When Porsche created its second-generation Cayenne in 2007, they neglected to include a Turbo S variant, opting instead to make the 500 horsepower Turbo the fastest model money could buy. Not anymore. Porsche has once-again crowned a king of the performance SUV market with the introduction of a new Cayenne Turbo S at this year's Beijing Auto Show.
Unveiling such an ultra-fast, ultra-luxurious vehicle in the People's Republic may seem surprising, but Porsche says the Turbo S was created in "response to the wishes of its customers," and buyers in Eastern Europe and Asia expressed particular interest in an SUV with "top quality physical handling dynamics." The vehicle's specs are certainly top quality: with the same 4.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8 as the Turbo, the S uses a modified exhaust system and improvements in engine control to achieve 550 horsepower (up from 500) and 553 lb-ft. of torque. This power rockets the 5191 pound SUV to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 173 mph, all the while maintaining the same fuel-economy as the regular Turbo.
The Cayenne Turbo S also features 21-inch SportPlus alloy wheels, speed-sensitive steering, and a standard air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management, with three settings that can adjust individual shocks to improve handling. Also standard is Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, which uses active anti-roll bars to reduce body roll in turns. Porsche's powerful ceramic carbon fiber composite brakes are also available on the Turbo S, but as an option.
Outside, the Turbo S is distinguished by body-color air intakes and wheel arches, a sports exhaust system with four tail pipes, and an exclusive, "lava gray metallic" paint option. The SUV's interior features upgraded seats and exclusive two-tone color combinations, as well as Porsche's latest multimedia system linked to a 14-speaker, 410 watt Bose surround sound audio system. All the normal top-line tech goodies are present, too, including Bluetooth, voice-activation, and an MP3 connection.
All these features and 50 more horsepower make a compelling argument for Zuffenhausen's new creation, but the extra speed does come at a cost. The international base price of a Cayenne Turbo S has been set at $177,244, which is not exactly a bargain. Then again, the Cayenne has been a sales success ever since its introduction, and here's betting Porsche will have no trouble finding buyers for its most-powerful SUV, both in China and around the world.