453-HP 2021 Porsche Cayenne GTS Returns to V-8 Power

  • The Porsche Cayenne GTS returns for 2021, and there is a coupe version as well.
  • Power comes from a V-8 engine once again, like in the good old times.
  • We expect this Cayenne to be an especially popular model, packing a lot of the Turbo’s attitude and amenities at a much lower price.

Back in 2007, the first Cayenne GTS not only featured a naturally aspirated V-8 engine, it even offered a manual transmission. So it’s no wonder that owners were a bit unhappy when the GTS later transitioned to a downsized—albeit more powerful—twin-turbo V-6, in 2015. There is simply no match for the sound and character of a full-fledged V-8. The new Cayenne GTS returns to a V-8, a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter unit that cranks out a lofty 453 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque. The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes a claimed 4.2 seconds if the Sport Chrono package is fitted, and top speed rises to 168 mph.

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With this new engine, the Cayenne GTS comes closer to the range-topping Cayenne Turbo than ever. In fact, for the first time both models are powered by essentially the same engine, even though the GTS still keeps a respectful 88-horsepower gap to the Turbo. This power difference, however, is mostly felt at velocities well into the triple digits; it matters less at lower speeds, and drivers still get the wonderful growl of the impressive V-8. The only transmission available is an eight-speed automatic. Fuel consumption is less impressive and we expect it to be more in line with the Cayenne Turbo, not with the lesser model, the 434-horsepower Cayenne S that is now powered by a 2.9-liter V-6.

Porsche

Porsche tries to pass off the GTS models as purist, but in fact they bundle some of the most popular options. This includes a specifically tuned exhaust system even for the standard GTS models. But on the GTS coupe, Porsche offers a special sports exhaust system with two large pipes positioned near the center of the vehicle. Combined exclusively with the optional lightweight package, it will eventually also be offered on the Cayenne Turbo coupe.

21-inch wheels are standard and the suspension is lowered and fitted with standard active dampers and a torque-vectoring system that’s optional on all other Cayenne models, including the Turbo. Black is the decor of choice: The wheels are black, the front and rear lights are dark-tinted, and so are most logos. The seats are specific to the GTS.

With this especially sporty package, the Cayenne GTS will cost little more than a similarly equipped Cayenne S and far less than a Turbo. It starts at $108,650 for the standard model and $111,850 for the GTS coupe. If you like the menacing attitude of the GTS and would have gone for the dark look anyway, it is perhaps the best value in the lineup – and the same is true if you crave the sound and feel of a V-8.

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