Panamera "Lion" prototype smashes Nurburgring record with an astonishing 7:11
When the Tesla Model S Plaid unofficially lapped the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 20 seconds, numerous automotive fans of both Tesla and Porsche on the fact that “Porsche should have something good under their sleeve.” Recently, new face-lift version Panameras have been spotted in the Nurburgring, but it seems that one of them is not your average dentist’s Panamera. Dubbed the Panamera Lion internally, the Lion is here the smash the Ring.
Early version of the Panamera Lion. Note the front Canards and the oversized exhausts. Image from GT Spirit
An early prototype of the Lion has been spotted in mid-August with quite a lot of aero, including front canards, fender flares, and racing tires. The car seemed to be way far from production, but just in two months, the same car with the license plate LEO GD 710 returned to the Green Hell, but this time, looking more like a standard Panamera Turbo.
That red Alcantara Weissach Steering wheel looks fancy... Image from GT Spirit
According to Porsche, the Panamera Lion is a car created by a small internal project team to test the racing and track potential of the Panamera as the celebration of its 10th anniversary. 250 kilograms were stripped down the car thanks to the removal of damping material, massage seats, Bose surround sound system, and interior panels. Furthermore, bucket seats from the Cayman GT4, roll cages, and the Weissach Steering wheel was added, showing that this is a Panamera for a track.
Image from Guideautoweb.com
The car is powered by the 4.0L V8 that has been used since the second-generation Panamera Turbo and the Turbo S E-Hybrid. While the base 4.0L V8 produces an already hefty 542hp, the Lion produces a mighty 750hp with some tweaks. The engine in the prototype does not include any hybrid systems for now, but if they are added, it can be estimated to produce about 880hp, which is a crazy amount.
Image from GT Spirit
The Panamera Lion achieved an unofficial 7 minutes and 11 seconds record measured by journalists. When the record was asked to the Porsche spokesman, Ben Weinberger, he humbly responded, “I can neither confirm nor deny this number…” The Panamera Lion still runs on road-legal Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires which are available from factory, but with a lot of powertrain and interior modifications. Compared to a standard Panamera, it is 27 seconds faster.
Image from Mercedes Benz
It is likely that the Panamera Lion will compete with the upcoming Mercedes Benz AMG GT73 or the M8 Gran Coupe Competition. Although it is useless to compare a 750hp V8 saloon with the Tesla Model S Plaid, there is one possible good news for you. The Panamera Lion shows potential for a possible Taycan Lion. Yes, as the electric motors will not be as easy to tune as ICEs but with some better aero and weight reduction, there is a possibility of Taycan’s Model S Plaid competitor being developed in the future.
Let me tell you one thing. That rear end is definitely better than any other saloon on the market. Image from GT Spirit
At the end of the day...
Now, here’s the part where it gets a LOT biased and I admit it. So Tesla fanboys, I recommend you to skip this part with the comments section and rather read something that will soothe your mind and body like “Tesla Model 3’s autopilot feature is quite interesting” Here’s my point. The whole Lion record is unofficial, and I do not really want to hype about it. And it seems it is the same with Porsche too. Instead of boasting “wE diD 7 MinUTeS aNd 11 sEcOndS oN tHe RinG!” on Twitter (cough Elon cough Musk), they rather saved their breath.
Image from Hemmings.net
Why? It is obvious. Porsche does not have to rely on unofficial records to hype things up because people expect them to be good and they always somehow manage to surprise and exceed our expectations. What Tesla needs is not “banging-the-tin-can” style promotion, but rather an increase in brand value. That can only be achieved through making better products and putting the effort in, not just relying on the hypes. Hypes can make your stocks jump, Tesla. Skill and quality are the ones that make it retain value.