler when the engine is in higher rpms or set to sport mode. When open, the Cayenne makes a distinctly louder growl and driving around with the rear windows open just to hear the noise is the only way to go. Adding to the mechanical symphony is a ‘Sound Symposer’ that channels engine intake noise into the cabin.
Despite there being the two more powerful versions of the Cayenne, the GTS is marketed as the ‘sports’ version of the bunch. It was the first Cayenne to receive the Sport Chrono Package that allows for timing laps around a racetrack if the driver feels so inclined. In the corners the Cayenne behaves like no other off-road capable crossover. Forget the usual Porsche steering feel and feedback, which is present here, the actual chassis responds so quickly it takes a while for your brain to process this overgrown Porsche is capable of such fancy dance moves.
Don’t expect 911 Carrera response levels or Cayman like finesse. This is still a brute of a truck and drives as such. Pummeling corners and thundering down straightaways is the Cayenne’s forte.
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The GTS is equipped with Porsche’s air suspension featuring Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that constantly reacts to the changing road surfaces and driver inputs. The suspension can be adjusted from 10.5-inches of ride height at its highest, down to 6.2-inches at lowest, load leveling height. Depending on speed, the suspension will automatically lower itself all the way down to the second lowest setting once 86 mph is reached.
The overall ride in the GTS is on the firm side even in comfort mode, but still tolerable. In sport mode it stiffens up significantly, but body roll is greatly decreased. Despite all of its sporty bits and pieces, this Cayenne is still rated to tow 7,716 lbs and return an estimated 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway fuel economy. Our average was at the low-end, totaling 15.3 mpg during a week with the Peridot monster.
Peridot, the unique color of a gem-like mineral, is one of two exclusive GTS exclusive colors, the other being Carmine Red. Selecting either of these exterior colors unlocks equally exclusive matching interior color schemes. The aforementioned GTS sport exhaust system comes trimmed with four matte black tailpipes standard; two per side. Being a Porsche, there are several wheel choices available at various prices. The fantastic looking 21-inch wheels ordered on this Cayenne were sadly absent as some still-good-looking 20-inch winter wheels were installed instead. Regardless of what wheel package is selected, this vehicle gets attention everywhere it goes thanks to the paint job and barking exhaust note.
GREEN ON THE INSIDE TOO
Inside, the Peridot treatment is a little more restrained in that the entire interior has not swathed in bright green bits. The seatbelts are, however, color matched and green stitching can be found throughout the cabin. Is it ugly and distasteful, or cool and fitting with the theme of this truck? That is your call on this truly polarizing truck.
The center console is a mess of buttons that takes a while to get accustomed to, but becomes intuitive once their location and functions are learned. Like most Porsches, the buttons are located up high and close to the driver enabling their eyes to remain on the road. There really is only one button that matters though; the sport button. This opens up those exterior ballasts on the dual rear exhaust system and lets the V8 sing.
Being a sport focused Porsche, the GTS lacks any buttons on the steering wheel that could potentially distract the driver. The usual functions performed by these buttons are controlled by four stalks behind the steering wheel. Set just forward of these stalks are two metal paddle shifters that allow manual control of the 8-speed automatic.
SO MUCH SPACE
The front seats are comfortable and thanks to the Alcantara seat inserts, ensuring neither front occupant shifts around during spirited cornering. The outboard rear seats mirror those found up front up and are as every bit comfortable and supportive. Everyone short of a NBA center should find more than enough space in the rear seats thanks to 67.1-inches of legroom. The seat cushions and arm rests are set at adult height levels hinting that this vehicle is not primarily tailored for families with young children. Behind the rear seats, the cargo area is capable of holding 62.9 cu-ft of gear.
See Also: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Review
The base price for Cayenne GTS is $83,300, but the vehicle shown here included enough options to push the as tested price to $106,685 after destination charges. Despite this hefty entry fee, there is indeed a practical side to the Cayenne. That is not to say this truck is a rationale purchasing choice; it is not. But when has buying a Porsche ever been the most rationale decision, especially one costing over $100,000?
This truck is for those who want a 911, can afford a 911, probably already own a 911, but need something more like a Volkswagen Touareg for daily life.
The Cayenne GTS could very well be the best all purpose vehicle for extroverts with money. Or maybe it is just ridiculous…ridiculously awesome.