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Wild, Wild Horses…….Lizett Bond tames the Porsche Cayenne GTS

A number of modifications were made to the Cayenne for this year’s edition of the Transsyberia Rallye, the most important being suspension components from the Cayenne GTS. After my return from Mongolia, I had the opportunity to sample those same changes that were obviously considered an improvement over last year’s model.

The chance to connect with the image came from Porsche with the delivery of a Cayenne GTS for a drive from Las Vegas to Reno. After a couple of days of Vegas bling, the drive up Highway 95 in the “oh so Blingy” Nordic Gold GTS made the transition to the seemingly endless calm of the Nevada desert almost effortless. The car provided bling, the highway contributed the back road, Area 51 the stealth. The GTS had the advantage in that field, at least on the highway, with the ability to travel from 0-100 mph in under 15 seconds. The GTS is powered by an enhanced 4.8 liter V-8 delivering 405 horsepower most being delivered with a Tiptronic transmission. There is a six speed manual transmission as an option at no additional cost and I was fortunate to have the manual. Standard on the GTS is Porsches stability management system (PSM) and traction management (PTM).  The permanent all wheel drive may not be a consideration in a drier clime but in higher elevations it is mandatory.

The cockpit, however, is a bit busy with all the switches and buttons needed to control the myriad of electronic devices…making the owner’s manual a bible of sorts that warrants a study. Lumbar support on a short trip to the market is often overlooked but on a long drive it is an important consideration and well done with the GTS.

The GTS was definitely an eye catcher particularly in the small Nevada desert towns along Highway 95. Multi-spoke, 21 inch wheels with large 295/35 tires that look awesome under slightly flared fenders along with the cool quad tailpipes, much more sports than soccer mom. Heading up the lonely highway, it was just plain fun to drive a manual transmission and to match revs and throw it down a gear or two when coming upon some of the more twist and shout sections of 95. The six-speed manual does the remarkable, transforming an SUV like vehicle into what is legendary in Zuffenhausen. It is unthinkable of doing a heel and toe in a Suburban, the same moves in the GTS is like bringing it all back home.

This model Cayenne will allow the SUV crowd to step up to the GTS (MSRP 69,300) from the S (MSRP $57,900), without making the big jump to the Turbo (MSRP $93,700).  If a statement at the mall, at the market and at the school fundraiser kick off is in the offing, the GTS will suffice.

The Porsche Cayenne GTS is the Bundesliga of the SUV world and in a league of it’s own.

Lizett Bond, November 2008