Porsche have been building the Cayenne SUV since 2002 with it winning many spaces on various driveways. Whilst the first generation was, let us say, visually challenging the car has always been impressive in motion. However, the Cayenne divides opinion amongst purists with some claiming that its isn’t a product Porsche should be building as SUVs aren’t traditionally sporting. The truth is that the Porsche Cayenne makes a lot of money for the German brand and without it would be much harder to bankroll development of things like the 911 GT3 RS. That isn’t the only reason for the Cayenne, but even to its critics that has to make sense… Squaring up to the naysayers is the 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS. A machine that proves on every level that an SUV has a place in the Porsche portfolio.
Whilst this generation Cayenne is easier on the eye than previous incarnations, our test cars Peridot metallic paint might not be to everyones liking. That said, it does add to the slightly menacing aesthetic of this 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS. Contrasting black gaping intakes, roof rails and 20 inch RS Spyder Design alloy wheel suggests there is nothing “mum on the school run” about this SUV. Around the back you will find quad exhaust pipes that look like they have come directly from a World War 2 dreadnought. A wide purposeful stance promotes athleticism, not usually a trait found within the full-size SUV class.
The interior is bathed in alcantara and leather of the highest quality with a large infotainment display surrounded by two banks of aluminium vents. Sculpted sports seats and a three pronged steering wheel hints that this is no ordinary SUV. Whilst it is clearly a performance machine, the GTS doesn’t sacrifice qualities that makes this a family car. The cabin feels roomy with plenty of head and leg space for passengers in the rear. A highly usable boot means that even the dog can come along for this 163MPH ride! It is a genuinely pleasant environment and one in which the whole family can relax. My only complaint of the interior is that the centre console has too many buttons for my liking. They are all logically located, but from a far it does begin to look like something found in the engineers position of a 747.
Under the green bonnet of this 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS is an engine that is greener than the previous incarnation. A 3.6 litre twin-turbocharged V6 replaces the old V8, but don’t go thinking that the party is over as a result. Producing 434BHP and a colossal 600Nm of torque, this Cayenne with the optional spot Chrono pack fitted will get from 0-62MPH in just 5.1 seconds. That is enough to shame some serious sports cars! Start the engine and an aggressive V6 bark marks the beginning of your journey. Our car was fitted with the optional air suspension which sits the Cayenne 20mm closer to the ground whilst offering rather good ride quality in comfort. Considering this models size, body control is sublime with hardly a hint of roll in the corners. The steering possesses pinpoint precision and in tandem with torque vectoring makes for a very agile package. In motion this Porsche actually feels like a much smaller car thanks to just how light on its feet it is. Don’t be shy to kiss those apexes because the engineering beneath you is more than capable. Gripping the alcantara steering wheel a little tighter and applying more pressure with my right foot brings to light the wonderfully linear power delivery and almost nonexistent turbo-lag. The surging torque of this 3.6 litre unit is one of the cars defining characteristics. Whilst the base note of the V8 is missed, this engine is a marvel when it comes to transforming figures on paper into real life performance. The 8 speed Tiptronic S gearbox knows exactly what to do when in automatic, but also provides rapid shifts when you take control. That said, Porsche’s own PDK is my preferred gearbox from the company as its responsiveness is lightning quick. This car can sit at autobahn speeds all day long and not break a sweat. There is some wind noise at higher speeds but overall the cabin remains tranquil even when the driving becomes spirited. Whilst the ceramic composite brakes are a costly £5,924 option, their ability to stop the car is simply staggering. They have plenty of feel and so can be easily modulated, but when the anchors are needed you can rest safe in the knowledge that 2,110KG of Porsche will come to a halt pretty sharpish.
Whilst this mile munching speed machine delivers a powerful counterargument to the anti-Cayenne brigade, it retains those values that an SUV should always have. Our test car was loaded with options taking the base price of £72,523 up to a dizzying £94,196. As fast 4x4s continue to grow in popularity there is little doubt that Porsche sits at the top of the pile. The 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS is for the family man who likes to make sure he gets to work on time!