2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS first drive review: The right place to be

Porsche’s GTS badge is conferred upon a few of its best-driving automobiles, positioned in an area above the bottom fashions however beneath the true madness of the Turbo and Turbo S variants. It’s usually assumed that any Porsche is sweet to drive, even its bigger SUVs, however the GTS remedy takes it a step above. Returning for the 2021 mannequin 12 months, the Cayenne GTS proves that its two-door fashions do not get to have all of the enjoyable.

Usually, it’s important to pay for a sinister look, however the Cayenne GTS — and all GTS fashions, for that matter — makes it normal. It’s look, too, with tinted headlights and taillights, 21-inch black alloy wheels and the elimination of each smattering of chrome. My tester is a Cayenne GTS Coupe, which picks up much more character by the use of sleeker rear-end bodywork and the extra spoilers that include it. This particular automobile additionally comes with the $10,350 Lightweight Sport Package, which provides one other inch to the wheel measurement along with a carbon fiber roof and a sharper exhaust with centrally mounted tailpipes. It all seems the enterprise, however then once more, common ol’ Cayennes look fairly darn good, too.

While the Cashmere Beige Metallic paint ($3,150) may not be probably the most aggressive motif on the market, my tester ramps up the character inside by the use of correct houndstooth fabric inserts on the seats, which feel and look unbelievable alongside the leather-clad inside panels. The GTS does not go too laborious within the paint in any other case, including some delicate trim finishers on the dashboard and a few suede all through however usually leaving the remainder of the inside as-is. My tester provides a bit extra sport by the use of Race-Tex suede on the steering wheel (a part of the light-weight bundle) and the middle console’s seize handles ($1,380). Despite the Coupe’s abridged roof, the second row nonetheless has sufficient area for me to stretch my 6-foot body in both of the 2 rear seats — the center’s been carved out with a storage cubby.

All that stuff is nicely and good, however the actual essential bits on the Cayenne GTS are those you may’t see. A V8 has triumphantly returned to its place underhood, which replaces the outdated GTS’ high-strung V6, and whereas its 453-horsepower, 457-pound-foot output does not sound spectacular towards the 541-hp, 567-lb-ft Turbo, I can assure you that the GTS makes probably the most of each single inch of its new 4.0-liter. Acceleration comes on rapidly, however not brutally so — Porsche estimates a 0-to-60-mph dash of 4.5 seconds, dropping to 4.2 with launch management. The Coupe accumulates pace rapidly, however not so rapidly that it catches me abruptly, despite the fact that most of my mind energy is spent having fun with the louder exhaust barking like a pack of pissed-off canine because the revs rise.

That’s form of the secret with the Cayenne GTS: Predictable, however ample efficiency. Acceleration solely tells a part of the story; regardless of being on the bigger facet, the Cayenne GTS is agile. In its perkier Sport and Sport Plus modes, the usual air suspension retains issues sufficiently stiff, holding the physique flat by means of tight corners. The steering, which has been tweaked to offer higher feeling, is tight and direct, and the corner-carving on my tester is additional enhanced by means of all-wheel steering ($1,620) and lively anti-roll bars ($3,590). The eight-speed computerized transmission is completely competent, rattling off shifts so exact I assumed it was a dual-clutch, and it holds gears at appropriately excessive revs when positioned into one of many sportier modes, though I choose to make use of the shift paddles for a bit extra management.

Usually, leaving the suspension in its softest Comfort setting whereas preserving the powertrain in a sharper setting is my jam, however that is not the case with the Cayenne GTS. Comfort mode is definitely approach too delicate for spirited driving, which is ok, as a result of which means common driving is rewarded with some spectacular consolation. Combined with thicker glass ($1,130), the cabin is serene and freed from jostling in each day use. Even although the GTS is all about driving, Porsche clearly understands that house owners do often wish to relax.

Some of the costs talked about would possibly sound appalling at first look, however that is par for the course at Porsche. Even although the Cayenne GTS Coupe begins at $111,850 together with $1,350 vacation spot, a stunning quantity of equipment is not normal. While I perceive that Porsche needs each proprietor to actually customise their subsequent automobile, I do not assume it is applicable at this worth level to cost $940 for keyless entry, $420 (good) for auto-dimming mirrors, $990 for four-zone local weather management or $1,060 for 4 heated seats. Further including to the frustration is the truth that you may see the grayed-out buttons for absent choices on the middle console. Even at this worth stratum, you are still getting poor-shamed. My tester’s out-the-door worth is a staggering $162,760. Jesus.

The buttons across the shifter look cool… till you understand you may see the switches for the choices that aren’t put in.

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Blissfully, a lot of the Cayenne GTS’ tech is straight-up normal. Four USB-C ports present juice for every passenger, however with the addition of wi-fi Apple CarPlay (normal) and gadget charging ($690), the wire is not technically essential, although it is irritating that Android Auto continues to be not current. Smack dab in the midst of the dashboard is a 12.3-inch display working the Porsche Communication Management infotainment system. It’s one in every of my favorites, with tons of configurability, particular person driver settings, a Wi-Fi hotspot, embedded navigation, you title it. Two smaller screens flank the central tachometer within the gauge cluster, bringing issues like audio and map info entrance and middle for the driving force. This is additional enhanced in my tester by a $1,720 head-up show that, whereas small, places all of the related info even nearer to the street.

When it involves security, it is time to pay the piper as soon as once more. A surround-view digital camera system with spectacular decision will set you again $1,200. An evening-vision getup provides one other $2,420 to the invoice, and blind-spot monitoring requires $950. The correct great things, although, is hidden behind Porsche’s InnoDrive suite, which mixes adaptive cruise management, lively steering help and lane-keeping help to maintain the automobile pacing visitors in its lane. This hands-on system feels fairly strong, with little or no lateral movement and clean braking when wanted. I do not know why you would not wish to drive this automobile your self, however hey, everybody wants a break now and again.

It should not come as a shock that the 2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS is a hoot on the street, as a result of each iteration that is come earlier than it has been equally thrilling. Whether you need it in “coupeover” type or not, the GTS will reward you with a driving expertise to which different sporty SUVs ought to aspire.


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