Porsche says a version of its facelifted Panamera – which has yet to be officially revealed – has set a new Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record for “executive cars”.
Using a lightly camouflaged production model equipped with a racing seat and a roll cage, test driver Lars Kern completed a full lap of the Nordschleife (over a distance of 20,832 km) in 7:29,81 minutes, which makes it around 13 seconds faster than the outgoing, pre-facelift model.
The Zuffenhausen-based company says the record was set on 24 July 2020 at an outside temperature of 22 degrees Celsius and with a track temperature of 34 degrees Celsius. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres developed specifically for the updated Panamera were used and are set be optionally available for customers, too.
In October 2018, Mercedes-AMG said its GT63 S 4Matic+ had become the “fastest fully fledged four-seater production car” to blast round the Nordschleife, with a time of 7:25,41 (Jaguar's XE SV Project 8 did it some four seconds quicker but without its rear seats). Of course, as Porsche points out, that was over the “then-usual” distance for lap record attempts of 20,6 km.
“In accordance with the new statutes of the race track organisation, the lap time is now measured over the complete Nordschleife distance of 20,832 km. For comparison, Lars Kern and the new Panamera already passed the 20,6 km mark after 7:25,04 minutes,” Porsche said.
The German firm says the updated Panamera will boast increased engine power as well as improvements in the areas of "cornering stability, body control and steering precision".
“The enhancements made to the chassis and the powertrain of the new Panamera were always noticeable during this lap on what is recognised as the most demanding race track in the world,” said Kern.
“In particularly challenging sections of the track, the new setup of the electromechanical roll stabilisation system remains consistently effective and provides the Panamera with incredible stability in spite of the bumpy track surface. Furthermore, the car benefited from the improved lateral dynamics and the increased grip of the new Michelin sports tyres. I achieved cornering speeds that I would not have believed possible with the Panamera,” he added.
The refreshed Panamera is scheduled to be fully revealed at the end of August 2020.