Porsche Hustles Sizeable Saloon To New Nürburgring Lap Record

Cars, News I By Peter Nelson I August 13, 2020


Porsche has broken another Nürburgring lap record, this time utilizing the portlier end of their lineup: the Panamera Turbo.

Clocking in a lightning-fast 7:29.81, they’ve set the record for production cars in the executive car segment. These might be larger cars, but they’ve got the power and chassis to match. Utilizing their hot-v, 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 producing 550 horsepower and 567 lb.-feet of torque, it’s no surprise they had plenty of power on tap to hustle the nearly-4400 lb. beast around the infamous track in such a short amount of time.

All that power is good for a 0-60 time of just 3.6 seconds on the street, by the way. What’s pretty remarkable to us, is this record was set in late July; usually this is the worst time to attempt records as the mercury is higher, and the humidity is heavier, across much of Western Europe. Though, it looks like Porsche lucked out, as the ambient temperature at the track was just 72 degrees Fahrenheit in the midday, with a track temp of 93. This is what folks in Southern California call PB weather.

Here’s to hoping a bunch of manufacturers try to knock Porsche off the top with their own big saloons, as there are some pretty cool ones out there at the moment. Actually, big wagons would be even more entertaining.

Check out the press release direct from the tiny-prancing-horse’s mouth:

Atlanta. Porsche has proven the performance potential of the new Panamera even before the car's world premiere: in a slightly camouflaged series production car, test driver Lars Kern (32) completed a full lap of the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife over a distance of 20.832 kilometers in exactly 7:29.81 minutes. In the official ranking of the Nürburgring GmbH, this time certified by an independent, expert witness (notary public) now stands as a new record for a production car in the "executive cars" category. This categorization used by the Nürburgring GmbH is based on the classification of different vehicle classes as defined by the Kraftfahrtbundesamt (KBA), the Federal Motor Transport Authority in Germany.

"The enhancements made to the chassis and the powertrain of the new Panamera were always noticeable during this lap on what is recognized as the most demanding racetrack in the world," says Kern. "In the Hatzenbach or also Bergwerk and Kesselchen sections in particular, the new setup of the electromechanical roll stabilization system PDCC remains consistently effective and provides the Panamera with incredible stability in spite of the bumpy track surface. At the Schwedenkreuz, the car benefited from the improved lateral dynamics and the increased grip of the new Michelin UHP tires. I achieved cornering speeds there that I would not have believed possible with the Panamera."

Even greater enhancements to comfort and performance

"The Panamera has always been both an exclusive touring sedan and a true sports car at the same time. In the new model, we have enhanced these attributes even further," says Thomas Friemuth, Vice President Product Line Panamera. "Alongside the increased engine power, improvements have been made in the areas of cornering stability, body control and steering precision. These enhancements benefit both everyday comfort and performance. The lap record is impressive proof of this."

At an outside temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit and with a track temperature of 93 degrees Fahrenheit, Lars Kern started the lap at 1.49 pm CEST on July 24, 2020 and crossed the finish line 7:29.81 minutes later. The record-breaking Panamera was equipped with a racing seat and a safety cage as protection for the driver. The independent, expert witness (notary public) also confirmed the series production status of the camouflaged four-door sedan, which will celebrate its world premiere at the end of August. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires developed specifically for the new Panamera and used for the record lap will be optionally available after the market launch.

Around 13 seconds faster than the previous model

The lap record underscores the comprehensive enhancement of the second Panamera generation. In 2016, Lars Kern already completed the circuit in the Eifel region in a time of 7:38.46 minutes driving a Panamera Turbo with an output of 550 hp – this time was achieved covering the then commonly measured distance for lap record attempts of 20.6 kilometers used by many manufacturers and automotive publications, not including the roughly 200 meter long track section at grandstand number 13 (T13), which served as the old public entrance to the track many years ago. In accordance with the new statutes of Nürburgring GmbH, the lap time is now measured over the complete Nordschleife distance of 20.832 km. For comparison: Lars Kern and the new Panamera passed the 20.6 km mark after 7:25.04 minutes – roughly equal to a 2014 911 GT3 (991.1 generation). The record-breaking car and driver combination was around 13 seconds faster than the Panamera Turbo that was run four years ago.


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