It didn’t take long for Porsche to go from being considered a sell-out with its Cayenne SUV, to effectively helping pioneer an entirely new market segment for premium lifted people movers with real performance chops.
These days, most Porsche anoraks don’t bat an eye at the likes of the Cayenne and Macan. This is in part down to just how quick and capable they’ve become in their own right. And, Porsche’s latest unveiling adds another chapter to the saga.
The iconic German firm has this morning unveiled its new Cayenne Turbo GT — the fastest SUV it’s ever produced. Power is up, torque is up, and it’ll hit 100km/h from a standstill in a time capable of frightening most supercars.
Although the C-word is vacant from the model’s full nomenclature, the Turbo GT is based exclusively on Porsche’s Cayenne Coupe silhouette. It sits above the Turbo and S E-Hybrid, representing a new flagship for the nameplate.
To make itself distinct from its Cayenne cousins, the Turbo GT gets a carbon fibre rear spoiler and roof, a lower ride height, 22-inch wheels, a wider track (to accommodate wider rubber and illustrated by extended wheel arches), and a new front end with larger vents.
The heart of the beast is the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 as in the standard Turbo Coupe. However, it’s been given an extra 67kW of power and 80Nm of torque, making for overall outputs of 471kW/850Nm. It isn’t quite as powerful as the E-Hybrid Coupe, but it is quicker.
This boost comes via revisions to the crankshaft, turbocharger and induction systems, and cooling system. Porsche has also tinkered with its already lightning quick Tiptronic 8-speed auto, reducing shift times (although drafting a PDK would’ve been nice, too).
Plant your foot through the firewall and 100km/h is said to be indicated on your speedometer in just 3.3 seconds — half a second quicker than the E-Hybrid, and barely a few tenths behind the likes of the McLaren 720S, Lamborghini Huracan Evo, and Ferrari 488 Pista.
With a long enough piece of road the Cayenne Turbo GT will eventually hit 297km/h. Combining this with its 0–100km/h feats, it’s the quickest accelerating and highest top-speed Porsche SUV produced to date.
Porsche being Porsche, they’ve also updated other elements beyond the bit that makes the noise and burns the rubber. The GT’s air suspension is 15 per cent stiffer thanks to a new calibration. The Active Suspension Management, Dynamic Chassis Control, Power Steering Plus, torque vectoring, and rear-wheel steering electrics have also been given a tweak for improved response.
Bespoke Pirelli rubber sits under each corner, with the front contact patch wider than before thanks to the aforementioned changes to track. And carbon composite brakes come as standard. The changes appear to have worked, with Porsche already confirming a lightning quick 7min 38.925sec lap-time around the Nurburgring Nordschleife — a new record for SUVs.
First deliveries of the Turbo GT will be in late 2021 in the UK. The US is said to follow in early 2022, with the likes of New Zealand to get it sometime afterwards.