Frankfurt Motor Show - When Porsche unveiled its third-generation Cayenne SUV on 29 August, it didn’t let all the cats out of the bag, holding something in reserve for the opening of the show, just a week later.
And that something was the Cayenne Turbo - the flagship of the new model line-up - although, truth to tell, Porsche is going to have to find a new name for its most potent pepper shaker, since every model in the Cayenne range is now turbocharged.
This one, however, has a four-litre biturbo V8, rated at 404kW and 770Nm, 22kW and 20Nm up on the previous Cayenne Turbo. That’s delivered to all four wheels via a new eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission, with the help of active torque control, launching it to 100km/h in 4.1s (3.9 with the optional Sport Chrono package) and on to 286km/h flat out.
As is rapidly becoming the industry norm, the turbos are nestled in the V of the engine, making the distance from the combustion chambers to the turbo as short as possible, reducing turbo lag and making the engine more compact.
The Cayenne rolls on a new three-chamber air suspension system with active damping and, in true sports-car tradition, wider tyres (315/35) at the rear than in front (285/40), on special 21 inch Turbo rims.
The brakes have also been upgraded for the new Turbo with a layer of ultra-hard tungsten carbide on each steel disc,which not only increases braking performance and resistance to wear, says Porsche, but also reduces the amount of brake dust on the rims!
The Cayenne Turbo is also the first SUV with an adaptive roof spoiler, which flattens out when you’re running at high speed in a straight line, pops up to increase downforce on the rear axle when you hit the brakes and stays that way to improve cornering grip until you straighten up and hit the loud pedal again.
This is not a gimmick, says Porsche: all other things being equal, it shortens the braking distance from 250km/h to a dead stop by up to two metres.
For ultimate stopping power, however, there are always the optional ceramic composite brakes. More performance options include rear-axle steering and 48 volt electric roll stabilisation.
The Cayenne Turbo’s distinctive front treatment includes adaptive LED headlights, in double-row modules, while the 21 inch wheels fill flared wheel arches with body-colour trim, and the dual tailpipes tell the GTI Joes that what just passed them was indeed a Cayenne Turbo.
You and your front passenger are accommodated in sports seats with integrated head restraints styled from the 911 and 18-way power adjustment, while all five occupants get the benefit of the standard-fit 710 watt Bose surround sound system.
Porsche South Africa is expecting first deliveries of the new Cayenne Turbo during June 2018; prices and local=market specification will be published closer to the time.