In terms of price and performance, the Cayenne GTS is positioned between the 400-horsepower "S" and the 500-horsepower "Turbo" models in Porsche's Cayenne luxury crossover lineup. It combines the aggressive look of the Turbo with a lowered suspension and a slightly more powerful version of the naturally aspirated V8 found under the hood of the S.
Although it is more closely mechanically related to the S, the Cayenne GTS wears the same hood and intake-dominated front fascia as the Turbo. GTS-specific touches include lower side sills, wider fenders, a roof spoiler with a twin-wing profile and four black exhaust tips.
Underneath the sheetmetal, the Cayenne GTS features a massaged version of the S's 4.8-liter that produces 420 horsepower and 381 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the first-generation GTS, which was available with a unique-for-the-segment six-speed manual transmission, the current model is available exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission with an integrated stop-start system to boost fuel economy.
Porsche claims that the Cayenne GTS can sprint from zero-to-60 mph in 5.4 seconds on the way to an ungoverned top speed of 162 mph. Aiding in the crossover's accelerative efforts is a 20-percent more aggressive final drive ratio than the S. Mileage is rated at 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.
Not content with merely adding more power, Porsche also modified the Cayenne GTS's suspension, lowering it by 0.8 inches compared with the S and adding stiffer dampers. An option on most other Cayenne models, Porsche Active Suspension Management, or PASM, is standard equipment of the Cayenne GTS. This advanced suspension system provides infinite damper control for both the front and rear axles, and a choice of three settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport.
Inside, the Cayenne GTS benefits from Alcantara finish on the seat centers, center console, door panels and roof liner. The rest of the interior carries over, although that's hardly a bad thing: with a contemporary, Panamera-inspired design and high-quality materials, it's one of the better-executed cabins in the segment.
Standard and Optional Features
The Cayenne GTS comes standard with leather upholstery, power-adjustable front sport seats, a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, LED running lights and taillights, a aluminum interior trim and 20-inch alloy wheels.
In typical Porsche fashion, the options list is longer than Atlas Shrugged. Highlights include carbon ceramic brakes, an off-road underbody protection kit and an 1000+ watt, 16-speaker Burmester sound system. Additionally, more typical items like dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats and a navigation can all be had (for a price).
The Cayenne GTS comes standard with dual front, side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems, electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency braking assist.
Though its slots under the range-topping Turbo model in the Cayenne lineup, the GTS is priced against high-powered crossovers such as the BMW X5 M, the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and the Range Rover Supercharged.