A beefier Cayenne steers into Detroit
Porsche gives its SUV a 50-horsepower bump.
After the debut of the all-new Cayman at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show in December, Porsche is understandably exhausted of new models to introduce. As the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit begins, there is no rumbling about a new 911 variant or special edition, but that doesn't mean there's nothing interesting from Porsche this year. Meet the 2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, beefed-up with more horsepower, suspension pieces and flashy trim than ever.
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2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
What is it? The top-of-the-line Porsche SUV, stuffed to the brim with horsepower, stabilizing technology to control said horsepower, and trim pieces that scream, "I'm fast!"
What's hot? Having 550 horsepower in your SUV is pretty hot, even for the Cayenne. The new Turbo S gets a full 50-horsepower bump over the outgoing model. Porsche's Dynamic Stability Control, Torque Vectoring Plus, Power Steering Plus and Active Suspension Management are all standard. The 21-inch 911 Turbo II wheels are a nice touch to separate this Cayenne Turbo S from the outgoing model.
What's not? Purists will scream about model bloat and the raw blasphemy of Porsche offering an SUV in the first place — as they have been since its debut. The goal of a big SUV with the performance of a top-flight sports car invites some reasonable questioning, especially when this kind of power is involved.
How much and when? The 2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S will go on sale this spring and will start at $146,000.
MSN Autos' verdict: If you must have an insanely big, powerful and ostentatious SUV, this is probably the one to get. Say what you will about its existence, the Cayenne Turbo S is an undeniably impressive machine. Few may need a nearly $150,000 SUV that hits 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, but for those who do, there's nothing else.
James Tate cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trend and European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.