The 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS – More Than A SUV
Porsche Cayenne GTS is a Luxury 911 on Stilts!
It’s just about time, as the summers had already in full bloom and the temps usually soar up to the north of +45 Celsius here in Dubai. Sometimes, I refer it as the season of roasting & toasting. It was about time, time for round # 2 to test drive yet another recent launched uber Porsche Cayenne GTS. It’s an offer that I just couldn’t turn down. Honestly, who would in the right frame of mind would pass on to such an opportunity. Perhaps Porsche knows this psychology as well.
The rules were same again, however, if I say I was tasked to test drive within 8 hours then it would aptly expressed. Hence, this time I reached at the right time on the shiny floors of the newly opened mega Porsche Center in Dubai by its exclusive dealer Al Nabooda Automobiles.
The brand new off-the-boat Porsche Cayenne GTS in Moonlight Blue Metallic had only 599 Km on the odometer. But besides everything else I was bamboozled with this car or SUV and its intended function. So I probed the Porsche specialist, the racer-boy Naveed Mushtaq (my co-driver, who was absent) and he summed it up as 911 on stilts!
Was it love, or was it the idea of being in love?
Or was it the hand of fate, that seemed to fit just like a glove? – One Slip, Pink Floyd
While strolling across the walls of history in the state-of-the-art Porsche Center Dubai/ Al Nabooda dealership, I remembered the glory days of iconic Porsche 953 Dakar Rally car in the infamous Rothmans livery, that was eventually replaced by yet another thoroughbred 959 supercars back in circa 1985. So yes Porsche had a strong history in the ruthless desert conditions. Hence Cayenne GTS or elaborately Grand Touring Sport is an amalgam of all the above sorts’ reflecting the strong racing heritage of Porsche. The above verse is the perfect fit for the Cayenne GTS and its relationship roots with 911’s DNA.
Suave Style 8.5/ 10
Our tester 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS was finished in Moonlight Blue Metallic that can be easily mistaken with black in the dark or in shaded areas. I Liked the restrained styling with minimal chrome touches from massive 21-inch 911 Turbo Design wheels emanating luxury feel yet at the same time the dark chrome tip dual exhaust at either side along with darkened emblems projecting a stealthy stance. Up front, the car was optioned with LED four-point Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus looks really cool. The whole car exudes suave James Bond persona. If you really know what I mean…
The warm and inviting cabin is a special place to be. I was totally taken aback with appointed luxury feel. For a moment I thought I was in a Bentley especially with fit and finish of the interior in smooth two-tone natural leather in Espresso-Cognac. Until I saw the GTS stitching on the 14-way comfort memory seats, that I am not. The center console was all business-like with beautiful shiny toggle switches in combination Dark burr walnut interior package incl. Tiptronic S gear selector. However, there seem to be more buttons on the Cayenne GTS center console than on a newly Boeing 787-800 cockpit pedestal!
Enthralling Performance 9.0/ 10
Just like every other automaker is ditching the V8 engines in favor of small and lightweight V6s augmented with forced induction, Porsche stands right in the front. New to 2015 Cayenne GTS is a 3.6 V6 twin-turbo engine with colossal performance numbers: 440hp and equally astounding 443 l-ft of torque. The new power-packed 3.6 V6 twin turbo outshine the former 4.8l V8’s 420 hp and a meager 380 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a smooth shifting 8-speed PDK. The combination is perfect: from spirited driving in the sport plus mode that provides rapid shift and hold the gear longer till the RPM hits the redline. And while you return to your civil manner the comfort/ economy driving mode relaxing the dampers will support auto stop/ start function raising the fuel economy and reducing the carbon emissions.
However, let’s talk about the performance, which matters most to Porsche and to its ever increasing diehards. Even though the exterior temperature was at 41 Celsius, I decided to take the same route to Wadi Helo. The road condition was dry as a bone so was the scarcity of traffic. Also, the route has access to the multiple types of pavements: from rough terrain to the desert dune and then rocky gravel pathways leading into the dark mountains. But more on that later as the long, meandering mountainous road with gradient changes made me back into the spirited mode. As the chassis was quick to adapt the yaw changes and cheats the other laws of physics, I was even quicker to relish and satiate my young lust by pressing the accelerator. 0-60 can be achieved in 5.1 seconds, considering its two-ton weight, the speed drag experience is quite stomach clenching. What is there to worry about? The intelligent 4 wheel drive system, ensuring the superb traction even at high speed on the bends and the paddle shifting engaged me with more poise and focus. The fun gets increased in the sport plus mode as it aggravates the sonic boom from the quad exhaust system every time you change the gear for your aural pleasures.
As the chassis was quick to adapt the yaw changes and cheats the laws of physics, I was even quicker to relish and satiate my young lust by pressing the accelerator! – Sami Siddiqui
Our GTS was fitted with optional 21-inch 911 Turbo Design wheels, shod with Yokohama Advan Sport 295/35-21 aspect summer tires transmitted some noise. But I guess that’s a standard issue with low profile tires on a larger set of wheel. Keeping this in mind, I actually avoided to go for the dunes as it requires lowering the tire pressure. Above all a lesson that I got from experienced desert dwellers that don’t ever go on the desert alone. Though, GTS came with standard locking diff, which can be selected according to the prevailing conditions and also self-leveling suspension can be raised for off-roading condition and lowered again to rekindle the 911 soul.
Safety 8.0/ 10
Ironically, this may sound, but I kid you not sometimes most of the safety enhancing features to mitigate an unfortunate happenstance does become a nuisance. It’s good to know that most of the safety features are driver selectable hence can be ward-off on personal desire. Still, standard features are enough to supplement the driver. Likewise, thankfully the spec sheet I was handed over includes many safety features like Reversing camera including ParkAssist for front and rear. Lane Change Assist (LCA) and of course left & right LED indicators. Nevertheless, joke aside, I was too busy to experience other safety features assisting a driver in the incognito mode, remember the 007 aspirations!
A Buyer’s Guide To The Galaxy 8.5/10
While I was wandering to know the real intent of the Porsche Cayenne GTS, I got the answer as explained with clarity from the oracle; my father-in-law (Shaukat Aijaz, a retired art director in Pakistan’s state owned television and avid sports fan) riding shotgun with me especially to assist me in the photo shoot. And he summed it up the best “the enthralling performance is the benchmark of the marque. With Cayenne GTS, Porsche raised the bar of luxury to par excellence. It is to be noted that usually luxury is understood as opulence and quality of the chosen materials. However to me, luxury is the availability desired element that can perform a function at your wish.
“The enthralling performance is the benchmark of the marque. With Cayenne GTS, Porsche raised the bar of luxury to par excellence – Shaukat Aijaz
The 2015 Porsche Cayenne GTS base price is AED 372,100. Our tester was loaded with all the high-quality premium goodies worth of AED 48,490. Then there’s another value addition from the Al Nabooda dealership that cost AED 4700 tallies up the total to AED 425,290. I thoroughly enjoyed Led Zeppelin’s all acoustic fusion: Wah Wah, played with the sub-Saharan, healing Gnawa musicians in Marrakesh and then rapturous Yallah, where guitar maestro, Jimmy Plant belting out ball-to-the-wall guitar riffs & reverb on a deep bass sounding high-end Burmester audio. Also, a must-have for the region is the aircon vented seats for the drive meister’s bums. Three can be seated in comfort on the rear bench seat as there’s an independent climate control system available for them and ample cargo space in the back for an adventure filled journey for years to come!
Was it love, or was it the idea of being in love?
Or was it the hand of fate, that seemed to fit just like a glove?
The moment slipped by and soon the seeds were sown
The year grew late and neither one wanted to remain alone – One Slip, Pink Floyd
During this Holy month of Ramadan Porsche/ Al Nabooda is offering a limited time only offer that is hard to miss.