2016 Porsche Cayenne GTS at a glance
: Luxury mid-size crossover sport utility vehicle.
: Front-engine, all-wheel drive.
: 3.6-litre twin turbo V6 (440 hp, 442 lb/ft of torque) with an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission.
: 1,665 litres with seats folded, 670 litres with seats upright.
: 468 kg (1,653 lb).
: 10.4/14.5/12.6 L/100 km city/hwy/combined.
: $108,200, as tested $124,285.
Porsche has earned its reputation in the automotive world by building high-performance, high-end sports cars, yet interestingly, its bestseller is the Cayenne, a sports utility vehicle.
When the Cayenne first bowed in 2002, many Porsche die-hards thought it was a sacrilege for the German manufacturer to sell out the brand with something as mundane as a sport-ute.
But Porsche obviously understood the market and the Cayenne has proven to be a huge success. In 2014, the Cayenne accounted for about one-third of all Porsche sales worldwide with deliveries of 65,941 units.
When you add in sales of the new-for-2014 Porsche Macan
(44,636), overall SUV sales make up more than half of the brand’s deliveries worldwide.
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So how has this sports car manufacturer been able to become a major player in the luxury
SUV segment of the market?
The reasons are undoubtedly twofold.
Porsche builds sportiness into its SUVs, creating more than simply a utilitarian people mover. The manufacturer has also continued to expand the SUV portfolio over the years with new models that appeal to a different buyer.
In fact, Porsche offers seven models in the Cayenne lineup, including the high-performance GTS tested here.
For the 2016 Porsche Cayenne GTS joins the Cayenne, Cayenne Diesel, Cayenne S, Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Cayenne Turbo and Cayenne Turbo S for sale in Canada.
The GTS is not the most powerful Cayenne in the stable, but it perhaps offers the best combination of performance, athleticism, and panache with its 440 hp, high-performance chassis, and melodic engine sound.
Porsche likes to brag that every Porsche is a sports car and this is quite evident in the Cayenne GTS that has turned an 8:13 minute lap time at the famed Nurburgring circuit in Germany, just behind its higher-powered Cayenne Turbo S sibling which posted a seven minute, 59-second lap, putting the duo at the top of the premium SUV segment.
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The interesting thing here is that the powerplant in the GTS has been downsized for 2016 with a 3.6-litre V6 twin-turbo replacing the previous V8. However, the result is an increase in power with 20 extra hp and 63 lb/ft of added torque. Fuel economy has also been improved with the new engine.
Porsche quotes a 0-100 time of 5.1 seconds with the optional Sports Chrono Package, which our tester had, and 5.2 seconds without. This makes it about a half second faster than the previous model.
In the Cayenne lineup, the GTS sits between the Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo.
Our Meteor Gray Metallic colour test vehicle came with a final price tag of $124,285, up from the base price of $108,200 when you add in the optional features such as a GTS interior package in Carmine Red ($3,900), sunroof ($1,360), LED headlights ($1,680), Bose infotainment package ($2,280), park assist front and rear ($750) and other stand-alone features.
Not only is the GTS quick, it has the sound to go with it thanks to a sports exhaust system and sound symposer that creates what Porsche refers to as a “passionate engine sound.”
The GTS differs from other Cayenne models in ride height. It has been lowered 20 mm and comes standard with air suspension and the braking system from the Cayenne Turbo, featuring 390 mm front discs and 358 mm rear discs, both highlighted by red brake calipers.
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All models come with an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. In this system, power is transferred to the rear wheels and then routed to the front wheels as needed.
The GTS has many of the Cayenne Turbo design cues including the front end with large air intakes. There is a GTS logo on the lower section of the front doors. The SportDesign Package is standard equipment and it includes more powerfully contoured side skirts, and wheel arch extensions as well as the Turbo front end. Wheels are 20-inchers with a black satin finish.
Inside, the cabin is beautifully finished, particularly with our optional GTS package in Carmine Red.
The Cayenne line starts with the base model at $67,400, moving up to the Turbo S at $178,100. It’s quite a range for one vehicle line.
For some, the base Cayenne will be plenty powerful and sporty enough, but others will want more of the above and the extra features that come with higher-end models. In short, there’s something for every taste.
Not having sampled all the itinerants, it’s hard to say whether the GTS is worth the extra coin over some of the other models.
But after a week with the GTS, I can say it would be an easy vehicle to live with.
There’s power galore, fuel economy numbers are decent— 10.4/14.5/12.6 L/100 km city/hwy/combined. The interior is sharply dressed and luxurious and the handling is superb for a vehicle weighing 2,110 kg (4,652 lb).
All in all a nice package with power that will knock your socks off!
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