2020 Porsche Cayenne GTS review: price, specs and release date

The Porsche Cayenne GTS moves back to V8 power, but is it worth the extra over the already excellent S?...

2020 Porsche Cayenne GTS front 3/4

Priced from £83,930 On sale Now

When explaining exactly how the new Porsche Cayenne GTS fits into the German brand’s luxury SUV range, it’s best to use a metaphor that everyone can understand: curry. You see, the regular Cayenne is already pretty hot – it’s the standard Bhuna. Not too racy, but plenty tasty enough to satisfy most palettes, even the ultra-specific ones of luxury SUV buyers who want to be both wooed into mile-munching comfort and tickled with excitement by their cars. The Cayenne GTS, though, is the Jalfrezi. 

For a start, it’s far spicier than the standard Cayenne, swapping that car’s 335bhp 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine for a bellowing 454bhp 4.0-litre V8. In fact, this is the same engine that powers the Vindaloo-infused Cayenne Turbo, albeit detuned slightly. Interestingly, however, Porsche engineers say that in every other respect, this is the most performance-oriented Cayenne you can buy. So is it worth its eye-watering price tag?

2020 Porsche Cayenne GTS rear 3/4

2020 Porsche Cayenne GTS driving

The fact that the Cayenne GTS feels explosively fast in a straight line is neither surprising nor its most impressive feature. No, more relevant in the real world is that, despite having such prodigious performance available, its engine settles down into a barely perceptible background hum when you’re just cruising along, and only becomes vocal when you prod your right foot towards the floor. At that point, you’re reminded of the tremendous power reserves available, as the car leaps forward and the V8's throaty roar makes itself known.

Ask for a greater turn of speed, and the eight-speed automatic gearbox will drop a cog, put on its running shoes and let slip a monstrous burst of acceleration – and no matter the situation, this makes for riotous fun. And let's not forget, too, that with a 0-62mph time of 4.5sec (if you opt for the Sport Chrono Pack), you’ll beat the rival Audi SQ7 to motorway speeds. The BMW X5 xDrive50i will get there even faster still, though.

2020 Porsche Cayenne GTS front

As standard, the GTS rides on steel springs that are both lower and stiffer than the standard car, but our test car was fitted with optional air suspension. This is a feature we already recommend on the regular Cayenne, and here it’s just as good. Although it makes for a firmer ride than you'll experience in the SQ7, an air-suspended Cayenne still does a good job of soaking up the ruts and scars of British roads. There’s very little body movement through corners, too – that’s a rare thing even among other big sports SUVs. The air suspension is also height-adjustable, so you can lower the car to let Grandma on board, or raise it up if you need to venture off-road.

The Cayenne’s steering is feelsome and well weighted and, so you always have a good idea what the front wheels are up to, while the optional four-wheel steering works hard to prevent the Cayenne GTS from feeling like a big, heavy car through bends, despite it weighing upwards of two tonnes. In fact, there’s plenty of grip available and you get an increasing sense of confidence with every turn, and stringing together a flowing series of corners along a country road is likely to leave you with a big grin on your face. It's also surprisingly easy to park around town.

2020 Porsche Cayenne GTS dash

2020 Porsche Cayenne GTS interior

Aside from there being plenty of GTS badging, you’d be hard pressed to find many differences between the regular Cayenne and this go-faster version, but that’s no bad thing. There are the same tactile, quality materials to enjoy on most surfaces (although the cheap-looking chrome on the steering wheel lets the side down somewhat) and you’ll have to search pretty hard to find any scratchy plastics.

Infotainment is provided by a giant 12in touchscreen on the centre console, and it’s great to look at and reasonably intuitive to use after you’ve got used to the layers of menus. However, BMW’s iDrive system does a better job of keeping your attention on the road because it is controlled by a rotary dial rather than by touch alone. If you’d rather use your phone’s services, Apple CarPlay is available as an option on the Cayenne. 

The front seats are comfortable and do a great job of supporting you through bends, and in the GTS they’re swathed in rich Alcantara. They’re electrically adjustable, too, so finding the right driving position is a doddle. And, adding to your comfort, the Cayenne is so wide that there’s no chance of rubbing shoulders or elbows with your passengers. Those in the rear seats don’t get a bad deal, either, because even six-footers can stretch out when sat behind someone of equal height.

For a more in-depth look at what the Cayenne is like to live with, take a look at our full 16-point review.

Next: 2020 Porsche Cayenne GTS verdict and specs >>

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