Porsche Cayenne's hot new performance variant sets Nurburgring SUV lap record

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There’s a new SUV Nürburgring lap record, and it’s owned by a new Porsche Cayenne variant previewed for us a short time ago. Porsche decided the best way to tease the debut of its “new performance model of the Cayenne series” is to reveal that it bested every other crossover/SUV on the Green Hell, and we don’t think it’s the worst of ideas.

The previous record holder also came from within the Volkswagen Group. Audi’s RS Q8 posted a time of 7:42, which handily beat the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S that held the record before it. Porsche claims this new yet-to-be-revealed Cayenne Coupe got around the Nürburgring in just 7:38.925.

Test driver Lars Kern was behind the wheel, and the time was certified by a notary public, Porsche says.

Here’s what Porsche is willing to reveal about the car for now.

"This Cayenne model is a top performer,” says Stefan Weckbach, VP Product Line Cayenne. “During its development, we focused on exceptional on-road performance. Our record-breaking Cayenne is based on the Cayenne Turbo Coupe, though more systematically designed for maximum longitudinal and lateral dynamics. 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.”

Porsche says the car was riding on new Pirelli P Zero Corsa performance tires that were specially developed for this specific Cayenne model. They’re going to be standard equipment, so you better head to the tire store if you want any sort of winter grip.

Final numbers haven't been provided, but horsepower is simply said to be above 600. The 0-60 mph sprint will be “in the range of the 992 GT3” when fitted with the PDK, Porsche claims. The new GT3 hustles to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, so this Cayenne must be something truly special. As of today, the quickest Cayenne variant is the Turbo S E-Hybrid, which has a claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds. You can find even more details on this Cayenne Coupe variant in our overview of the model from last month.

Two modifications were made to the record-setting car, but both are standard safety procedures. Porsche added both a roll cage and racing seat to protect Kern on his lap. Photos of the Cayenne Coupe in an un-final state of dress show us what to expect for the proper reveal. We won’t have long to wait, though, because Porsche says this model “will celebrate its world premiere shortly.”

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