Just as cayenne pepper is hot, so is Porsche's new SUV. There are three levels of spiciness (Cayenne, Cayenne S, and Cayenne Turbo); the top offering employs a twin-turbocharged 4.5-liter V-8 engine that sends 450 horsepower through a well-sorted 4WD traction-management system and onto grippy 18-, 19-, or (optional) 20-inch tires. The 5500-pound Cayenne Turbo delivers sports-car performance. Why would anybody want to mess with such a potent piece? Well-seasoned German tuner Techart attempts to answer that question with a few packages designed to add more kick to the Cayenne.
Techart's muscular body kit includes a front spoiler with four integrated driving lights, side and rear skirts, head- and taillight trim, and a contoured panel for the rear hatch. The good news is the body panels are tested in a wind tunnel to provide better aero; the bad news is the improvement comes with a turbulence-inducing $7000 pricetag. Adding further flash to the body kit are Techart's 20x10-inch (test setup) or 22x10-inch (shown in photos) five-spoke monoblock alloy wheels that are similar to those used on Techart's 911 Turbo tuner cars.
Whether you prefer hard cornering or boulder crawling, Techart's Sport Air Suspension Control Unit ($2299) allows for wider variances in vehicle ride height, including a 35mm-lower "low" ride setting and a 20mm-higher "high" setting. On the test track, the lower ride height proved to be of no benefit, short of improved looks.
Techart's Turbo Power Kit raises output to 510 horses via a sport air-filter system, increased turbo boost, and a recalibrated engine computer. In our tests, output proved smooth and strong throughout the powerband, but as with most turbo applications, some fancy "power-braking" was required at launch to eliminate turbo lag. Around town, the Techart Cayenne drives smooth and quiet. Those desiring more exhaust growl during the morning commute might opt for Techart's upcoming stainless-steel Sport or Touring exhaust systems ($3989), said to be worth an added 15 horsepower. Of course, power comes at a price, and 510 horsepower will cost you $6999. Sure, the Techart Turbo is faster than stock, but for the bucks we expected better performance.
| ||2004 Cayenne Turbo||Techart|
|1/4 mile||13.8 @ 102.4||13.5 @ 102.2|