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Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT (2021) review

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT is the fastest SUV around the Nürburgring, but how does it fare on the road?

Mark Smyth

Words: Mark Smyth - @Motorscribe

Published on: July 30, 2021

Words: Mark Smyth - @Motorscribe

Published on: July 30, 2021

Tech Specs

Model testedPorsche Cayenne Turbo GT
Irish pricing€262,240
Enginetwin-turbocharged petrol 4.0-litre V8
Transmissioneight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door, five-seat SUV
CO2 emissions319g/km
Irish motor tax€2,400 per year
Combined economy22.4mpg (12.6 litres/100km)
Top speed300km/h
0-100km/h 3.3 seconds
Power640hp at 6,000rpm
Torque850Nm at 2,300-4,500rpm
Boot space482-1,464 litres

First, we had the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, then the GTS and now behold, the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, a machine capable of 300km/h and 0 to 100km/h in 3.3 seconds. Do we need such a thing? No, but who cares, it has a titanium exhaust, more Alcantara than anyone thought they needed and it still has an off-road mode, that no one will ever use.

In the metal

The new Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT is currently only available in the 'Coupe' body style, which means you have a slightly more sporty rear profile. It's topped by a carbon fibre roof spoiler at the end of a carbon fibre roof. Lower down is a carbon-edged spoiler that extends 25mm more than regular models' and lower still is a carbon diffuser containing massive titanium exhaust outlets.

Up front there's a revised bumper with carbon bits, yet more carbon on the wheel arch extensions and unique 22-inch wheels that aren't made of carbon; they're alloy and in a 'Neodyme' colour, or champagne to the rest of us.

Inside, there's more Alcantara than we've ever seen. It's on the headlining, the pillars, dashboard and grab handles. It covers the steering wheel and even the storage console between the front seats, complete with Turbo GT lettering. Then there's more of that Neodyme colour for the seatbelts, headrest lettering and contrast stitching.

It's all very Porsche GT, which makes sense because this Cayenne has been created in collaboration with the team that make the other Porsche GT cars in Weissach.

It's all very comfortable too, with a driving position that is as perfect as they come, helped by a dashboard that is more shallow than many rivals'. It makes the front of the cabin feel more sports car-like, less like a big SUV. You don't need binoculars to see the base of the windscreen and as trivial as it might seem, this makes a massive difference to the feeling when you're driving.

The Turbo GT is the first model to get the new Porsche Communication Management (PCM) 6.0 infotainment system.

Driving it

As ballistic as the Turbo GT is when you ask for full acceleration, it's surprisingly gentle when you want it to be on the motorway. Beware leaving the suspension in the Sports Plus setting, though, because then things can get very bumpy, but keep everything in Normal and you can relax with the cruise control on and just think you're in any other Cayenne, albeit one with lots more Alcantara.

Then we hit the back roads, where that feeling of a sports car-like cabin made the Cayenne feel smaller and more nimble as the hedgerows blurred. Engaging Sport, the exhaust growls more and the throttle response becomes a bit sharper. The steering is typically excellent, providing plenty of feedback from the surface beneath, which we were thankful for when we hit standing water or had to dodge big puddles on a day of regular downpours.

The 17mm lower chassis, rear-wheel steering, wider track and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres all help to keep even last-second direction changes in check. It's a remarkably grippy thing and the rear-wheel steering helps it to change direction like a cheetah - albeit one that's eaten too much and weighs 2.2 tonnes.

Don't be fooled though, as the torque bias towards the rear can easily see the back end twitch. If you want it to then it's incredibly controllable and rewarding.

Switch everything into maximum pretend sports car mode and you can have quite a lot of fun, more so than in rivals like the BMW X6 M or Lamborghini Urus.

While it seems almost pointless to mention it, you will need deep pockets to run it. Porsche says you can get combined economy of 22.4mpg, but even that seems optimistic. Granted we were pushing it a bit, but we averaged 15.3mpg and after enjoying the twisty back roads it was down to 12.9mpg. Fortunately, it does have a 90-litre fuel tank so you won't be refuelling every few hundred kilometres.

What you get for your money

For €262,240 in Ireland you get all that Alcantara, plenty of carbon fibre and a cabin that is a fantastic blend of sporty and luxurious with a bit of tech thrown in for good measure. You also get almost the same performance as a Lamborghini Urus for less money, which makes the Cayenne GT seem like good value.

Summary

Porsche has done an excellent job of injecting some GT character into the Cayenne Coupe and while calling it a GT might cause debate, it's certainly one of the best of the performance SUV genre available today.



Alternatives

Car Reviews | Aston Martin DBX V8 (2020) | CompleteCar.ie
Aston Martin DBX vs. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT (2021): the DBX has a spacious interior, great engine and exhaust note and blends SUV practicality with a sporty Aston drive rather well. 

Car Reviews | BMW X6 M Competition (2020) | CompleteCar.ie
BMW X6 M Competition vs. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT (2021): love it or loathe it, the BMW X6 M Competition certainly has some strong performance credentials. Its ride is not great, but it sounds fantastic. 

Car Reviews | Lamborghini Urus | CompleteCar.ie
Lamborghini Urus vs. Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT (2021): the Urus is an obvious alternative because it's the same vehicle under the skin, but with the full Lamborghini treatment in terms of design and engineering.

Tech Specs

Model testedPorsche Cayenne Turbo GT
Irish pricing€262,240
Enginetwin-turbocharged petrol 4.0-litre V8
Transmissioneight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door, five-seat SUV
CO2 emissions319g/km
Irish motor tax€2,400 per year
Combined economy22.4mpg (12.6 litres/100km)
Top speed300km/h
0-100km/h 3.3 seconds
Power640hp at 6,000rpm
Torque850Nm at 2,300-4,500rpm
Boot space482-1,464 litres