Remember the new balls-to-the-walls Cayenne that Porsche teased earlier? Well, the company is not quite ready to unveil the full car just yet, but they do have something to show for it, and that is a new Nurburgring lap record.
In the hands of Porsche’s test driver Lars Kern, who was also part of the development team for the new car, the “new performance model of the Cayenne series” lapped the 20.832 kilometres Nurburgring Nordschleife track in just 7:38.925 minutes, making it the new king of the ‘SUV, off-road vehicle, van, pick-up’ category.
For context, that’s more than three seconds faster than the previous record holder (Audi RS Q8), and just about 11 seconds behind the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe that’s competing in a completely different category!
For the safety of the driver, the record-breaking Cayenne was equipped with a racing seat and roll cage. But aside from that, the car is basically stock and identical to the series production car – including the specially-developed Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres that will be fitted as standard. The record-breaking run, as well as the car configuration, is verified by a notary public that was present at the track.
Speaking about the car after the record-breaking Nurburgring run, Kern said: “Over the first few metres of the Nordschleife in this Cayenne, you’re tempted to turn around to make sure that you’re really sitting in a spacious SUV. Its high steering precision and stoically stable rear axle gave me a lot of confidence in the Hatzenbach section.”
He added that direction changes are fast and direct, with no tendency to understeer – even in the trickiest and most technical stretch of the track, nothing that it is a “real driver’s car” that’s easy to control.
“The wheels normally leave the ground at both the Pflanzgarten I and II crests but these sections felt smooth and quiet in this Cayenne. There is a lot of wheel travel, and the body stays solid and controlled,” Kern added.
He also commented on the car’s powertrain, which “delivers power in every situation as well as perfect gear changes”. No technical details have been confirmed just yet, but earlier reports from foreign publications said that it’ll feature a tweaked twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine that supposedly makes 640 hp and 850 Nm. The output figures on the on-board video telemetry also closely matches this.
Porsche says that the new “performance” Cayenne model is developed specifically for “maximum longitudinal and lateral dynamics”, while remaining a true all-rounder vehicle, providing the usual high-degree of driving comfort and everyday utility. No launch date has been announced just yet, but Porsche says that the car will “celebrate its world premiere shortly”.