The inaugural Cayenne GTS from 2008 was far more than the sum of its parts. Although just 20 bhp more powerful than the regular Cayenne S, it was arguably the most fun-to-drive SUV on sale at the time.

Four years later and the second generation Cayenne receives the GTS treatment – offering a more powerful V8 engine – now 414bhp, tauter chassis with lower ride height.

Whilst the Cayenne GTS sits between the Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo, it has its own special character – more agile, more vocal and more instantly engaging than its siblings.

Beneath the bonnet lies an uprated 4.8-litre V8 engine, with 414bhp, as before based on the Cayenne S powerplant. An eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission with integrated auto start/stop function conveys power to all four wheels, which has been tuned to deliver a more sporting response.

The Cayenne GTS sprints from a standing start to 62mph in 5.7 seconds, reaching 100 mph in 13.3 seconds – quick enough to worry many a sports saloon. Top speed is 162mph, with a combined fuel consumption of 26.4mpg.

The GTS’ suspension is fitted with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as standard, while the body is lowered by 24mm relative to the Cayenne S. As a result, the GTS handles with its predecessor’s trademark composure and agility.

As before the Cayenne GTS adopts many of the styling features of the Cayenne Turbo, including its front-end styling, window surrounds and trims in a high-gloss black finish, prominent side skirts and wider wheel arches plus a distinctive roof spoiler with twin-wing profile.

From behind the wheel, the GTS offers a more sporting ambience than other models in the range, courtesy of its leather and Alcantara trim (on door cards and seats) and eight-way adjustable front sports seats. Further standard features include a SportDesign steering wheel with paddle-shift controls, sports exhaust system and Bi-Xenon headlights.

Making its debut at the Beijing Motor Show on April 23, the Cayenne GTS goes on sale in the UK in July 2012, priced from £67,147. As with other new Porsches, customers will be able to explore the full potential of their GTS at a complimentary driving course at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone.