Five-Point Inspection: 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

How does one define excess? Well, aside from “Googling” the word or grabbing one of those ancient, paper-bound things called dictionaries, I would offer the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S as a suggestion.

This SUV is for people who want it all… and then some. “I need a vehicle that can carry my family and our gear to the cottage, be able to tow a ski boat, handle some mild off-road use and, of course, out run an Audi S5,” they might say.

Yes, this vehicle can do quite a bit assuming you have an extra $150,650 lying around plus the fees that come along with our 13.6 mpg observed fuel economy average. Long debated as to whether the Cayenne is a true Porsche or not, it is safe to say the Turbo S is as close to a sports car as any SUV has come except for the rip-roaring Cayenne GTS. Regardless, here is a brief look at the 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.

If you thought the 2013 Cayenne Turbo was too slow and cheap, there’s good news. For 2014, Porsche has introduced the Turbo S! By increasing the turbo boost and reworking the engine’s ECU, Porsche has squeaked out an extra 50 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque from the 4.8 L twin turbocharged V8. That means the engine now makes a total of 550 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque.

To stand out from lesser Cayennes, the Turbo S features wider wheel arches and a unique roof mounted spoiler in the back. As well, 21 inch 911 Turbo II wheels are standard on the Turbo S wearing steamroller sized 295/35R21 tires all around.

The Cayenne comes equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Porsche’s all-wheel drive system known as PTM (Porsche Traction Management). Despite the massive amounts of torque, the Turbo S doesn’t launch off the line like a cougar on the prowl. Instead, power boils up like the thrust of a commercial jet liner and once underway feels like it’s a freight train. At any rpm, in any gear, power remains constant; simply hit the gas pedal and point the Cayenne while it devours mile after mile of blacktop. Porsche claims the Turbo S will run reach 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds while topping out at 176 mph. Not bad for a 4,784-lb SUV.

No vehicle this big or this heavy should be so fast or handle so well; just don’t expect 911-like reflexes. Despite all the technological wizardry built into the torque vectoring all-wheel drive system and air suspension, the Cayenne is not the world’s most sporting chassis. It is hard to overcome the laws of physics with a high riding, heavy SUV. But thanks to a set of tires that should have their own wide load warning labels, the Cayenne Turbo S sticks to the road surprisingly well.

With the adjustable ride height from the air suspension, we were able to lift the Cayenne up while stopped in a highway traffic jam one day to see over a few crossovers in front. The downside: we could see that the jam carried on for miles and miles.

We aren’t usually fans of brightly colored cabins, but the red on black interior works here; especially with the white exterior paint highlighted by red painted brake calipers. Inside, the Cayenne’s layout is that of a typical Porsche which means buttons – both blank and functional – galore. Both the front seats and rear seats offer plenty of space and are very comfortable to sit in. The 18-way adjustable seats meant drivers of all shapes and sizes could find a comfortable seating position.

The Turbo S is incredibly powerful, outrageously expensive and downright thirsty; all traits shared with the Audi R8, Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG and others. But let’s see those cars tow over 7,500 lbs and carry 60.2 cubic feet of cargo (with the rear seats down). Yup, the Turbo S can do all that and tackle broken logging roads if needed (not that many owners will take their pricey babies through the rough stuff). This Cayenne truly is a vehicle for the “want their cake and eat it too” crowd and will have no problem finding customers.

Curious about buying a new Cayenne? You can learn more about Porsche’s lineup of cars in AutoGuide’s new car section. Or if you prefer, navigate directly to the latest version of the car by clicking here.

Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

More by Mike Schlee

Join the conversation
 1 comment