2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S Review

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Over the past few years we have witnessed horsepower levels grow to unbelievable amounts. Porsche’s new Cayenne Turbo S is no exception. For the discerning buyer who needs more than the Cayenne Turbo’s 500 hp, the S uses two turbos and a 4.8L V8 to make 550 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. The 2015 model year will see Cayenne refreshed, which leaves the ‘14 Turbo S as a proper send off for the second generation.

This hottest version of the Porsche Cayenne for sale has an exterior that makes no excuses. The front grille openings are larger, with brake cooling ducts flanking the fog lights. The body is wider thanks to fender flares and aggressive rocker panels. Wheels are a 911 Turbo II style in 21” wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tires.

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On the inside you will find only the highest quality materials. The bright leather provides a nice contrast to the carbon fiber and brushed aluminum. Every surface feels like it was hand crafted for a precise fit. The Cayenne doesn’t use a centralized vehicle control interface, so there is no giant knob to control all functions. Each system has a real button or switch and they surround the shifter in a symmetrical layout. Once you learn their locations this proves much less distracting than navigating through seven screens to accomplish one task.

Driving any vehicle with this level of power can be a handful, but insightful engineers have your safety in mind. Just putting around town, it feels as if a majority of power is sent to the rear wheels. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus is their system for keeping your right foot from sending you off the pavement. The computer measures your speed, steering angle and throttle input to electronically control the rear differential.

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Instantly altering the amount of power between the left and right rear wheels allows the S to rotate you through a corner, as opposed to forcing the outer tire to shoulder the load. The result is a safer and more comfortable drive thanks to the reduction in body roll. This SUV produced a giant smile as we noticed the differential lock button near the shifter. This mechanically locks the center differential, sending engine power to all corners. The front differential is open, but the system uses left to right brake bias to fully control power delivery.

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Driving the S is a rewarding and unique experience. For having such power under the hood, very little engine noise can be heard. Double-paned glass and a well-insulated firewall work wonders at isolating the driver from the outside world. Transmission shifts are pleasant and almost imperceptible in traffic. Knowing full well that provoking the accelerator on public streets would not be wise, we arrived at our private test strip.

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With a careful selection of suspension, traction and differential settings the system was ready. Using the brake pedal to awaken the turbos, we brought the engine up to 1,700 rpm and released the Kraken. With great power comes great responsibility, so make sure you have a half-mile in front of you before launch.

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With enough torque to shatter axles, you can sense the computer restraining this monster. German engineers know the exact limit of every drivetrain component, and the full throttle fun is precisely regulated to keep you and your car alive.

For those looking to experience the thrill of the S in person, you might be disappointed, as Porsche only built a handful of them. The build sheet has a suggested retail of $177,305. It would be impossible to build an SUV with this level of power and build quality for this price, so if you need the highest horsepower 4-door Porsche to date, this is your car. There are still a few left, perhaps you can tame the beast.


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