2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS review: Heck yeah, the V8’s back

Nothing like Carmine Crimson on a vivid day. Porsche Porsche can make some of the…

Nothing like Carmine Crimson on a vivid day.


Porsche can make some of the world’s greatest six-cylinder engines, but you can find just no substitute for the sound and fury of a bangin’ V8. That’s why I’m stoked about the 2021 Cayenne GTS, which ditches its previous V6 for 1 hell of a twin-turbo V8. Does it change the over-all GTS deal? Not genuinely and that’s Okay. The V8 merely provides a whole whole lot of character, boosting the enchantment of this fantastic general performance SUV.


  • Impressive V8 with plenty of character
  • A person of the finest-handling SUVs all over
  • Snug trip
  • Good infotainment tech

You should not Like

  • Driver-help options expense additional
  • Significantly less interior house than some rivals

The GTS’ four.-liter twin-turbo V8 is the exact 1 you can locate in the rootin’-tootin’ Cayenne Turbo, detuned in this application to deliver 453 horsepower at six,000 rpm and 457 pound-ft of torque at one,800 rpm. These are improves of thirteen hp and 15 lb-ft compared to the previous GTS’ V6, but this small bump in electric power does not convey to the whole tale.

In its place, think about the hearty roar of the V8 on startup that settles into a bassy burble. The typical sport exhaust amplifies this strong soundtrack and digging into the throttle is like an on/off switch for the V8’s loud-and-happy track. Use start management — aspect of the $one,a hundred thirty Activity Chrono deal — and the Cayenne GTS will scoot to sixty mph in four.two seconds on its way to a 168-mph major pace. That’s .six seconds a lot quicker than the previous GTS’ acceleration time, as perfectly as a 5-mph v-max improve, if that’s a bragging correct you treatment about. As with each and every Cayenne, all-wheel push is typical, as is a easy-shifting eight-pace automated transmission. If you ended up hoping the V8 would also mark the return of the Cayenne’s handbook transmission, I’m concerned you’re SOL.

In addition to the V8 and sport exhaust, the Cayenne GTS has a typical adaptive air suspension with a 30-millimeter decrease trip height and Porsche’s torque-vectoring tech. On major of those people, my Carmine Crimson check vehicle has a several other worthwhile updates, such as rear-axle steering ($one,620) and Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Handle dampers ($3,590).

Each individual Cayenne is a peach to push, but the GTS is undoubtedly the finest of the bunch. The steering is gentle and direct and far extra communicative than other sporty SUVs, and with the additional rear-axle guide, the GTS is far extra adept to canyon carving than you may hope. The adaptive chassis tech retains the Cayenne hunkered down and planted in restricted corners, with subsequent to no human body roll in its Activity and Activity In addition push modes. You can drive this Cayenne like you would a 911 and it really is extra than pleased to participate in alongside.

The GTS’ V8 generates 453 horsepower.


Change around to Comfort and ease, even so, and the trip is downright plush, even with 21-inch wheels and summertime tires. Freeway growth joints are easily dispatched and the GTS rides with luxurious solidity. This SUV has a wonderful dynamic breadth, able to supply right consolation and compliance when you’re toddling all over town but rework into an complete hoot and a fifty percent when the road gets twisty. In contrast to other sporty SUVs, the Cayenne GTS is far better on both of those finishes of this on-road spectrum.

Porsche provides a variety of driver-help technologies that make lifetime a little a lot easier, although as usual, most of the fantastic things fees additional. My Cayenne GTS tester rings up for $a hundred thirty,250 such as $one,350 for destination, but lacks lane-preserving guide and adaptive cruise management. Even the surround-look at camera system accounts for $one,two hundred of that as-analyzed rate. On the other hand, this a-la-carte optioning system implies you are not paying out for technologies you can by no means use that are bundled into other options offers. Nonetheless, the simple fact that a six-determine luxury SUV does not have some of these capabilities typical is quite absurd.

The only other disadvantage, to no one’s surprise, is gasoline overall economy. The EPA rates the 2021 Cayenne GTS at 15 mpg town, 19 mpg highway and 17 mpg put together, and if you push this SUV the way it really is meant to be driven, you can routinely see numbers in the lower-to-mid teenagers. If efficiency is a priority, probably the Cayenne E-Hybrid is extra your jam.

The GTS’ interior is as nice as any other Cayenne’s.


A typical Activity Structure deal is aspect of the Cayenne GTS remedy, with 21-inch black wheels, distinctive bumpers, adaptive LED lighting and aluminum interior trim. Porsche is just not 1 to restrict personalization alternatives, of study course, so come to feel no cost to peruse the 14 offered 21- and 22-inch wheel options, as perfectly as the 11 exterior shades and 11 interior strategies. Want a personalized shade? Sense no cost to decide from Porsche’s substantial paint catalog — for a $11,430 upcharge, natch.

Creature comforts and onboard tech match what you get in other Cayennes, with the Porsche Interaction Management infotainment software program housed in a crisp and responsive 12.3-inch touchscreen. No, this is just not the current PCM that’s slowly but surely making its way into new Porsches, so that implies Android Car nevertheless is just not supported. Apple CarPlay is, thank goodness, and wirelessly at that.

The Cayenne’s sport seats provide plenty of guidance and are tremendous comfortable for lengthier drives and a $two,970 GTS interior deal provides distinction stitching and seat belts in possibly Chalk or Carmine Crimson. Driver and passenger won’t complain about a absence of head- or legroom, although the back again seat is just not as capacious as other sporty luxury SUVs. Ditto the cargo keep which, with a maximum of sixty.3 cubic ft of house, falls at the rear of some of the Cayenne’s rivals.

The Cayenne GTS is 1 of the finest-driving SUVs all over.


If you’re far extra anxious with perform around type, Porsche provides the Cayenne GTS in modern crossover-coupe type, with a quicker roofline and fewer interior house — and a $two,seven hundred rate hike. Opting for the Cayenne GTS Coupe unlocks the totally rad houndstooth seat material alternative, although it demands the addition of a $8,670 Light-weight Activity deal, which provides carbon fiber interior trim, a carbon fiber roof, 22-inch wheels and center-mounted exhaust. I freaking enjoy those people houndstooth seats, but damn, that’s a whole whole lot of dollars.

No subject how you slice it, the Cayenne GTS is just not specifically a low-priced proposition, setting up at $one hundred ten,350 such as $one,350 for destination. You are going to pay back a little bit fewer for a 600-hp BMW X5 M, although a 603-hp Mercedes-AMG GLE63 S really fees extra. These general performance SUVs are absolutely far better equipped to fight a Cayenne Turbo, although the GTS matches them in rate. And even although the Bimmer and Merc throw down even bigger outputs and a lot quicker acceleration periods, the Cayenne is both of those extra at ease and extra worthwhile to push.

Also, the GTS stands out as the actual star of the Cayenne lineup, with arguably the finest stability of general performance and consolation. In addition, it really is $20,900 cheaper than a Cayenne Turbo when giving the exact excitement and character that only will come from a sweet V8 engine.