Porsche has debuted a new Cayenne Turbo S at the Detroit motor show, in the process redefining what a ‘sports utility vehicle’ is capable of.
Based on the facelifted version of the second-generation car, the Cayenne Turbo S boasts a remarkable collection of numbers – numbers achievable solely by supercars only a few years ago – and is already on sale in the UK.
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The diverse Cayenne range now includes turbocharged diesel and supercharged petrol-electric hybrid options, but the Turbo S is by far the most potent. Porsche has re-engineered the outgoing model’s 4.8-litre V8 bi-turbo to produce 562bhp and 590lb ft of torque – increases of 20bhp and 37lb ft respectively.
It’s how those numbers translate into performance that’s truly jaw dropping, however. The SUV thunders past 60mph in 3.8 seconds – less than half a second behind the McLaren F1 – and has already recorded a Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time of 7 minutes 59 seconds, despite a corpulent 2235kg kerb weight. Top speed is 176mph, while an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission controls power delivery.
Keeping that weight in check are 420mm carbon-ceramic front brake discs with, for the first time, ten-piston calipers. Still mighty but modest by comparison, 370mm discs operate at the rear. Combined with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, torque vectoring and adaptive four-wheel drive, they help contribute to the Turbo S’s Nordschleife time, which astonishingly is just three seconds off Horst von Saurma’s record in a 996 911 Turbo.
In terms of severity the only car that comes close to this Cayenne is Range Rover’s recent 542bhp SVR, but even that falls by the wayside in comparison, recording a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds. Even in fuel economy the Porsche triumphs, managing a combined 24.6mpg against the SVR’s 22.1.
Recognising a Cayenne Turbo S on the road won’t be hard. The top-spec car wears the yellow brake calipers that signify it is equipped with carbon-ceramic brakes and the vent surrounds are painted in high-gloss black. There’s also a roof spoiler and the wheel arches are body-coloured.
The price of all this capability is £118,455, some £25k more than the Range Rover. A 585-watt Bose sound system, self-levelling air suspension, ride-height control, 18-way sports seats, LED headlights and 21-inch 911 Turbo-style wheels all come as standard, however.
Porsche is already taking orders for the Cayenne Turbo S, with deliveries scheduled for April. Buyers will be eligible for a complimentary course at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone, to ‘explore the potential of their new car’.