Porsche has debuted a new Cayenne Turbo S at the Detroit motor show, in the process redefining what a ‘sports utility vehicle’ is capable of.

Based on the facelifted version of the second-generation car, the Cayenne Turbo S boasts a remarkable collection of numbers – numbers achievable solely by supercars only a few years ago – and will go on sale in Australia in a few months time.

The diverse Cayenne range now includes turbocharged diesel and supercharged petrol-electric hybrid options, but the Turbo S is by far the most potent. Porsche has re-engineered the outgoing model’s 4.8-litre V8 bi-turbo to produce 419kW and 800Nm of torque – increases of 15kW and 50Nm respectively.

It’s how those numbers translate into performance that’s truly jaw dropping, however. The SUV thunders past 100km/h in 4.1 seconds – that’s just one-tenth of a second behind a Lotus Exige S – and has already recorded a Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time of 7 minutes 59 seconds, despite a corpulent 2235kg kerb weight. Top speed is 284km/h, while an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission controls power delivery.

2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Keeping that weight in check are 420mm carbon-ceramic front brake discs with, for the first time, ten-piston calipers. Still mighty but modest by comparison, 370mm discs operate at the rear. Combined with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, torque vectoring and adaptive four-wheel drive, they help contribute to the Turbo S’s Nordschleife time, which astonishingly is just three seconds off Horst von Saurma’s record in a 996 911 Turbo.

In terms of severity the only car that comes close to this Cayenne is Range Rover’s recent 404kW SVR, but even that falls by the wayside in comparison, recording a 0-100km/h time of 4.7 seconds. Even in fuel economy the Porsche triumphs, managing a combined 11.5L/100km against the SVR’s 12.8.

Recognising a Cayenne Turbo S on the road won’t be hard. The top-spec car wears the yellow brake calipers that signify it is equipped with carbon-ceramic brakes and the vent surrounds are painted in high-gloss black. There’s also a roof spoiler and the wheel arches are body-coloured.

The price of all this capability is $284,700. A 585-watt Bose sound system, self-levelling air suspension, ride-height control, 18-way sports seats, LED headlights and 21-inch 911 Turbo-style wheels all come as standard.

Cayenne Turbo S Buyers will be eligible for a complimentary course at the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone, to ‘explore the potential of their new car’.

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