February 21, 2018


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The 520-hp Cayenne Turbo and 570-hp Turbo S are two over-the-top crossovers that will embarrass most sports cars in a drag race, hang with sports sedans on a twisty road, and pamper their passengers in the process. Both wield a twin-turbocharged V-8 bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission feeding an advanced all-wheel-drive system. Both have well-crafted interiors with rich materials, and both offer an extensive list of personalized options. Then again, that’s expected with machines that can exceed the cost of a house. Excessive power and price are what elevate these Porsches and rivals such as the 567-hp BMW X5 M to status symbols. That and the ability to tow an equally expensive wakeboarding boat while transporting the family in sybaritic comfort to Lake Tahoe certify the Cayenne Turbo twins as potent transport for the 1-percenters.

The second-generation Cayenne debuted as a 2011 model, with the then-500-hp Turbo version as the top trim. Porsche resurrected the Turbo S (initially rated at 550 ponies) for 2014—instantly claiming the top spot. A mid-cycle update followed for 2015, bringing revised styling inside and out on some Cayenne models; the Turbo and Turbo S added 20 horsepower. For 2017, the only change across the lineup is an updated version of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system that now has improved functionality. An all-new Cayenne goes on sale in the United States this July as a 2019 model. So far, Porsche has only confirmed a new 550-hp Turbo, but we fully expect an even mightier Turbo S to join the party.

the 577-hp Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S ($109,835). Still, the Porsche nameplate and performance pedigree are without peer. To justify its $43,100 premium versus the Turbo, the S version adds improved performance and standard equipment including:

• An extra 50 horsepower and 37 lb-ft of torque
• Carbon-ceramic brakes with 10-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers
• Sport Chrono package (dashtop stopwatch and aggressive Sport Plus drive mode)

Of course, the Cayenne Turbo is a Porsche, so its abundant options list allows for ample customization. However, many of those features that cost extra here are standard on garden-variety crossovers. Despite that fact, we can’t fathom buying something this expensive without passive entry ($890), a heated steering wheel ($365), blind-spot monitoring ($690), and Apple CarPlay and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot ($1250 with Porsche Connect Plus). We’d also select the Sport Exhaust system ($3210) to amplify the car’s mighty power and sinister sounds—but that’s just us. These options inflate the cost of our Cayenne Turbo S to a rather dizzying $167,055—an admittedly excessive fee that increases the exclusivity of this one-of-a-kind SUV.

In Depth: 2017 Porsche Cayenne Turbo / Turbo S


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