Porsche is set to launch a more powerful top-end version of its Cayenne Turbo, aimed squarely at the most potent super-SUVs on sale, including the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga Speed.
To be revealed as a member of the updated Cayenne line-up at the end of June, ahead of planned UK deliveries later this year, the heavily upgraded model is the most powerful pure-combustion Cayenne yet, boasting up to 631bhp from a tweaked version of Porsche’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine.
The as-yet unnamed new variant will be sold exclusively in the rakish-roofed Cayenne Coupé bodystyle, in a move aimed at ensuring it offers the best possible combination of performance and dynamics. The standard Cayenne Turbo will remain on sale.
First drive review: Porsche Cayenne Turbo Coupé prototype tested ahead of launch
“There are advantages in choosing the Coupé. It is lighter and has a slightly lower centre of gravity than the SUV. Our intention is to deliver not only the most powerful but the sportiest Cayenne to date,” Rico Löscher, the engineer in charge of the new variant’s development, told Autocar during a recent prototype drive of the new model in Germany.
Bespoke features for the range-topper include a sophisticated, carbonfibre-heavy active aerodynamic package, claimed to provide greater downforce as well as more effiicient engine bay and brake cooling.
There is also a reworked front bumper, featuring a more pronounced lip spoiler and larger air ducts than those of the standard facelifted Cayenne, seen recently in prototype form. Meanwhile, the roof spoiler gains additions at each side and the rear wing, which deploys from the trailing edge of the tailgate at speed, has been visibly upsized. A new rear diffuser houses a pair of substantial centrally mounted exhaust outlets.
The newcomer uses various parts from the Lightweight Sport package offered as optional equipment on the standard Cayenne Turbo Coupé, including a contoured carbonfibre roof panel. Porsche has yet to confirm a kerb weight, although it is claimed to undercut the 2200kg of the standard model.
The Cayenne Turbo Coupé’s powerplant is boosted by 89bhp to 631bhp. This is 39bhp more than the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 produces in the Audi RS Q8 and just 10bhp less than it does in the Lamborghini Urus – one of the most powerful and fastest SUVs on sale today. Torque has also increased by 60lb ft to 626lb ft.
By comparison, the 2535kg Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid’s combination of a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine and electric motor delivers 671bhp.
Details of the engine modifications have yet to be revealed, although Autocar can confirm that it gets a titanium exhaust system and new engine management software among its bespoke upgrades. In line with the added performance, Porsche has revised the software for the eight-speed torque-converter gearbox and four-wheel drive system, which receives a more rear-biased apportioning of power. The electronic differential is also altered to provide enhanced torque vectoring and greater lock-up.
It rides on standard-fit 22in forged aluminium wheels, shod with 285/35 ZR22 front and 315/30 ZR22 rear tyres – the largest tyre Porsche has offered as standard on the Cayenne. The greater offset of the new wheels marginally increases the track widths at each end, while allowing for an increase in negative camber on the front axle.
The adaptive air suspension has been lowered slightly and the damper rates made firmer. Further dynamic changes are focused on the tuning of the electrohydraulically operated active roll stabilisation system and steering – the latter incorporating Porsche’s Power Steering Plus rear-wheel steering system. The brakes, meanwhile, adopt the same ceramic-composite discs and calipers available as an option on the standard model.