SEP 15th 2014

Porsche Cayenne Turbo: Heavy metal and ballet combined

Woodcote, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, a four-wheel drift as the big two-tonne SUV transitions to power oversteer. Silly stuff; no, bonkers. Porsche’s Cayenne Turbo is an absolute madman of a car, that’ll take what you thought was possible in a big, tall and heavy 4×4 and beat you into submission with high g loads and agility that’s nothing short of extraordinary.

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That was the ‘old’ one too; now Porsche has given its range-topper an update along with the rest of the Cayenne line-up. The new one’s faster as well, Porsche liberating 20bhp more along with a 36lb ft hike in torque for good measure. That means a 0-62mph time of 4.5sec and a top speed of 173mph. It’s more agile too, the chassis people having re-affirmed their pact with whatever devilish wing they deal with to allow the Cayenne its lunatic ability.

Lucifer’s help includes some clever new bushes helping the Cayenne with its bulk-disguising agility, Porsche’s chassis people managing to stiffen up the dampers yet still provide a decent ride quality – even on the standard 19in wheels – and larger optional ones. It’s all hugely impressive, the Cayenne Turbo driving more like a super saloon than a car that’s farm-capable. To demonstrate that the Turbo scrabbles up some mountain tracks a goat would give a miss, and descends slopes you’d need to abseil down normally. That’s moot though; as much as it is driving the Cayenne Turbo on track in fact, though the fact it ‘can’ gives it real credibility, even if no one ever scratches the surface of its ability.

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Engine output and chassis revisions aside you’ll be hard-pushed to spot Porsche’s other changes to the Cayenne. Falling very much into the mid-life refresh category the visual changes are slight, with revisions to the head- and tail lights and a few interior improvements – most significantly a 918-inspired sports steering wheel with standard gearshift paddles. Re-profiled bumpers, with bigger intakes also feature, so the Cayenne is still a car that very much falls into the love-it-or-loathe-it camp, its mid-life styling revisions doing nothing to change that.

Whatever you think about its looks it’s impossible not to be awed by its ability. Or its price, which, with a few choice options added will creep up to six figures. If you absolutely must have a Cayenne Turbo then go ahead, it’s an incredible machine, but the Cayenne S Diesel is arguably better, adding a faintly ridiculous 73lb ft of torque (for 626lb ft) and quicker engine response to boot. That you’ll trouser £30,000 and stop a lot less for fuel also matters. The Cayenne Turbo’s position as top dog in the Cayenne range is dictated more by price in reality than real-world performance. Especially as that diesel will happily drift around corners too. Mad.

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