Porsche Cayenne GTS Returns in 2015 With V-6
Twin-Turbo Motor Makes More Power and Torque Than Old GTS V-8
Porsche announced that it would be bringing back the Cayenne GTS in 2015, reviving one of the most popular Cayenne trim levels. The GTS name was first used on the Cayenne in 2007, prioritizing driver involvement and connected performance over luxury (as on the Cayenne S) or outright speed (like the Cayenne Turbo).
While the GTS is no longer available with a manual transmission like it was in its first generation, Porsche still claims that the third iteration of the model will still feature exceptional performance. It’s still based on the second-generation (although facelifted) Cayenne, and the new model eschews its old 4.8L V-8 in favor of a twin-turbo 3.6L V-6, similar to the engine used in the Macan Turbo and “standard” Cayenne S.
However, in the GTS, the engine gets its wick turned up to the tune of 440 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers represent increases of 20 ponies and 62 units of twist over the V-8 in the old GTS. Porsche says the new one will hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, but the company typically underrates performance. Expect hitting 60 in less than 5 seconds. We’ll miss the old V-8’s naturally aspirated bellow, but the new GTS should sound as good or better than the exciting Macan Turbo, so sound is probably a moot point.
What’s not moot, particularly in today’s economic and environmental climate, is the decreased fuel consumption and emissions Porsche is claiming for the new Cayenne model. Expect a useful increase over the fuel economy ratings of the old GTS, which got 15/21 mpg city/highway in the EPA’s testing. We bet it’ll get slightly worse fuel economy than the lighter Macan, which gets 19 mpg in combined driving.
Ultimately, though, it’s a Porsche, not a Prius, and as such, the Cayenne GTS gets some useful performance upgrades, including brakes from the Cayenne Turbo, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), and a standard air suspension that sits lower than other Cayenne models. While the Cayenne has always been a surprisingly capable off-roader, you can expect the GTS to keep its tires planted on the terra firma more often than not.
Cosmetic changes round out the Cayenne GTS’ compelling package. Turbo-style front air dams and Porsche Sport Design body styling give the SUV a brutal mien, and the lower suspension and 20-inch wheels hunker the GTS down on the road. The AMG Mercedes, BMW M, and Range Rover Sport SUVs look downright subtle compared to the black-accented bodywork of the Cayenne GTS, which looks almost like a custom vehicle you might see at SEMA 2014.
Inside, GTS-embroidered Alcantara-and-leather seats combine with optional contrasting interior accents, which make the interior look purposeful, stylish, and comfortable. Unfortunately, the Cayenne GTS keeps the confusingly button-heavy, but attractive, center console.
The GTS, along with a refreshed base-model Cayenne, will make their in-person debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show November 19. Both will go on sale in the United States by the end of February, carrying starting prices of $58,300 for the base Cayenne and $95,500 for the GTS, plus $995 destination, representing increases of nearly $10,000 for the base model and $13,000 (!) for the GTS, compared to their 2013 counterparts. We doubt Cayenne loyalists will care.