A New Standard for Performance SUVs
We’ve driven quite a few performance SUVs over the years, but nothing quite like this: the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT. Sure, you could question why a 630-horsepower SUV that prioritizes lap times over tow ratings needs to exist, but that’s for another day. Today…we just drive!
Sometimes in life, it’s best not to ask too many questions and just let yourself get caught up in the moment. For us, that moment is this 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT. For a utility vehicle that’s well-past the 6-figure mark, it doesn’t have the luxury of a Bentley or the terrain conquering posh of a G-Wagon, but spend some time leaving people in the dust in a remote California canyon or blowing by sport sedans at a track day, and it starts to make sense.
It also helps if you think of it less as a souped-up Cayenne, and more as an SUV version of a 911 GT3.
Despite not being a Coupe; the Turbo GT is available only in the Cayenne Coupe body style. Ride height is 17mm lower than the Cayenne Turbo, with suspension, chassis control, and steering all being retuned. The rear splitter and roof are made of carbon-fiber, there’s a an aero-optimized front fascia, black fender flares, a big wing with side plates added to the larger active rear spoiler, and plenty more go-fast goodies. Opinions were mixed on the Neodyme 22-inch wheels; but, they’re quite effective at reinforcing the point that this not your ordinary utility vehicle.
The Turbo’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 gets cranked up by 90-horsepower, now outputting 631-horsepower and 626 lb-ft. of torque. Most of the moving internals are upgraded, turbos dialed up, fuel delivery and cooling systems all recalibrated. The result is 0-60s of under 3.0-seconds in a vehicle you can perform carpool duty with; though no towing due to the central-mounted titanium exhaust which shaves 40-lbs. of weight and sounds amazing.
Needless to say, we made it to Mason Dixon Dragway in record time, to get some of our own times... for the record. No PDK here, as the Cayenne works with Porsche’s Tiptronic S; so, it doesn’t explode off of the line with PDK brutality, but still blasts to 60 in just 2.8-seconds. That Tiptronic has been modified to deliver quicker shifts, and they’re the only minor interruptions to the unrelenting power delivery. After clearing the ¼-mile in 11.2–seconds at 123 miles-per-hour, the Turbo GT feels like it’s just getting started; definitely need more runway for this one to truly take flight. That’s insanely fast for any vehicle, much less an SUV.
And when it comes to handling, you really have to put aside all of your normal SUV cues and just hammer down to get the best out of it. That lowered suspension is stiffer by 15%, and virtually eliminates body roll. Grip from the specially made 22-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires is immense, and means stability management, Torque Vectoring Plus, and even rear-wheel steering all needed recalibrating.
And just to drive the point home, those front tires are 1-inch wider than the standard Turbo, and have some serious negative camber dialed in. This thing flat out turns in, sticks like crazy, and begs for more.
Ceramic brakes? Yep, got those, too, stopping 5,000–lbs. of luxury transportation in just 90-feet.
There may not be enough tech for some, but while performance is truly the priority, it’s not all about numbers and lap times here. It’s certainly not the most practical of all SUVs, but there’s enough cargo space for most people. And it comes with an upgraded multimedia interface for all of your smartphone integration needs, as well as 4 GT Sport Seats, lots of carbon fiber and Alcantara material.
Same Government Fuel Economy Ratings as the Cayenne Turbo; 14-City, 19-Highway, and 16-Combined. We averaged 15.7 miles-per-gallon of Premium. That’s a much worse than average Energy Impact Score of 18.6-barrels of yearly oil use, with 9.2-tons of CO2 emissions.
And for the really sad news, you’ll need at least $190,150 to own this hyper performance utility. So, we’re not entirely sure who’s buying one, but we sure do want to hang out with them whenever possible.
So, with the 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, Porsche has done much more than just create another really fast SUV, they’ve set a whole new standard by which all performance SUVs will now be measured. Let’s hope the lucky few who are able to obtain one actually safely experience it to its fullest potential.
Engine: 4.0L Twin Turbo V8
Torque: 626 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 2.8 seconds
1/4 Mile: 11.2 seconds at 123 mph
60-0 Breaking: 90 feet
EPA: 14 City / 19 Highway / 16 Combined