Chicago 2008: Porsche Cayenne GTS meets North America

click above for high-res gallery of the Porsche Cayenne GTS

Following breakfast here at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, Porsche took the cover off its new Cayenne GTS for the first time on our shores. After emphasizing how well the updated 2007 Cayenne has done in the market, the Stuttgart-based automaker talked about running the 2007 TransSyberia Rallye with what is essentially a stock Cayenne S. In the hands of rally veteran Rod Millen, the Cayenne with added safety equipment and spare parts finished first overall in its first attempt at the 4,000 mile race. Porsche NA marketing VP David Pryor proclaimed the GTS, however, as the best handling SUV in the world thanks to its 21-inch wheels, 20mm lower ride height and Porsche Active Suspension Management. Its 4.8L V8 has direct fuel injection to help it put out a stout 405 hp, and it's mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. If you're up for it, the 405-hp GTS model goes on sale now in the U.S. with a base price of $69,300.



Ultimate handling Cayenne available with 6-speed manual transmission

Porsche expands the family of Cayenne sport utility vehicles with the introduction of the 2008 Cayenne GTS. Sharing its essential architecture and quickly identifiable appearance with the Cayenne, Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo, the Cayenne GTS differs in purpose.

Sacrificing some of its siblings' astounding off-road capabilities, the Cayenne GTS rewards the demanding enthusiast driver with increased levels of sporting on-road performance. Thanks to its standard air suspension featuring a 20 mm lower ride height than the Cayenne S and its larger wheels and tires, the Cayenne GTS provides astounding agility. Refinements to the naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V8 engine result in an increase in horsepower which, when coupled with lowered final drive ratio, provides exhilarating acceleration.

Commensurate with its place at the top of the naturally aspirated Cayenne family, the Cayenne GTS sports a unique interior tailored to help the skilled driver and his passengers fully appreciate the vehicle's abilities.
Even with its performance enhancements, the Cayenne GTS comes standard with all-wheel drive and a broad palette of traction and stability enhancing technologies.

Breath-taking on-road performance
At the heart of the Cayenne GTS is an enhanced powertrain. Refinements by Porsche engineers to the naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V8 engine have resulted in a five-percent, or 20- hp, increase in horsepower-to 405 hp with . Responses to the driver's commands are further heightened by a 15-percent reduction in the drivetrain's final drive ratio, regardless of transmission. The Cayenne GTS is equipped with either the six-speed manual gearbox or an optional six-speed Tiptronic S.

The engine's power characteristics are optimized by a specially created sport exhaust system – which comes with the added bonus of a throaty, meaningful note from its four tailpipes.

Thanks to these enhancements, Porsche test drivers were able to accelerate the Cayenne GTS with manual gearbox on the track from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. The Cayenne GTS with Tiptronic is four tenths of a second quicker than its Cayenne S sibling, accelerating to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

The Cayenne GTS, like the Cayenne S earns an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV) rating thanks to the 4.8-liter V8 Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) system working in concert with Porsche's VarioCam Plus valve lift and timing control. With the manual gearbox, the Cayenne GTS earns an EPA fuel economy rating of 11 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway. The Tiptronic S transmission improves fuel economy, rated at 13 mpg city rating and 18 mpg on the highway.

Standard air suspension comes with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). This suspension results in a ride height 20 mm lower than that of the Cayenne Turbo. To ensure more than adequate traction, the Cayenne GTS is fitted with 21-inch diameter alloy Cayenne Sport wheels carrying 295/35R21 tires.
Unique look, inside and out

While clearly recognizable as a member of the newest Cayenne family, the Cayenne GTS is also instantly identifiable as unique in that family. Though sharing the aerodynamically sculpted lines of the other Cayennes, when viewed in profile, the Cayenne GTS is distinguishable by its standard black monochrome finish on door handles and window trim, 10-spoke, 21-inch diameter Cayenne Sport wheels, body-color side skirts, and red brake calipers.

When viewed head-on, the Cayenne GTS shows its purposeful, aggressive face by sharing its front fascia with the awesome Cayenne Turbo. Like the Turbo, the GTS has large cooling-air intakes and horizontal directional and marker light units. Drivers behind the GTS are greeted by the vehicle's chrome dual, twin tailpipes. An extended bi-plane spoiler at the roof's trailing edge is available as a no cost option.

As with the exterior, the Cayenne GTS's passenger cabin broadcasts the vehicle's performance potential. The driver and front passenger benefit from newly designed sport seats. These boast deep side bolsters and Alcantara centers to help keep the occupants securely in place during spirited driving. Both front seats are 12-way electrically adjustable with extended memory settings.

The folding, split-back rear seat is also unique to the Cayenne GTS. It features raised bolsters and Alcantara inserts at the outer seating positions to ensure stable and comfortable seating for those occupants. However, despite the deep contours of the rear seat, it still holds three adults comfortably and safely.

The Cayenne GTS interior offers further exclusivity thanks to its aluminum interior trim, stainless-steel door entry guards with Cayenne GTS logo and the availability of a comprehensive Alcantara interior trim package.

Same high levels of safety

The Cayenne GTS boasts the same full complement of occupant protection features as the rest of the Cayenne line. All Cayenne models are equipped with Advanced Airbags and a rollover sensor, which in the event of an impending rollover, triggers the seatbelt tensioners and the side curtain airbags.

But Porsche firmly believes that preventing an accident is the best way to protect the vehicle's occupants, so all Cayennes are equipped with Porsche Stability Management (PSM) to help maintain vehicle stability, even under adverse weather and surface conditions. PSM is fully integrated with the vehicles' other safety features, including off-road antilock braking and braking pre-load.

Even further stability is available with the optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC). This system all but eliminates body lean in turns via active antiroll bars. This brings additional passenger comfort as well as enhanced vehicle traction and improved handling, on road and off.

Other available items include a DVD navigation system, Bose digital audio and a roof transport system.

The 2008 Cayenne GTS goes on sale in February, and U.S. pricing is US $69,300

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