Porsche Has Just Broken The Nurburgring SUV Lap Record

The upcoming hot Porsche Cayenne Coupe has just set a blistering time of 7:38.925 minutes. 

When Porsche previously teased a new performance variant of its Cayenne Coupe, the German automaker proudly touted that this particular spec of sporty SUV will be underlining its claim to best-in-class performance once again. A boast that now appears to have some truth behind it, as this as-yet-unnamed version of the Cayenne has just gone and smashed the lap record at the Nurburgring. 

Hooned round the legendary German race track by test driver Lars Kern, a pre-production iteration of this sporty Cayenne Coupe has managed to complete the full 20.832 km lap in just 7:38.925. A time that is in the same ballpark as the likes of a Nissan GT-R, Ferrari 458 Italia, Lexus LFA and Porsche’s own 997 911 Turbo, this German SUV has beaten out the Audi RS Q8 (7:42.253) as the notarised record holder for the fastest lap round the ‘Ring in the ‘SUV, off-road vehicle, van, pick-up’ category. 

Now just to satisfy all the ‘Ring record pedants out there, it is worth pointing out the particular Cayenne that set this blistering time was equipped with a racing seat and a roll cage. 22-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres that were specially designed for this Porsche SUV were also fitted, though these would be standard on the production variants when it eventually arrives. 

And speaking of the production variant, the full specs of this super-SUV is unfortunately still under wraps at the moment. That said however, it has been confirmed by the manufacturer that under the hood of this souped up Cayenne Coupe will lie a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that will apparently be pumping out a very healthy 631 hp and 850 Nm of torque. 

The most powerful purely petrol-powered Cayenne to date, Porsche has also since alluded to the fact that this sporty SUV will net a tweaked 8-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system that is now apparently more rear-biased. All of which has reportedly contributed to a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 3.4 seconds, with a top speed of 300 km/h. 

Moving onto its performance-inspired exterior enhancements meanwhile, the various spy shots show the fitment of a carbon fibre roof and carbon ceramic brakes. Various other carbon-accented aerodynamic add ons such as the more pronounced lip spoiler up front and more prominent spoiler and diffuser out the back are also to be observed, in addition to a titanium exhaust system featuring twin pipes that exit centrally out the back. 

It is reported previously that Porsche has been busy fiddling with the suspension of this spec of Cayenne Coupe too, in order to make it handle better than the Turbo variant on which it is based. Among the changes made apparently includes the dropping of its ride height by 7 mm, increasing the stiffness of the air suspension by 15% and adding 0.45º of negative camber for a larger contact area between the tyres and the road. 

Set to exclusively be available as a four-seater, more information about this upcoming monster of a Cayenne Coupe and its general facelifted range should be trickling out in the near future. Till then though, down below is a video of this mad, bad Porsche SUV on its record-breaking ‘Ring run. 


PRESS RELEASE: The new performance model of the Cayenne series has convincingly proven its dynamic potential ahead of its launch. In a lightly camouflaged series production car, test driver Lars Kern needed just 7:38.925 minutes for a full lap over a distance of 20.832 kilometres on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife.

In the official rankings of Nürburgring GmbH, the time was certified by a notary public and now stands as a new record in the ‘SUV, off-road vehicle, van, pick-up’ category.

“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,” said Lars Kern, who accompanied long periods of the car’s development, of his record drive.

“It changed direction at lightning speed in the fast curves such as between Hohe Acht and Eiskurve, with no wobble and no tendency to understeer. Even in this technical stretch, the Cayenne is an real driver’s car that is easy to control,” according to the test and development driver. “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. The drivetrain makes a really strong impression. It delivers power in every situation as well as perfect gear changes.”

A top performer and Cayenne-typical all-rounder

“This Cayenne model is a top performer. During its development, we focused on exceptional on-road performance. Our record-breaking Cayenne is based on the Cayenne Turbo Coupé, though more systematically designed for maximum longitudinal and lateral dynamics,” according to Stefan Weckbach, Vice President Product Line Cayenne. “Its record time on the Nordschleife confirms the dynamic capabilities of our new performance SUV. Furthermore, it’s a typical Cayenne all-rounder, providing a high degree of driving comfort and everyday utility.”

Lars Kern recorded his fast lap of the Nordschleife at 11:31 on 14 June 2021 with a summer-like outside temperature of 23 degrees Celsius and a track temperature of 46 degrees Celsius, crossing the finish line 7:38.925 minutes later. To protect its driver, the record-breaking Cayenne was equipped with a racing seat and roll cage. The notary public also confirmed the series production status of the still lightly camouflaged SUV, which will celebrate its world premiere shortly. The performance tyres used for the record lap were 22-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsas that were specially developed for the new Cayenne model and will be fitted as standard.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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