The people have spoken: Porsche V8 is back
From start-up the hairy-chested soundtrack emanates from the Porsche Cayenne GTS exhaust.
Absent from the previous Cayenne range, it appears the people have spoken. The V8 is back in Porsche’s sporting derivative of the large SUV.
It’s faster, more expensive and, most importantly, louder than the V6 it replaces. Two extra cylinders and a twin turbo add about $35K, to the bottom line, and that pushes the wagon version to more than $200,000 once on-roads are settled - the Coupe version is a $6000 premium.
Given most manufacturers are under emissions pressure and moving away from V8 while interest in Porsche’s all-electric Taycan is going gangbusters ahead of its Australian release early next year, it’s an intriguing move from the sports carmaker.
“The kind of buyer who goes into a Cayenne GTS really does enjoy the drive, they aren’t just looking for something to go from A to B,” Porsche’s Chris Jordan said.
“People are really proud of their Porsche. Some people deride SUVs, but not Porsche owners. They love their car and they love their driving experience.
“The feel, the power and the sound of the V8 is something they love.”
Adding to the theatre is a sports exhaust with twin dual tailpipes, along with less insulation at the rear to encourage more bent eight tunes. Also standard is air suspension which drops in consultation lower when you turn the steering wheel dial from sport and sport+. It rides 30mm lower than the standard Cayenne.
Other complimentary gear includes 21-inch alloys, exclusive eight-way adjustable sports seats, panoramic sunroof, metallic paint and a 14-speaker Bose stereo.
Safety equipment standard on sub-$30,000 cars becomes optional. Adaptive cruise control to maintain a set distance from other vehicles, lane keeping which steers the Cayenne between lines and autonomous emergency braking available in a $4870 pack.
Warranty coverage is short at three years and unlimited kilometres. Mercedes offers five years, along with most mainstream manufacturers.
Exercise the right ankle and the big SUV is outstandingly quick. Using the Sport Chrono package (standard on the Coupe but a $2300 extra on the wagon) it can reach 100km/h from standstill in 4.5 seconds. That’s 0.6 seconds faster than the V6.
Despite weighing more than two tonne and measuring nearly 5m the Cayenne feels nimble. The steering is direct and the exhaust dialogue accompanying high rev range activities becomes addictive.
Drive is sent to all four wheels but remains primarily at the rear under most circumstances.
The 21-inch rubber offers impressive grip, although the brakes felt underdone on occasions. Upgrading to the ceramic option for $18,770 may be a bridge too far for some.
Defying size and gravity, the V8-powered Cayenne is a worthy recipient of the GTS badge. True drivers will see the value in the additional power and emotional theatre, although it’s worth negotiating on the safety equipment.
AT A GLANCE
Porsche Cayenne GTS and Coupe
PRICE $192,900 Cayenne GTS and $198,200 Cayenne GTS Coupe
WARRANTY/SERVICING 3 year unlimited km warranty, annual or 15,000km servicing differs per Porsche Centre varying from $695 for basic to $1600 for major services
ENGINE 4.0-litre V8 biturbo 338kW/620Nm, 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, top speed 270km/h
SAFETY 5 stars (Euro testing 2017), 10 airbags, forward collision warning, head-up display, park assist with surround view cameras, lane change assist
SPARE 20-inch collapsible wheel
BOOT 745L, 1680L all seats flat