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Porsche nudges Urus pace with Cayenne Turbo GT

New SUV ’Ring lap record comes standard with $336K + ORC Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT

2 Jul 2021

PORSCHE may have committed blasphemy by applying its hallowed GT designation to the Cayenne large SUV, but it has backed up the performance credentials of those two letters with a record-setting lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.


Available exclusively in four-seat ‘Coupe’ guise with Australian order books now open from $336,100 before options and on-roads, first deliveries of the corner-carving Cayenne are expected to arrive in time for Christmas.


Riding 17mm lower in its most focused suspension setting than the $73,800-less-expensive Cayenne Turbo Coupe, the GT has undergone some significant chassis recalibration – both hardware and software – to make the most of its increased engine outputs.


Now developing 471kW/850Nm, the Cayenne GT’s 4.0-litre biturbo V8 has gained 67kW/80Nm over the regular Turbo, nudging the Lamborghini Urus that punches out 478kW and matching its torque figure – while being $53,900 more affordable.


As a result, the GT shaves six tenths of the Turbo’s 0-100km/h sprint to complete the run in just 3.3 seconds and on to a top whack of 300km/h (up 14km/h) – three-tenths quicker than the Urus but a 5km/h lower top speed.


More than just a boost increase, the uprated V8 has a different crankshaft, con-rods, pistons, timing chain drive and vibration dampers to the Cayenne Turbo as well as modifications to the turbos fuel injection, air intake and intercooler.


There’s also a GT-specific centre-exit exhaust with titanium rear muffler and no centre muffler – both of which help reduce weight – plus additional cooling for the all-wheel-drive system’s transfer case and quicker-shifting logic for the eight-speed transmission.


Helping achieve that production SUV ’Ring record of 7:38.9 minutes, achieved with Porsche test driver Lars Kern at the wheel, are a raft of detail changes below deck.


Rigidity of the three-chamber air suspension set-up has been increased by 15 per cent and adaptive damper settings re-tuned to suit, along with calibrations of the speed-sensitive power steering and rear-wheel steering systems.


The active sway control system has also been beefed up for improved turn-in precision at higher speeds, roadholding and roll stability, while the torque vectoring, traction control, stability control and other electronic chassis systems have been overhauled to ensure all the GT’s modifications work in harmony.


Helping maximise the contact patch of the GT-specific 22-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres is almost half a degree of negative camber – the front tyres are an inch wider than those of the regular Turbo.


In Porsche GT-car tradition, this Cayenne does not hide its performance intent under a bushel in the styling department. Especially when it comes to rear aero.


Carbon-fibre winglets are added to the roof spoiler and another panel of the lightweight material extends the lip of the adaptive rear wing by 25mm, which Porsche claims improves downforce by 40kg at the GT’s triple-ton top speed.


Housing the fat twin tailpipes is a chunky carbon-fibre diffuser.


The front-end is comparatively subdued, although unique to the GT by virtue of its special bumper with enlarged side intakes merging with the central aperture to produce a gaping grille effect, underlined by a prominent splitter.


Along the sides, black wheelarch extensions highlight the gold-like ‘Neodyme’ colour of the airy thin-spoked 22-inch alloys behind which the carbon-ceramic brakes and yellow callipers are clear to see.


Inside, the GT is the first Cayenne to get Porsche’s latest infotainment tech with Android Auto joining Apple CarPlay, which now has deeper integration of Apple Music and Apple Podcasts functionality.


GT-specific perforated Alcantara trim for the eight-way adjustable sports seats with ‘turbo GT’ branding on the headrests can be specified with Neodyme or Arctic Grey contrast highlights. A yellow straight-ahead market is stitched onto the sports steering wheel.


Australian standard equipment will include four-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control with emergency assist, lane-change assist, side airbags for rear occupants, DAB+ digital radio, surround-view cameras, a head-up display, keyless entry and start, rear privacy glass, front and rear parking sensors and a 20-inch collapsible spare wheel.

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