The Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, a true performance SUV

Whereas just a few years ago, a production vehicle with 700 horsepower was considered “unthinkable,” you now have a single manufacturer (Dodge) selling three different models that produce more than 700 horsepower in stock form. Among those manufacturers pushing the “performance” envelope is Porsche. First with its sports cars, and now with its SUVs, primarily in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT form.

At the top of Porsche’s performance-oriented SUV line-up is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT. Maintaining a blend of performance and practicality, the Cayenne Turbo GT is powered by an improved 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine producing 631 horsepower, 90 more horsepower higher than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupe. Torque is also increased from 567 to 626 lb-ft. As a result, the Cayenne Turbo GT can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, complete the quarter-mile race in 11.6 seconds, and reach a top track speed of 186 mph, making it Porsche’s quickest and fastest production Cayenne ever.

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An upgraded drivetrain over the Cayenne Turbo

The Cayenne Turbo GT’s twin-turbo engine is Porsche’s most potent V8 currently available. The crankshaft, turbochargers, direct fuel injection system, intake, and charge air conditioning all received significant improvements. Additionally, new crankshaft, pistons, connecting rods, timing chain, and torsional dampers result in a dramatically different drivetrain over the Cayenne Turbo Coupe.

Drivetrain improvements extend to the transmission as well, where the eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic has been updated to provide faster shift times. In addition, the Cayenne Turbo GT’s Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system includes a water-cooled transfer case, which boosts the drivetrain’s thermal capacity under heavy loads.

The standard sports exhaust system is also an improvement over that of the Cayenne Turbo Coupe. Made of lightweight, heat-resistant titanium, the exhaust system of the Turbo GT does away with a central muffler, making do with two centrally-placed tailpipes. The result is a weight savings of 40-pounds.

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An upgraded suspension system over the Cayenne Turbo

The Turbo GT has a 17-millimeter lower ride height than the Cayenne Turbo Coupe to maximize road performance. The suspension components and the electronically controlled chassis systems are optimized for maximum performance. Additional improvements include a three-chamber air suspension with 15% stiffer, calibrated dampers, and a performance-modified Power Steering Plus and rear-axle steering system. The active Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) is also tuned to reduce body roll and allow for more precise turn-in at higher speeds.

The front wheels are an inch wider than those on the Cayenne Turbo Coupe. The negative camber is adjusted by 0.45 degrees, maximizing the contact patch of the specially built 22-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa high-performance tires.

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Performance-oriented braking

The Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) come with yellow calipers as standard equipment but are optionally available in a high-gloss black. Stopping powers comes from front rotors measuring 440 mm in diameter and rear rotors 410 mm in diameter.

A proven, performance SUV

Only available in Coupe form, the Cayenne Turbo GT, which is equipped with high-performance tires explicitly designed for the vehicle. The result is a performance SUV that is fundamentally a Cayenne but with the power and capability to handle a challenging road or even a track.

To demonstrate the Cayenne Turbo GT’s capabilities when pushed to the limit, Porsche test driver Lars Kern traveled to the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife, where he set a new official SUV lap record of 7:38.9 minutes for a single 12.9-mile loop with the Cayenne Turbo GT.

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Exterior design upgrades to the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT

The front of the Cayenne Turbo GT features a GT-specific front fascia with a prominent front lip and broader side air intakes. The Cayenne Turbo GT’s curved carbon-fiber roof, black fender arches, and 22-inch GT Design wheels in Neodyme stand out on the sides. The higher rear wing has carbon fiber side plates and an adjustable rear spoiler with a two-inch (50 mm) gurney flap, twice as big as the Cayenne Turbo Coupe. The rear diffusor cover made of carbon fiber completes the back end of the vehicle.

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Standard equipment on the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT

Standard in the Cayenne Turbo is eight-way sport seats, and a two-seat rear sport seat layout is standard. With perforated seat cores in Alcantara®, contrasting stitching in Neodyme or Arctic Grey, and “Turbo-GT” markings on the headrests, all seats are GT-specific. Additionally, the multifunction sports steering wheel includes a yellow 12-o’clock center marking, which is appropriate given the vehicle’s performance-oriented nature.

Putting it all together

When one thinks of Porsche, they think “sports car.” Several years ago, Porsche embraced SUVs, saving the company. The new Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT narrows the divide between a sports car and an SUV, taking the SUV further into “supercar” territory.

 

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