2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT Coupe at Lightning Lap 2022

It looks like an SUV, but given the way it rips up the Climbing Esses, it sure doesn't act like one.

2022 porsche cayenne turbo gt coupe
Marc UrbanoCar and Driver

Lap Time: 2:52.6

Class: LL4 | Base: $184,614 | As Tested: $201,134
Power and Weight:
631 hp • 4945 lb • 7.8 lb/hp
Pirelli P Zero Corsa PZC4, F: 285/35ZR-22 (106Y) N0 R: 315/30ZR-22 (107Y) N0

Here's step one in the Cayenne Turbo GT's recipe for beating the Lamborghini Urus's SUV record: Bake four Pirelli P Zero Corsa PZC4 tires at 180 degrees for two hours. According to Porsche, heat-cycling them in this manner makes them more durable on track.

The Cayenne looks like an SUV, but given the way it rips up the Climbing Esses at an average speed of 124.3 mph—faster than the M5 CS—and its 1.08 g's of grip in Turn 1, it sure doesn't act like any ute we know. Lowered and stiffened, the Turbo GT Coupe gets its power to the ground so effectively that you leave corners with an unprecedented (for an SUV) urgency. It's neutral, too, with plenty of throttle-motivated rear-end rotation available.

2022 porsche cayenne turbo gt coupe
Marc UrbanoCar and Driver

The wowing continues when the call goes out for deceleration. Faced with the car's nearly 5000-pound curb weight, the giant carbon-ceramic rotors are up to their task. Unflappable and seemingly unfazed by heat, they never required extra care or feeding over three days of lapping. No bleeding. No new pads.

Down the long front straight, the Turbo GT doesn't have any more thrust than the Urus. Perhaps to keep the corporate pecking order intact, the Cayenne's version of the twin-turbo V-8 makes 631 horsepower to the Urus's 641 (and the Audi RS Q8's 591). The Cayenne's 2.9-mph peak-speed advantage is down to its faster corner exit off the tricky downhill right that feeds onto the straight. Apply full throttle at the apex of that corner and the Cayenne's 631 horses send it kicking and screaming right to the outer edge of the track.

Afterward, savor the tick-tick of the titanium exhaust, and relish the Cayenne's runaway victory, with a 3.2-second advantage over the Urus. Serve with Modenese Lambrusco.

Back to Lightning Lap 2022

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