Cayenne GTS at the Winter Marathon

Let’s face it: “sportiness” is not a term that should be applied to a big, heavy SUV. Also, the word “economy” should not even be considered when making the purchase of such an opulent and fuel thirsty machine. You buy cars like the Porsche Cayenne GTS either because you can afford to maintain them and if you’re allergic to the blunt sound of diesel engines.

Weighting well over two tons, its new 3.6-liter twin turbo V6 is a powerhouse: while it may get some criticism at first because it’s not the V8 of the previous generation, the new 90 degree, all aluminum engine is anything but short on power.
It revs to 7.000 rpm and produces 440hp and 600 Nm of torque, more than enough to propel this 3-ton behemoth from 0 to100 in 4.9 seconds.

Fuel consumption is as bad as you would imagine, but when did SUV’s ever made sense? It’s the sort of practical hedonism petrolheads won’t admit they’d to own and daily drive, thanks to a remarkably sporty character.
Is it fun? You bet.

The Cayenne is the SUV you’d love to hate, especially if you’re the purist Porsche enthusiast. While packing more performance than the rather excellent S Diesel counterpart, the GTS is the sporty twist Cayenne buyers love to have.
It could be considered a scaled-down version of the Turbo and Turbo S, even if it doesn’t have any weight advantage: it’s a little slower and fuel consumption is not that different. Price-wise it’s 68.000 Euros cheaper than the top range models. Nonetheless, it is appealing to some customers who still want cleaner and more “essential” SUV that it’s still not the Macan.

“A living room with 4 wheel drive and 440 hp” is perhaps the description that fits the Cayenne GTS best: it was made to get you from A to B fast enough and not just on clean highways. It’s the SUV you want to drive on twisty roads with ice and salt and not complaining about not having a sportscar. It takes compromises on another level: the benefits of a good sounding petrol engine, the comfort of leather seats and the sportiness you’d expect from a Porsche, weight permitting.

If you consider buying a new Porsche, you must choose the active PASM suspensions and PSM, which translate to the active suspension system and the stability control management. While these options are standard on all 911 models, Porsche offers them as an option on all other models.
Before losing yourself on the list of options upon ordering your own GTS at the dealership, this sort of electronic gadgetry is a must have on such an Autobahn smoker.

If you plan to daily drive it, be prepared to open a dedicated bank account to gasoline expenses, as you might believe, the GTS is the opposite of the word “economy”. Consumption figures seem to be worse than those declared by Porsche, but since this car wasn’t built to save the planet, it no major concern. Although lacking in feeling, the steering is remarkably precise and the sporty driving position with the contoured seats makes you feel behind the wheel of a sportscar rather than a big SUV.

The leather dashboard and the instant surge of torque from the excellent twin-turbo V6 are enough to guarantee your daily dose of fun while commuting to the office. And if Mother Nature decides to lay down some snow and worsen road conditions, you can always rely on the permanent all-wheel drive transmission and enjoy yourself even more.

In sport+ mode, with the traction control backed off, it’s plenty of fun: the weight is perfectly masqueraded by the excellent steel chassis and suspensions, which eliminate body roll and give better control during spirited driving.
The great advantage of large, petrol-powered SUV is that they are excellent support cars during regularity races, especially in winter. They could be considered just the military rescue helicopters that save downed pilots: should a friend of yours break down his car, you can always rescue him with a 5-star battleship!

Thanks to our friend Nicola we had the chance to drive the car during the 2017 Winter Marathon, a great classic regularity race held in the cold Dolomites of Trentino, which opens the motoring season in Italy. This 3-ton mountain of Teutonic steel, as a proper “Support car”, rescued our friends Mattia and Emanuel who broke down their 356. Considering that the GTS is rather rare to see, it’s a great conversation starter and a pleasant place where to spend the remaining miles of the race, especially after your car broke down. Also the “Green Fiko”, the Carrera 2.5 St was there with Colpani Motori, and we had a lot of fun powersliding on the frozen roads of Passo Pordoi trying to follow it.

The GTS it’s perhaps the sort of car that better exemplifies the concept of “escape”: driving-centric, practical and able to pick up more girls than a regular sportscar, and can pack more luggage, allowing for longer vacations. It’s the car a Porsche maniac will buy, just for the satisfaction of staring at that badge on the steering wheel and enjoying their obsession on a daily basis. 
While we’d prefer the lighter and more compact Macan GTS (which is irresistibly cool), the Cayenne is a perfect choice for those who love the non-diesel performance want big luggage space and appreciate the pleasures of a powerful petrol engine can deliver. And the Winter Marathon? Well, rather than being a classic car rally, the Marathon could just be one of the most adventurous classic car trips you might experience.

Many Thanks to our friend Premoli Automobiles

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