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2012 Porsche Cayenne GTS review

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We review the new 2012 Porsche Cayenne GTS, an SUV with a 414bhp naturally aspirated V8 engine

2012 Porsche Cayenne GTS review

What is it?
 
The Porsche Cayenne GTS sits below the Turbo and above the S in the SUV’s range. With 414bhp, it’s the most powerful normally aspirated Cayenne available.
 
Technical highlights?
 
The 4.8-litre V8 engine is from the Cayenne S, but gains 20bhp and 12lb ft in the GTS thanks to altered inlet valve timing and a revised ECU. Other changes include a lower final drive ratio, quicker gearchanges for the ZF 8-speed auto gearbox, a sports exhaust, lower suspension (-25mm over the Cayenne S for ‘steel’ sprung versions and -20mm if optioned with PASM suspension management) and wider wheels and tyres all round, giving the car a 17mm wider track than the Cayenne S.
 
What’s it like to drive?
 
Very good, especially considering it’s a 2085kg SUV. Although conventional steel springs are standard, all the test cars were fitted with the optional air-suspension (PASM), which offers a superior ride quality (in comfort) as well as several different ride heights, depending on what speed you’re travelling at and whether ‘Sport’ has been selected. Our car also had Porsche’s anti-roll system (PDCC), which did an amazing job of keeping the car roll-free through corners and seemed to be an option well worth having.
 
My only reservation is the GTS lacks the effortless torque delivery of the Turbo model, so you really need to rev its V8 engine to make the sort of progress the impressive performance claims seem to promise (0-62mph in 5.7sec and 0-100mph in 13.3sec). Predictably, the fuel economy will then suffer and we achieved an average of 16.5mpg at the end of our 200-mile drive, which is little better than the Turbo would achieve on a similar run.
 
How does it compare?
 
The Porsche Cayenne GTS is leagues ahead of rivals like the Range Rover Sport in dynamic terms, chiefly because it weighs 505kg less than the supercharged Sport (its closest rival in performance terms). Another big advantage the Porsche has are its proper performance road tyres (optional Michelin 295/35 R21 Pilot Sports on our car). This makes a huge difference to the car’s dynamics, as well as top speed (162mph), which no longer has to be limited because of semi off-road tyres.
 
Anything else I need to know?
 
The GTS shares the same exterior looks as the range topping Cayenne turbo, with its larger cooling air intakes in the front air-dam and twin blade spoiler at the rear. Inside, there are exclusive GTS sports seats, Alcantara trim and individually trimmed seats in the rear compartment - similar spec highlights to the Porsche Panamera GTS.
 
Priced at £67,147 in the UK, the GTS usefully undercuts the turbo by £19,749, making it seem like an excellent value in comparison. That’s why the GTS is our pick of the Cayenne range for keen (SUV) drivers. 

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evo RATING

 
[+]
Dynamically its the best SUV on sale today
[-]
At 2085kg it's no sports car, though...

evo SPECIFICATIONS

 
Engine: V8, 4806cc
Max power: 414bhp @ 6500rpm
Max torque: 380lb ft @3500rpm
0 - 60mph: 5.7sec (claimed 0-62)
Top speed: 162mph
Price: £67,147
On Sale: July 2012

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