2025 Porsche Cayenne GTS - First Test Drive: Another Tasty Piece of Porsche SUV - Autoblog - Latest Global News

2025 Porsche Cayenne GTS – First Test Drive: Another Tasty Piece of Porsche SUV – Autoblog

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — There’s no company that knows how to precisely segment a product line better than Porsche. Just look at the myriad variants of the 911. And that kind of clinical categorization carries over to the 2025 Cayenne GTS. Price-wise, it sits pretty much exactly between the Cayenne S and the Turbo E-Hybrid. Performance-wise, it’s much closer to the S. Whether it’s the right Cayenne for you really depends on how well you know what you want and what your budget is. If this one fits your needs, it’s pretty darn good. If not, well, Porsche has other extremely good versions for you.

So what makes the GTS worthy of its own trim level, rather than just the option packages for the S? It has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that’s also found in the S. That includes all the various changes made for this generation of Cayenne, like monoscroll turbochargers instead of twin-scroll turbochargers to make the engine run cleaner, but also variable valve timing and valve lift, improved fuel injection, and electric wastegates to compensate for potentially slower-running turbochargers. Porsche has even figured out how to do away with cylinder deactivation on this new engine. But what sets the GTS version apart from the S is 25 extra horsepower (493) and 65 Nm of torque (486). It also has 40 more horsepower and 45 Nm of torque than the previous GTS.

In addition to power, the GTS also includes a number of the S’s optional performance upgrades as standard. These include Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus and air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management. The suspension lowers the GTS by 0.39 inches compared to cheaper Cayennes, at least not those without that upgraded suspension. For additional performance, customers can add rear-wheel steering, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control and carbon-ceramic brakes. These are of course also available on the S. The coupe version also offers a unique Lightweight Sport Package with less sound insulation, a carbon fiber roof and a different center-exit exhaust that reduce curb weight by 55 pounds. Although, weighing 4,956 pounds for the regular SUV and 5,027 pounds for the coupe (yes, it’s kind of heavier), it’s not exactly a lightweight machine.

Not available for the S are the front pivot bearings from the Cayenne Turbo GT, which give the GTS a little more negative camber at the front. It also gets the water cooling of the transfer case from the Turbo GT.

Visually, the Cayenne GTS basically only offers a few optional extras as standard. It gets the SportDesign exterior package and 21-inch RS Spyder wheels. Inside, it gets eight-way adjustable sports seats as standard, which are not offered on the S (the 14-way adjustable seats are optional on the lower model, however).

You’ll probably have noticed that many of the GTS’s features can easily be added to the S. And of course, that begs the question: why not just upgrade an S? The reason is simply that you’d spend more money and end up with a little less. If you outfit a Cayenne S with the same features the GTS has as standard, excluding exclusives like the transfer case cooler, front suspension mounts, and extra power, you’ll come in at $132,095. The GTS starts at $126,895. So the GTS is actually a bit of a bargain… in a dumb sort of way.

Or at least when comparing the most comparable versions. If all you care about is performance, you can get a more powerful (though slower to 60 mph) Cayenne S E-Hybrid starting at just over $100,000. It would still be more expensive with the other features added, but it would have more power and some electric range, too.

But we digress. Let’s get back to the GTS.

The one thing we haven’t really talked about yet is the driving experience, and damn it, it’s just damn good. Of course, the Cayenne is a great base, and as the GTS gets a number of choice options, it easily becomes one of the best-driving SUVs you can find in any price range. Our test example was the regular-bodied SUV, but with rear-wheel steering, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, and carbon brakes. Even with the monoscroll turbos, the boost felt almost instantaneous. Throttle response in Sport Plus mode is incredibly sharp and responsive, perhaps too much so for road driving. Normal is soft and gentle, definitely for leisurely cruising, and Sport is the optimal response, but without the hard edge of Sport Plus. Suspension settings mirror throttle response, with Normal being soft and Sport Plus a little harsh. But even Sport Plus is compliant enough that you could daily drive in this mode.

The steering doesn’t change that much between modes, and that’s a good thing because it’s so excellent. It has weight to it, but it’s still easy to control. Precision is spot on, and there’s a surprising amount of feedback. The chassis itself is tight and predictable. Traction was plentiful, and when the rear did start to take over, it came on very smoothly and controllably. The GTS was a joy on the twisty mountain roads of northern Georgia, and you didn’t feel its nearly 5,000 pounds at all. And the firmly bolstered seats were very welcome, holding us in place and providing great overall support too (which my recently sprained back really appreciated). They were also the standard seats, so you don’t have to feel like you need an upgrade.

2024 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe2024 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S

Like every other Cayenne, the GTS has a somewhat conservative-looking interior, but with exquisite build quality and switchgear. The screens are vibrant and the software runs smoothly. Every moving button or switch is phenomenal. Even the somewhat shabby-looking automatic gear lever is solid, made of heavy metal and extremely precise. And of course, it’s perfectly quiet inside, unless you want to hear the exhaust. The sports exhaust can add both real and artificial rumbles, as well as carefully measured pops when you step on the accelerator. Frankly, the loud exhaust mode could be a little louder. It still sounds restrained, as if Porsche is afraid of being too wild and crazy.

So yes, the GTS is an excellent version of an excellent SUV. It has most of the performance advantages you could want, along with a few special bits, and it all adds up to one of the best driver SUVs on the market. So if you have the cash, you can’t go wrong with it. And if you don’t, you’ll still get by just fine with almost any other Cayenne.

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