Update: We spoke to a Porsche representative who explained that the automaker was interested in seeing what a Panamera could do at the Nordschleife with a tweaked version, where the volume is turned up to 11 if you will. An official record isn't necessarily in the automaker's sights, and as for details on the build or what it may (or may not) hold for future Panamera models, that's still a mystery.
We’ve seen Porsche throwing a slightly modified – at least visually – Panamera Turbo around the Nürburgring the last few months. Some of those sightings point to a forthcoming facelift, but a sighting from just over a week ago revealed something a bit different. Now, a report from GTspirt.com claims to know a bit more about what’s going on, and yes, it appears to involve more record-setting attempts at the Green Hell.
Specifically, the report says a small team at Porsche is working on a Panamera dubbed Lion that’s designed to showcase the sedan’s racing potential. In this instance, that also means lapping the ‘Ring quicker than any sedan has previously. As such, this special Panamera is said to be 550 pounds lighter, with copious amounts of sound-deadening material gutted from the interior, as well as the sound system, interior panels, and the seats. The driver holds station in a dedicated racing seat, with a passenger seat from the 718 Cayman mounted next to it. There’s no mention of the back seat, but with the interior apparently gutted and a full roll cage installed, it’s probably not there.
Gallery: Porsche Panamera Turbo with aero kit spy photos
The report further states the Panamera runs sticky street-legal Michelin tires, and its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 is tuned to produce 750 horsepower (559 kilowatts). That’s a big jump from the standard Panamera Turbo, but it’s less than the 820 hp (611 kW) rumors we heard from other sources. Then again, GTspirit.com is saying this car isn’t a hybrid but a pure internal-combustion-engine performance dynamo. It’s possible a lighter model without the electric assist is earmarked to set a track record.
To that end, the report says Porsche clocked an unofficial time of around 7 minutes 11 seconds, which would be fast enough to claim the sedan record. However, with the extensive modifications to the interior – not to mention the power upgrade – we suspect it would be a stretch for Porsche to claim any production record unless a special-edition Panamera is slated for limited release. Even then, the stripped interior and lack of four seats would seem controversial at the very least.