Excess. The term can apply to eating, drinking, smoking and of course exotic cars. Porsche’s Cayenne Turbo S is nothing if not excessive.

But if you’ve got the readies and you don’t fancy the gymnastics of climbing in and out of a 911 or Ferrarithe Turbo S is a no brainer if you’re in the market for a fast and fabulous four-wheel drive.

It’ll even go off road, not that anyone in their right mind would go there given the likely cost of replacing damaged wheels or rubber — the Yokohama Advan tyres alone are $500 a throw.


The five-seat Cayenne starts at $106,000 for the diesel (yes, Porsche does a diesel). The top of the line Turbo S — $284,700 to be exact, probably a round $300K once you add options and on-roads.

Our test vehicle had sports exhaust ($6390 and worth every cent), black roof rails ($1390), tinted LED tail-lights ($1290), panoramic roof ($1190), digital radio ($1090), 5mm wheel spacers ($870) and black exterior package ($450). That brings the grand total as tested to $296,970.

The massively powerful twin turbo V8 turns an eight-speed auto directed by wheel-mounted paddle-shifters. Drive is to all four wheels, though rear-drive predominates.

It’s not good having all this power without brakes to match and the ceramic stoppers are superb, bringing the car to a rapid halt.

To save fuel, the engine shuts down at lights and air vents open and shut automatically to optimise aerodynamics, also helping to reduce thirst.

On the road

It’s big, loud and brash — with a button to make it even louder — and you can select Sport or Sport-plus drive modes. The latter is more like insane mode.

Measuring 4.8 metres and weighing in at 2.2 tonnes, it needs a V8 of substantial outputs to produce the kind of performance that Porsche buyers demand.

Plant your right foot and the Turbo S thunders off the line, reaching 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds and topping out at 284km/h.

It’s wide, too — 2165mm — and that makes it a handful to park, despite the camera and parking sensors. This width assists with stability, whereas most large 4WDs struggle because of their high centre of gravity.

Not so with the Turbo S, which has the dynamics of a sports sedan, with air suspension and torque vectoring to keep an even keel. It has abundant mid-corner grip, tracking at speeds that astonish.

Opulent is the only word to describe the cabin, trimmed in leather and carbon-fibre and topped off with high-end 1000W-plus, 16-speaker Burmester audio.