Imagine an elephant that can sprint 100m as fast as Usain Bolt. That is, in effect, what we have here: a hulky 2.2-tonne machine, a king of the urban jungle, that can sprint from rest to 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds.

That is faster than Porsche’s most popular sports-car, the 911, and a long list of German high-performance sedans. 

And yet it can tow 3500kg, just like the toughest workhorse utes on the market.

It is nothing short of an engineering marvel, even if it uses much of the earth’s oil reserves when the accelerator is floored.

Why does the world need a vehicle the size of a Toyota Prado that can outrun pretty much anything on the road?

That’s what I thought until I got behind the wheel.

As our appetite for SUVs shows no signs of abating, car companies are finding new ways to part people with even more money.

that tiny S badge adds a thumping $51,400 to the price

A normal Porsche Cayenne with a V6 diesel can be had for $106,000. That’s still a power of money for an SUV you’d be afraid to scratch.

There are several other opportunities to separate you from your wallet on the way to the flagship Cayenne Turbo, which is an eye-watering $233,300.

But this model is on another level. This is the Cayenne Turbo S, and that tiny S badge adds a thumping $51,400 to the price, bringing the total to $284,700. 

That works out to be $306,000 drive-away. And that’s before you’ve put petrol in it.

With a 100L tank, at least it will be easy to figure out how much a refill will cost. Just add a couple of zeros to the price on the boards outside petrol stations.

The price premium buys more power (of course) and you spend 0.4 seconds less time getting to the speed limit than you would in the regular Cayenne Turbo.

Most full-size SUVs boast about how much space they have inside and how well the wheels can articulate over boulders.

Porsche’s headline for the new Cayenne Turbo S: it lapped Germany’s famous Nürburgring race track in 7 minutes and 59 seconds. 

That makes it the fastest SUV on the planet both in terms of lap times and sprinting 0-100km/h, having pipped the BMW X5M by just 0.1 seconds in the latter test.

Fortunately, Porsche has seen fit to pair the Turbo S with carbon-ceramic brakes, the same material used in Formula One and in Ferraris and, frankly, top-end Porsche sports-cars.

The brake response is a bit sharp at first, until you learn to be more precise with the pedal. But I’d rather have them than not when trying to bring this machine to a stop.

Inside, the Cayenne Turbo S looks more like a Range Rover than a sports-car. Perhaps it was the white leather and gloss black highlights that helped create that impression. All I knew is that I had to be super careful not to spill Maccas in this one.

the fastest SUV on the planet both in terms of lap times and sprinting 0-100km/h

After negotiating the stop-start of city driving, and eventually getting better at being more gentle on the brake pedal (I have a bruised collar bone to prove the brakes work) we finally got onto some open and winding roads.

I can’t repeat in a family publication the first few words that came out of my mouth the first time I hit the accelerator from rest, but it rhymed with “holy truck”, which is apt because the Cayenne Turbo S weighs as much as a small lorry.

But being pushed back into your seat is only part of the fun. Perhaps more dumbfounding is how on earth Porsche managed to make the Cayenne Turbo S feel so agile and precise in corners.

Before long, it was time to make a U-turn and head back to the city. The petrol tank was already half empty (depending on how you view life). 

The rating label says the Cayenne Turbo S has an average consumption of 11.5L/100km. But there should be a warning with that. Exploit the performance and it’s more like 25L/100km. Gulp!

Which is why you need to buy two lotto tickets. One to pay for the car and the other to cover the fuel bill.