The Cayenne Turbo GT Is Porsche’s Most Hardcore SUV Yet

This is the spec of Cayenne that currently holds the SUV Nurburgring lap record after all. 

After much teasing and a blistering lap time (of 7:38.9 minutes) round the Nurburgring later, Porsche has finally unveiled its new Cayenne Turbo GT. Touted to be the flagship of the German automaker’s large SUV lineup, this new variant also holds the title as being the fastest and quickest Stuggart stallion SUV to date. 

Now both these performance accolades come mainly courtesy of what lies under the hood of the new Turbo GT, which will be what Porsche has claimed to be the most powerful production eight-cylinder it has ever made. While in essence same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 as in the its lesser Cayenne Turbo Coupe counterpart, the German automaker has nevertheless tweaked it somewhat so that it now produces 640 PS and 850 Nm of torque. 

A healthy 90 PS and 80 Nm increase over the car on which it is based, this power bump is further helped along by the faster-shifting eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission with an additional water cooling jacket around the transfer case. Porsche has also thrown in a lightweight central exit sports exhaust system and has modified the traction control system for good measure, which hence results in the Turbo GT completing the century sprint in just 3.3 seconds (-0.6 s from Turbo Coupe) and touching a top speed of 300 km/h (+14 km/h over Turbo Coupe). 

Straight line speed however is far from the Turbo GT’s only party piece, as this top-tier Cayenne is more than able to hold its own round the corners too. Particularly considering that it rides 17 mm lower than the car on which it is based, as well as having a 15% stiffer standard setup on its three-chamber air suspension system. 

Other handling tweaks on the Turbo GT includes a host of performance-oriented tweaks to the myriad of electronic systems on board, such as the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) active roll stabilisation system and the Porsche Torque Vectoring system to name a few. Much like the Cayenne that set the ‘Ring record too, production Turbo GTs come as standard with massive 22-inch GT Design alloy wheels wrapped in specially-developed Pirelli P Zero Corsa performance tyres. 

And just touching on those wheels a tad bit more, the fronts are actually an inch wider and has its negative camber has been increased by 0.45º to give a larger contact patch in contact with the road in contrast to the Cayenne Turbo Coupe. Larger also on the Turbo GT are its brakes, which are revised ceramic composite units that measure in at 440 mm in diameter at the front and 410 mm at the back respectively. 

Moving on to exterior enhancements meanwhile with the Turbo GT, this spec of Cayenne — that is exclusively available in the Coupe body style — gains a custom front apron with striking spoiler lip and enlarged side cooling air intakes for a more aggressive looking face. Porsche has also leaned heavily into the carbon fibre trimmings, with the addition of contoured carbon roof, carbon fibre door mirror carps, a carbon fibre rear diffuser and carbon fibre side plates that feature on the larger rear spoiler. 

Continuing on inside the Turbo GT, its standard Alcantara-lined four seater layout is topped off by a new sports steering wheel that houses a Sports Response button. Porsche has also taken this opportunity to introduce its next-gen infotainment system, which finally brings with it Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. 

The Turbo GT is currently open to orders in select European and North American markets, with first deliveries to take place in September. Prices for this top-tier Cayenne starts from £143,910 (RM 830,000) in the UK, which represents a roughly £10k (RM 57,000) jump over the current flagship Cayenne Coupe Turbo S E-hybrid on sale today. 

PRESS RELEASE: Porsche rounds off the Cayenne model range with a sporting hero: consistently set up for maximum performance and handling, the new Cayenne Turbo GT combines outstanding driving dynamics with a high degree of everyday usability.

Its 471 kW (640 PS) four-litre biturbo V8 provides the basis for superb driving characteristics. With 67 kW (90 PS) more than the Cayenne Turbo Coupé and maximum torque of 850 Nm (an increase of 80 Nm), the 0-100 km/h sprint is reduced to 3.3 seconds (0.6 s less) and top speed is now 300 km/h (an increase of 14 km/h). With even sportier lines and available exclusively as a four-seater Coupé, the Cayenne Turbo GT comes with all available chassis systems fitted as standard and performance tyres developed specially for this model. The powertrain and chassis also have a unique set-up specifically tuned for the Cayenne Turbo GT. The result is a harmonious overall concept with superb racetrack capability. This has been proven by Porsche test driver Lars Kern, who lapped the 20.832 km Nürburgring Nordschleife with the Cayenne Turbo GT in a time of 7:38.9 minutes, setting a new official SUV record.

Performance Cayenne conquers the Nordschleife

The new performance model of the Cayenne series has convincingly proven its dynamic potential ahead of its launch.

Compared to the Cayenne Turbo Coupé, the Turbo GT rides up to 17 millimetres lower. Based on this, both the passive chassis components and active control systems have been re-engineered and optimised for handling and performance. They also feature specific calibration to guarantee perfect interaction between them. As an example, the rigidity of the three-chamber air suspension has been increased by up to 15 per cent, and the damper characteristics of the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as well as the application of the Power Steering Plus and rear-axle steering have also been adapted. The Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) active roll stabilisation system now operates with performance-oriented control software.

The result is even better roll stability and roadholding, as well as more precise turn-in behaviour at higher cornering speeds. In line with this, the Porsche Torque Vectoring system allows higher torque bias ratios. The comprehensively optimised front axle also improves handling. Compared to the Turbo Coupé, its front wheels are an inch wider and negative camber has been increased by 0.45 degrees to give the new 22-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa performance tyres, specially developed for the Turbo GT, a larger contact patch. Braking duties are performed by the standard-fit Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system.

Quicker-shifting Tiptronic S and titanium sports exhaust system

The Cayenne Turbo GT’s biturbo engine is currently Porsche’s most powerful eight-cylinder unit. The most extensive upgrades were carried out in the areas of the crankshaft drive, turbocharger, direct fuel injection, induction system and intercooler. The V8 of the Turbo GT differs from that of the Turbo Coupé in fundamental elements such as its crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, timing chain drive and torsional vibration dampers. Given the increase in power to 471 kW (640 PS), these components have been designed for higher peak loads and improved driving dynamics.

The faster-shifting eight-speed Tiptronic S and the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system have also been modified. There is also additional water cooling for the transfer case. The standard sports exhaust system, with its central tailpipes, is unique to the Cayenne Turbo GT. From the middle of the vehicle, the exhaust system, including the rear silencer, is made from lightweight and particularly heat-resistant titanium. An additional weight saving is achieved through the omission of the centre silencer.

Sporty equipment: lots of carbon on the exterior, lots of Alcantara in the interior

Optionally available with paintwork in the new Arctic Grey colour, the Cayenne Turbo GT underlines its exceptional athleticism through the outstanding features of its progressive design. These include a GT-specific front apron with striking spoiler lip and enlarged side cooling air intakes, which create a unique front view. A contoured carbon roof and black wheel arch extensions, together with 22-inch GT Design wheels in Neodyme, dominate its side view. The carbon side plates fitted lengthwise to the roof spoiler are GT-specific, as is the adaptively extendable rear spoiler’s lip, which is 25 mm larger than that fitted to the Turbo. This increases downforce at the car’s top speed by up to 40 kilograms. The rear view is rounded off by a striking diffuser panel made of carbon.

Debut in the Turbo GT: new infotainment system for the Cayenne

The sporty character of the Cayenne Turbo GT is highlighted by the high-quality standard equipment and extended Alcantara features of its interior. Eight-way sport seats in the front and a sport rear seat system with two seats are standard. They each come GT-specific with perforated seat centre panels in Alcantara, contrast accents in Neodyme or Arctic Grey and ‘turbo GT’ lettering on their headrests. As is expected on Porsche’s sports cars, the multifunction sports steering wheel features a yellow 12 o’clock marking. Depending on the specified trim, select accent strips are finished in matt Black.

With the Turbo GT, the next-generation Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system is launched onto the market with improved performance, a new user interface and new operating logic in the Cayenne. As before, PCM 6.0 is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay but now also allows for in-depth integration of Apple Music and Apple Podcasts. In addition, the infotainment system now also includes Android Auto, which means that all popular smartphones can now be integrated.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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