2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS
2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS. Click image to enlarge

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Test Drive: 2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS

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2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS

Winnipeg, Manitoba – The first-generation Cayenne left me a bit cold, not only because I had issues with the fact that Porsche was producing an SUV, but also because its styling somewhat resembled a first-gen Hyundai Santa Fe on steroids; far from a compliment, to be sure.

But since its introduction, the Cayenne has proven itself as a thoroughly competent and capable vehicle. It has also been a commercial success for its maker, meaning that it’s going to be around for a while. Good thing, then, that Porsche has been constantly improving the Cayenne by sharpening its lines and introducing new variants of the model to keep things fresh.

The GTS is the sportiest of the naturally-aspirated Cayennes, and although it slots in as the middle child of the Cayenne family it gives nothing up to the pricier turbocharged models in terms of visual impact or handling prowess.

Consider the massive 21-inch wheels and red calipers that put the squeeze on 13.8-inch front and 13-inch rear rotors. Add the Turbo-style quad exhaust and an air suspension that’s been lowered relative to lesser Cayenne models and you have the makings of arguably the most aggressive model in the Cayenne line.

2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS
2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS . Click image to enlarge

It’s not all looks though – performance-wise, the GTS has the goods: its 405-horsepower, 4.8-litre V8 pumps out 20 more horses than the Cayenne S, though there’s still a respectable gap between it and the 500-hp Cayenne Turbo. The zero to 100 km/h sprint is accomplished in a factory-claimed 5.7 seconds with the six-speed manual (6.1 with the Tiptronic automatic); pretty respectable for a truck that weighs 2,245 kg, or just shy of 5,000 pounds.

2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS
2009 Porsche Cayenne GTS . Click image to enlarge

Base price for the GTS with the Tiptronic is $91,090 which represents an increase of nearly $18,000 over the S. Standard equipment includes the aforementioned performance upgrades, rear-biased all-wheel drive, traction and stability control, adjustable air suspension, variable-ratio power steering, 12-speaker audio, and a 3,500-kg towing capacity.

Not surprisingly, my tester was generously outfitted with options such as a stunning $4,280 for a Nordic Gold Metallic paint job, $4,440 for upgraded leather package (this one’s worth it), $2,130 for swiveling bi-xenon headlights, $4,500 for the navigation system, $600 for a universal audio interface and $950 for Bluetooth (both of which are standard on the $16,000 Kia Forte, by the way), $200 floor mats, $860 hitch, $1,630 moonroof (you need to step up to the Forte SX for this one), and a superb $2,310 Bose surround system. Grand total: $114,205, including Destination charge.

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