This is the new Porsche Cayenne GTS, and it is a 2.2-ton middle finger to downsizing. Yes, folks—it’s 2020, and the Goldilocks of Porsche’s sports SUV range now returns with a big V8.
Not as big a V8 as when the first-gen Cayenne GTS launched (that was a 4.8-liter naturally aspirated thing), but a sizeable one nonetheless. For this third-generation GTS, Porsche has ditched the old 3.6-liter turbo V6, and slotted in a detuned version of the V8 you get in the range-topping Turbo. Cap ‘T,’ remember.
This one of course has a turbo, but with a small ‘t.’ Two of them, in fact, bolted onto that V8 to produce 454hp—up 20hp over the old V6—and 619Nm of torque, which is also a smidge more than the old car.
As such, both the Cayenne GTS and the Cayenne Coupe GTS (the first time the Coupe gets such a nomenclature) record 0-100kph times of 4.5sec—over half a second quicker—and top speeds of 278kph. Both of those stats are possible via Porsche’s Sport Chrono pack. Which you want.
Porsche says changes to the V8’s engine cylinder control, direct injection, and thermal management system—and a retuned eight-speed tiptronic auto—mean that fuel-economy figures of 8.5-9km/L are possible. We shall see.
The V8 is matched to a new sports exhaust system—a pair of twin pipes on the SUV, just the two pipes on the Coupe—said to deliver “a highly emotive aural experience.” Because V8.
And because this V8 is the sweet spot between entry-level Cayenne and mad-dog Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, it features 20mm lower suspension on standard steel springs, adaptive dampers (PASM), torque vectoring, and 21-inch RS Spyder wheels hiding 390mm discs up front and 358mm on the back. Beefy.
There are options, of course. Better brakes. Three-chamber air suspension. Rear-axle steering. Dynamic chassis control. Not listed on this particular sheet is the option to not buy a big 2.2-ton SUV and get a V8 wagon instead...
In any case, the Cayenne has always been a good thing to drive, and while the exterior of this third-gen car hasn’t differed much from that of the second generation, GTS models get tinted LED head- and taillights, and black air intakes, window trim, and exhaust pipes. Inside, there’s lots of alcantara, aluminum, and eight-way adjustable sports seats with deeper side bolsters. Perhaps salad should become your new best friend.
How much for this V8 tank, you cry? In the UK prices start at £85,930 (P5.43 million) for the Cayenne GTS, and £88,750 (P5.6 million) for the Cayenne GTS Coupe.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.