2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. Click image to enlarge

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2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Winnipeg, Manitoba – It’s been a little more than a year since I last drove a turbocharged version of Porsche’s Cayenne SUV. Now my memory may be fading, but I seem to recall “more power” as being one of the last things that monster needed. But hey, what do I know.

Apparently Porsche saw fit to add more power to the Cayenne Turbo. Thanks to its revised exhaust geometry and engine control software that allows a higher peak boost, the new Turbo S kicks out 550 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. For those keeping track, that’s an increase of 50 horses and 37 lb-ft over the “plain Jane” Turbo. Major features of the 4.8-litre eight-pot motor include twin turbochargers and intercoolers, variable intake valve timing, all-aluminum construction, and direct fuel injection.

Buyers can expect to spend $150,400 for the privilege of having a Turbo S in their garage; a premium of $31,500 over the Turbo. But it’s not just the added power (which would work out to $630 for each added horse) that Turbo S customers invest in. They also get larger wheels (21-inch vs. 19), a wider body (by about an inch), two-tone leather upholstery (although our tester had the no-cost combination of leather and grippy Alcantara instead), carbon-fibre interior trim, more aggressively bolstered seats (front and rear) from the racy Cayenne GTS, and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC). PDCC is an active body-roll control system that was included as an option on the last Turbo I drove. I still can’t believe that something so heavy and high off the ground can corner so flatly.

2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. Click image to enlarge

What the Turbo S doesn’t gain is weight or fuel consumption: it’s still a portly 2,360 kg (5,192 pounds) at the curb, while official fuel consumption figures remain at 18 and 10.7 L/100 km for city and highway tests respectively. A tidbit of humour from Porsche’s press release: “Given Porsche’s sensitivity to environmental concerns, despite the astounding performance capabilities of the Cayenne Turbo S, the new model carries no fuel economy penalty over the Cayenne Turbo.” Uh-huh. My personal experience yielded city/highway numbers of 21 L/100 km and 15 L/100 km respectively. Granted, we’re talking about winter conditions, which always result in higher fuel consumption.

If you want real fuel economy from a Porsche, you should check out their current crop of sports cars – those vehicles really do provide lower-than-expected fuel consumption figures.

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