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Porsche Pulls the Wraps Off the “Purist” Cayenne

Like Porsche’s 911 sports car, which is currently available in 18 different models, from the merely excellent Carrera to the downright outrageous Turbo S Cabriolet, the company’s Cayenne sport-utility vehicle is all about choice. The second generation of Stuttgart’s indomitable SUV, introduced only last year, arrives in six distinct flavors. The latest, the $82,050 GTS, slots neatly between the $69,850 Cayenne S Hybrid and the $108,750 Cayenne Turbo. Whereas the top-dog Turbo, with its 500 hp twin-turbo V-8, is the Cayenne for drag racers, the GTS is the Cayenne for drivers. Porsche uses the word “purist” to describe it, and though its normally aspirated 4.8-liter V-8 produces only 20 hp more than the engine in the Cayenne S, the GTS is a decidedly sportier machine, with an aggressive look and a hunkered-down stance.

That 420 hp (and 380 ft lbs of torque) reaches the pavement through Porsche’s 8-speed Tiptronic S paddle-operated transmission and a quick-witted active all-wheel-drive system. Regrettably, the previous-generation GTS’s available 6-speed manual gearbox has been left behind, but it’s a good bet that most drivers won’t miss it. Ride height has been lowered by about three-quarters of an inch and Porsche’s engineers have installed a lower final-drive ratio for improved driving dynamics.

Visually, the GTS distinguishes itself with high-gloss black trim in place of chrome, and a pair of new colors: an iridescent green called Peridot Metallic and a fiery hue called Carmine Red. The GTS wears the hood and front fascia from the Cayenne Turbo, along with wider wheel arches, side skirts, and 20-inch RS Spyder wheels. Inside, unique sport seats with Alcantara trim offer eight-way adjustment, and an optional Sport Chrono package allows the driver to monitor the GTS’s vigorous performance. Zero to 60 mph happens in a brisk 5.4 seconds, and the 4,600-pound SUV will hustle to a top speed of 162 mph.


The purist’s Cayenne rumbles into Porsche dealerships this August. (www.porsche.com/usa)

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