2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS test drive

2021-01-21 15:20:08

The brand new Cayenne from Porsche now accounts for about a third of the automakers worldwide sales, and it currently comes in seven flavours.

 Today we are looking at the 2021 GTS that starts at $108,200. It is not the fastest. That would be the $178,100 Cayenne Turbo S. And it is not the most fuel efficient. That is a toss-up between the $72,000 Cayenne Diesel and $87,700 Cayenne S E-Hybrid, all depending on your driving style and needs. And it is certainly not the least expensive. Entry into the Cayenne club starts with the base 300 hp V6 Cayenne at $67,400.

No, the Cayenne GTS is billed as the most agile of this portly SUV family , the one that is going to make you say Wow, this thing drives like a gigantic sports car. Well, darned if that is not the case.

I am out on my favourite back road loop, Sport+ button is pushed, and the GTS rockets from bend to bend, poised, flat and eager to be pushed some more. The steering is sending back plenty of feedback, and there are no question marks as to what the chassis is up to. Am I going to push wide? Is the back end going to get loose?

Body roll appears to be a foreign concept here with the GTS standard 20 mm lowered air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management. This one was also armed with Torque Vectoring Plus ($1,700). Opt for the active sway bars ($4,010) and your Cayenne GTS would be even more impressive.

Yes, the SUVs considerable mass makes itself known, and your posterior rides well above the tarmac that streams under those black-satin 20-inch wheels, but damn if the Cayenne GTS doesnt feel like a  Porsche. To riff once again on that well-used phrase, this thing handles like no 2,185 kg SUV has any right to. 

The last 2020 Cayenne GTS I drove had the whip-crack naturally-aspirated 4.8L V8 that spit out 420 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm, and made glorious V8 noises while doing so. Those days are gone. In the interest of better fuel consumption and lower emissions, the Cayenne GTS now sports a 3.6L twin-turbo V6. Yes, this pressurized engine is more powerful (440 hp) and has more torque (442.5 lb-ft from 1,600 rpm), but what it gains in grunt it loses in soul. This V6 really doesnt sound like much  kind of flat and uninspired. Activating the Sport Exhaust button give it a bit more blare and feeds some sound into the cabin.

Still, with the $880 Sports Chrono Package, this ute will blast to 100 km/h in a mere 5.1 seconds and top out at 262 km/h. Compared to the V8, it knocks a few precious seconds off the Nurburgring lap time, and gawd knows that is something we must have.

Transport overseas rates the 2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS at 14.5 L/100 km city and 10.4 L/100 km highway. Premium juice, of course. Oh, and the Cayenne has a huge tank so long distance cruising can be a fairly uninterrupted affair.