The Silver Arrow sets its sights on the Panamera’s Nurburgring record

Barely a few weeks have passed since the all-new 2021 Porsche Panamera — a car that has yet to make its debut, by the way — usurped the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S as the fastest "executive car" at the Nurburgring. The four-door saloon posted a record-breaking time of 7:29.81, edging out the AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe by a slim 0.3-second margin. It didn’t take long for Mercedes-AMG to hear about the new record, and, in true competitive form, the Affalterbach-based outfit didn’t take the challenge of reclaiming the record lying down. In a Facebook post, Mercedes-AMG hinted that a return to the track might be in the automaker’s future in response to "a recent record time you may have heard about." We know that Mercedes-AMG is referencing Porsche and the all-new Panamera. What’s unclear at this point is what version of the AMG GT S 63 4-Door Coupe is Mercedes-AMG planning to unleash to try to beat the new Panamera. No timetable has been set for the performance brand’s return to the ’Ring, but with the record now in Porsche’s hands, don’t expect Mercedes-AMG to wait too long to reclaim its throne.

When did the new Porsche Panamera Turbo S claim the fastest executive car title at the Nurburgring?

Porsche Panamera Turbo Laps the Nurburgring in 7.29.81, But It's Not The Fastest Sedan Exterior Spyshots
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A few weeks ago, Porsche dropped a teaser of the new Porsche Panamera Turbo S.

That drop also included a video of the Panamera's run at the Nurburgring that ended with the four-door saloon posting a lap time of 7:29.81.

Not only did the Panamera Turbo S claim the fastest executive car title at the Nordschleife from the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe, but it did so in the 12.8-mile and 12.94-mile track layouts of the world-famous race track.

The record is impressive in many ways, though onboard video of the car’s record-setting run showed a full cage, body-hugging seats, and an interior that’s pretty much stripped down of all the creature comforts you normally see in a Panamera Turbo S.

Porsche Just Gave the 2021 Panamera An Update Worthy of Praise Exterior
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Look closely at the video, and you'll see the power bars go up to as high as 634 PS (625 horsepower) and 832 Nm (614 pound-feet).

Those are significant increases compared to the in-market Panamera Turbo with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine that tops out at 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. To be clear, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S was announced with an output of 620 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque coming out of a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine. It seems like that V-8 is hiding more ponies, doesn’t it?

2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S specifications
Engine Twin-turbocharged V8
Displacement 4.0 l
Max. power 620 hp @ 6,800 rpm
Max. torque 604 lb-ft @ 2,300 - 4,500 rpm
Top track speed 196 mph
0 - 60 mph with Sport Chrono Package 2.9 s

The Porsche Panamera S is expected to slot between the Panamera Turbo and the top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, then you can be sure that Mercedes-AMG will have its hands full trying to reclaim the fastest executive car in the world title from Porsche.

Can the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe reclaim the fastest executive car record from the new Porsche Panamera Turbo S?

Mercedes-AMG Wants to Eat Porsche's Nurburgring Cake
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To be clear, Mercedes-AMG has yet to say what model it plans to bring to the Nurburgring. The teaser didn’t even come with a form of confirmation regarding a return to the world-famous race track. All Mercedes-AMG hinted at was a possible return to the track. That said, we are jumping the gun and calling Mercedes-AMG’s bluff. The German automaker doesn’t take kindly to rival carmakers stealing its thunder, and when Porsche did it after the Mercedes-AMG GT S 63 4-Door Coupe held the record for the fastest executive car in the world for the last three years, it was only a matter of time before Mercedes-AMG responded.

As for what model Mercedes-AMG intends to bring to the Nurburgring, the automaker hasn’t made that clear yet, but there’s really just one model that makes sense at this point: the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 73e.

Can the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 73e beat the new record set by the Porsche Panamera Turbo S?

Mercedes-AMG Wants to Eat Porsche's Nurburgring Cake
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I was tempted to note the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series in this, but it’s not an executive car, so it doesn’t meet the qualifications of the record. So if the Black Series is out of the question and Mercedes-AMG doesn’t bring a modified version of the AMG GT 63 S 4-Door to the Nurburgring, that leaves just one version on the table: the AMG GT 73e. This is the range-topping version of the entire GT family. It’s packaged as a four-door coupe just like the "old" record-holder, and it packs a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine and an electric motor. Together, the powertrain produces an output of around 800 horsepower, which should be enough to take down the 620-horsepower Panamera Turbo S and bring the record of fastest executive car around the Nurburgring back to Mercedes-AMG.

Some people might be dismissive of the AMG GT 73e because of the electric motor it carries, but, at the end of the day, it’s still a production executive car. It’s also scheduled to debut later this year, so claiming the record as the fastest executive car around the Nurburgring would be a cool notch under the belt of the range-topping model.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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