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All aboard the GTS express
Sunday, January 27, 2013 5:02 PM

All aboard the GTS express

Porsche will have you know the Cayenne GTS is a car that offers the best of two worlds, namely sports car-like driving excitement combined with the ride height and comforts of a SUV (sport utility vehicle).

While we are not in the habit of performing crazy high-speed jinks with cars that are tagged at RM1mil, we have to agree with Porsche’s claim after taking the Cayenne GTS on a spin through some narrow and winding roads outside Kuala Lumpur.

The GTS variant is slotted between the normally aspirated Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo.

When compared with the Cayenne S, this GTS combines greater engine output, and a firmer chassis setup with a lower-slung body for sportier performance.

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With a body that is lowered by 24mm relative to the Cayenne S, and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) which is an electronic damping control system, the Cayenne GTS felt well-planted and provided a composed ride without too much body sway when we sprinted through the bends on winding backcountry roads.

Shod with 295/35 R21 tyres, the Cayenne GTS had agile on-road dynamics and was marvellously engaging to drive.

According to Porsche, the PASM reduces body sway during performance driving or heavy offroad use and thus, improves stability and occupant comfort, via the continuous adjustment of individual damping forces based on road conditions and driving style.
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You can choose from three setup modes, namely “Comfort”, “Normal” and “Sport”, and the PASM monitors body movement via sensors.

As expected of a luxury SUV, the Cayenne GTS is a smooth highway cruiser with a posh leather-clad interior and minimal road and wind noise intrusion into the cabin.

The eight-speed Tiptronic S with integrated auto start/stop function provided smooth and responsive power delivery.

For a heavy luxury SUV (kerb weight of 2,085kg), the Cayenne GTS is a quick sprinter and we had no trouble charging quickly past slow-moving lorries when the opposite lane was clear.

It should also be noted that it offers a bit more power compared with the 4.8-litre Cayenne S, which has a base price tag of RM700,000.

This is also an alternative option for those who want power and performance from their luxury SUVs, but who might not have a penchant for the brutal fury of a 4.8-litre Cayenne Turbo, which carries a base price tag of RM970,000.

Now, the Cayenne GTS has a net selling price of RM800,000 which includes a four-year factory warranty and a four-year complimentary service and maintenance package.

However, the price tag goes up to almost RM1mil as you load up on extras that are suppose to enhance the performance, safety and comfort levels.

The extra RM196,000 or so that buyers fork out here are for additions such as Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control or PDCC (RM13,153) and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (RM6,086).

So, are such extras worth the money?

The answer is yes if you are not content just to cruise lazily on the freeway all the time, and want some driving thrills when the mood strikes.

As an example, the extra money pays for PDCC which is an active anti-roll system that provides better road holding and helps you to steer through corners faster.

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More high-performance driving fun also means the vehicle should have enhanced safety equipment, and here, the Porsche ceramic composite brake will burn the biggest hole in the buyer’s wallet (at a hefty RM35,653).

There are also extras like Adaptive Cruise Control (RM8,331) and Panoramic Roof (RM7,768) and Porsche Communication Management (PCM) including navigation module (RM12,977) as well as a Bose surround sound system (RM5,530).
 
The extra expense also pays for a sporty-looking black and carmine red colour mix for the interior, as well as the basalt black metallic paint for the exterior.

This means you get leather seat stitching, instrument dials, air vent slats and some dashboard surfaces painted in carmine red, while a leather-clad interior with Alcantara elements as well as front sport seats with eight adjustment options are featured as standard.

As oxymoronic as it may sound, the Cayenne GTS is rather “green” for a vehicle of its size and performance, with a rated fuel consumption of 10.7 litres per 100km.

If you desire spirited drives from on high, the Cayenne GTS gives you that in a posh surround that only deep pockets can afford.

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