Positioned at the pinnacle of the Cayenne mid-size crossover range, the Cayenne Turbo S is one of the ultimate expressions of Porsche's engineering might. Despite its roomy, lavishly appointed-interior and nearly 5000-pound curb weight, the big Â‘ute defies physics and performs like a much smaller vehicle thanks to a 550-horsepower V8 in addition to a dizzying amount of high-tech chassis gadgets.
At its core, the Turbo S is essentially a Cayenne Turbo with more power and many of the lesser model's optional features added as standard. Under the hood, the twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 gets a revised ECU unit and more boost to increase power to 550 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 553 lb-ft of torque from 2,250 to 4,500 rpm - increases of 50 horsepower and 37 lb-ft of torque over the Turbo.
An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels, and zero-to-60 mph is achieved in 4.3 seconds - impressively rapid given the Turbo S' mass. The all-wheel-drive system is a sport-focused, rear-biased unit that only sends power to the front wheels when rear-wheel slippage is detected.
Helping the Turbo S to handle and ride as well as it accelerates are a bevy of special chassis systems. The capable yet comfortable air-sprung suspension is supplemented by Porsche Active Suspension Management, which electronically adjusts the dampers to for optimal performance with any road conditions or driving style. The standard Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control uses hydraulic stabilizing actuators to achieve an anti-roll effect, keeping the crossover planted in turns, while Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus apportions torque between the two rear wheels to cut out understeer and keep driving dynamics neutral.
Careful observers can tell the Turbo S apart from the standard Turbo by its black gloss exterior trim, 21-inch wheels and uniquely-shaped quad tailpipes. Aside from "Turbo S" badging and a two-tone color scheme, the interior is all but unchamged. However, 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
Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, a navigation system with seven-inch high-resolution display, a power tailgate, 18-way power adjustable adaptive front sports seats, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, a 14-speaker Bose surround sound AM/FM/CD stereo system with AUX and USB inputs, SiriusXM satellite radio, alcantara headliner and 21-inch wheels.
As with all of Stuttgart's vehicles, the options list is extremely extensive. Highlights include a high-end Burmester stereo, heated and ventilated seats, four-zone automatic climate control, carbon ceramic brakes and an off-road underbody protection package. A variety of different wood, aluminum, carbon fiber and alcantara trim options are also available.
All Cayenne Turbo S models come standard with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction, stability control and tire-pressure monitoring systems.
Rivals to the big Porsche include the BMW X5 M, the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and the Range Rover Sport Supercharged.