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By Miles Downard
The latest Porsche Cayenne was revealed to us about two years ago. It’s one of the few SUVs that my colleague Nick has actually enjoyed, which is saying something as he has an inbuilt hatred of the things. So to see what he was on about I thought best that I take a flight to Cape Town to have a go in a new Cayenne derivative, called the GTS.
The GTS nameplate is common across the Porsche range and denotes a middle ground between the entry level and Turbo derivatives. It offers something a little sportier without going the full hog – which sure seems a hit here in South Africa as the GTS models are said to be the pick of the lot for buyers.
So, the new Cayenne GTS, then. It boasts a 4.0 turbo charged V8 motor. Sporty indeed, especially in comparison with the Cayenne S with its 3.0 litre six cylinder turbo charged motor. 338kW and 600 torques means the GTS will sprint from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds. Bigger wheels and a few badges dotted around the exterior round off the outward differences. Although not entirely, as the Cayenne GTS is now offered in both normal SUV and coupe SUV body shapes.
The coupe is more sleek in appearance, with a roof line that’s 20mm lower and a sharper rake to the windscreen pillars. As a result, and in an attempt to maintain headroom, the rear passengers sit 30mm lower. Of course you lose some practicality in the rear load bay as the roof slopes downward at the rear rather than being squared off with a flat tailgate but the measurable boot area itself is no different between the body shapes.
On the inside you’re met with swathes of alcantara, leather and piano black plastics. Porsche’s infotainment system spans from the instrument cluster to the central dashboard giving you the full digital experience while most controls are found in the centre console area in a very neatly laid out and visually pleasing package.
We covered approximately 500km in the GTS through some stunning areas of the Western Cape wineland region and the Cayenne was a perfect partner on the journey. Able to withstand some of the worst road sections – and a touch of gravel – while providing a comfortable, insulated cabin from which to enjoy the scenery. It’ll even raise its hand for a bit of a flogging should a winding road entice (of which there are a few in the Western Cape). Of course the benefit of the big V8 up front is a meaty roar when in the appropriate driving mode which opens up some flaps in the exhaust to amplify the symphony. Fortunately the normal driving mode quiets it down again for when you just want to waft home.
Priced from R1,799,000 for the SUV and R1,889,000 for the Coupe you’d have to say the Porsche is quite competitively priced. Competition comes in the form of the BMW X5/X6 (for SUV vs Coupe) or the Mercedes GLE 53 AMG offering. The Porsche is right in the middle of that lot and offers pretty good equipment levels for the money. Also, it has a Porsche badge.
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